Edition: English Asia Pacific Africa Europe | Español Français العربية Pусский | 中文简体 中文繁体
Homepage > Biz Video

Shanxi develops a taste for wine business

Reporter: Hu Chao 丨 CCTV.com

07-19-2015 05:12 BJT

China is one of the biggest consumers of wine in the world. According to the International Organization of Vine and Wine, it now boasts the second largest amount of vinyards after Spain, pushing France into the third place. And in north China’s Shanxi Province, energy companies are putting more capital into the wine industry. They believe the special climate and soil there will help create a lucrative red wine business.

Commonly known as a major coal producer in north China, Shanxi is now acquiring a reputation for its wine.

Zhang Wenquan has been in the coal business for a decade in Xiangning, a southwest county in the city of Linfen in Shanxi Province. Eight years ago he set foot in the wine industry and invested over 200 million yuan to build the Chateau Rongzi, a local winery with its own grape planting base, cellars and bottling line.

Zhang Wenquan, Chairman of Shanxi Rongzi Jiuzhuang Ltd said:“Although the wine business takes time to make profits, it’s a sustainable industry with wide prospects. And it can create many jobs.”

The Rongzi winery has around 4 square kilometers of prime soil to grow grapes. Nearly 2,000 farmers from various nearby villages work the land. Thanks to the wine business, they've increased their incomes seven-fold.

“I used to plant corn, from which I earned about 15,000 yuan per hectare a year. Now I plant grapes and can make about 105,000 yuan per hectare a year,” said Wen Jiandong, farmer from Xiangning County, Shanxi Province.

Zhang Wenquan is ambitious. He invited French master winemaker Jean-Claude Berrouet to be the chief winemaker at his winery. Jean believes that grapes growing on the loess plateau plus the monsoon climate in the Xiangning County will create excellent wine.

Jean-Claude Berrouet, French Master Winemaker said:“The soil here is quite suitable for growing grapes. It also has plenty of sunshine and the temperature difference in the day is over 15 degrees centigrade.”

The Rongzi winery said their revenue in 2014 was up to 30 million yuan and they have 4 million bottles of wine in store. They plan to fully open up markets in other provinces and countries from 2017.

This cellar has stored over 1,600 barrels of wine produced from as early as 2012. The oak barrels were all imported from France and the United States. And top-level equipment is used to ensure the wines are kept at the perfect temperature and humidity.

Zhang Wenquan wants his chateau to be unique. Hundreds of millions of yuan have been invested to construct a Chinese-style garden, which covers an area of 66 hectares, attracting many tourists.

The Chateau Rongzi is among several wineries based in Shanxi. Others include the Grace Vineyard, the Greatone winery and some in the Qingxu County.

“Shanxi may become an up and coming region for the wine industry. We’ve been doing research on the unique taste of the wine produced here. Wines from Shanxi should have their own characteristic,” said Zhang.

Zhang also pointed out that China still lacks related laws and regulations. Many wineries are producing blended or even fake wines. He calls for efforts from the government to make laws to streamline the red wine industry. And industry standards should also be built up.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat

We Recommend

  • World Heritage China Part 29
  • Glamorous Indonesia Part 2
  • Along the Coast Part 41
  • Glamorous Indonesia Part 1
  • Dreams and the business reality
  • Philippines' beauty pageant obsession
  • China's love for basketball
  • Box office online
  • Jixi: Land of luminaries II