POSTED: July 19th 2015
InDepth

Sports Travel: Looking Ahead to Beijing in 2022 - The Blossoming Wine Industry

China's production of wine is expected to rival that of Bordeaux in 50 years © Palate Press
China's production of wine is expected to rival that of Bordeaux in 50 years © Palate Press

DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ / Sports Features Communications  

(SFC) Among the bouquets of culinary delights found across the region - the smell, taste, and popularity of wine produced in China is becoming world-renowned.  With the burgeoning middle-class in China who are travelling more around the world, combined with ideal growing conditions between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, the growth numbers are staggering.  Between 2007-2011 wine consumption doubled, and projections for 2012-2016 show another increase of 40%.  By 2022, as the popularity grows in line with the continued growing middle class - and the increasing global awareness of the quality of Chinese wine,  this number is expected to grow by an additional 200%.

So what is so special about Chinese wine?  First is the diverse climate and soil compositions across the breath of China allow for the growth of a variety of grapes for wine production.   Historically, wine has been produced in China going back over 4000 years, but it really was not until the 1980's and 1990's did the world really recognize China as a potential global wine producer.

While the Yangtai-Penglai region in northeast China is the largest wine-producing area in China - accounting for about 40% of production - the Beijing and Zhangjiakou regions are among the fastest growing and becoming world-renown.  This growth is exemplified by the goal of continuing to develop a premium grape and wine production area that exceeds 300,000 tons by 2030.

The wines grown in this region have the same structure as Bordeauz wine  in France and Napa Valley wines in California - as these regions have very similar geographic and climates. In fact, Yanqing County, located between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, is projected to become the top high-quality grape-producing areas in China.

The majority of wine produced in this region is red - mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot - but there are some dry white wines produced as well.  Producing over 50,000 tons of wine, the China Great Wall Wine Company in Hebei province is the largest producer.  Other major producers include Changyu Pioneer Wine and Dynasty Wine - but there are an increasing number of smaller wineries opening in the region annually. 

Leading British wine merchant Berry Bros. and Rudd openly stated in 2008 that they predict that the quality of Chinese wine will rival that of Bordeaux within 50 years.  With the growth in popularity and the increase in production, only time will tell. 

**DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ is a tenured Senior Lecturer of Sport Management at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.  He has been an academician for 15 years in the areas of sport business management, international tourism, and hospitality management - with special focus on the areas of sport marketing, sport finance, tourism, and facility/event management.  He speaks globally and is the author of numerous publications in these areas, as well as been actively involved in consulting projects working with a multitude of sport and community organizations ranging from grassroots efforts to hallmark events.  


Keywords · Beijing 2022; Olympics; wine


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