China climate benefits from vineyard planting

Vineyards in Ningxia Hui in north east China have helped the local environment, according to the School of Agriculture, Ningxia University.

Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia is one of the driest areas of China but some of the country’s more highly regarded wines are grown on the foothills of Helan Mountain, located within the city.

Wang Zhenping, professor at Ninxia University, told China Daily: “The digging and removing of surface soil is not harmful for the environment, but is actually good for it.

“The vines usually root in very deep to obtain nutrients in the soil, which prevents both soil erosion and sand being generated from the surface, which is beneficial for the environment.

“There are fewer sandstorms in my vineyard and it has formed a microclimate, creating a much better environment than before.”

The climate in Ningxia is challenging for winemakers which means the improved microclimate is welcomed by local producers.

In the winter the vines are buried to protect them from freezing temperatures, which often kills off a lot of production, but throughout the summer the region receives up to 3,000 hours of sunshine and high temperatures.

The local government has intervened to encourage winegrowers by funding drip irrigation systems to control water usage, whilst encouraging the standardisation of vineyards.

“The local government is really committed to making Ningxia the best wine region of China, and it has already done so,” said Denise Consentino, an Italian winemaker at Gilbert & Gaillard in Ningxia.

“I am sure that with its great support, Ningxia will excel in its wine production among the best wine regions of the world, if the region can follow its own unique style and try to impose its presence in the wine world for its typicality.”