Ningxia Hui autonomous region is home to the largest wine producing area in China. CHINA DAILY
The ninth International Wine Expo of Helan Mountain's East Foothill being held from Oct 22 to 23 in Yinchuan, capital of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, is aiming to push the local wine further into the international market by promoting its unique qualities, officials said.
Co-organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the Ningxia government, the expo is a vital meeting of regional cooperation in the Ningxia wine industry, focusing on wine and culture, tourism, leisure and art.
For pandemic prevention and control, the expo is being held for the first time online and offline.
Around 500 experts and people from domestic and overseas wine organizations, associations and enterprises are taking part in the expo. The expo includes an opening ceremony, a Sino-French wine forum, a wine tourism forum that will publish a list of the world's top 10 wine producing areas and hot spots for investment.
Xue Gang is a member of the organizing committee of the expo and an inspector of the general office of the autonomous region.
He said every year Ningxia produces 130 million bottles of wine. These are exported to more than 20 countries and regions and have a total output value of 26.1 billion yuan ($3.92 billion).
"The wine industry has become an important sector for Ningxia to adjust its industrial structure, transform its development mode, increase farmers' incomes and the area's high-quality development," Xue said. He added that wine is the best option for the region's opening-up.
Zhao Shihua, deputy director of the management committee of East Helan Mountain area's wine industrial park, said the local wine industry first began to grow in the early 1980s.
Clockwise from top left: A wine cellar in Ningxia. A seasonal worker picks grapes at a vineyard in Ningxia. Students learn about winemaking during a study trip in Ningxia. CHINA DAILY
After 30 years of development, the wine grape planting area has reached 32,800 hectares. It is now the largest producer of wine grapes in China.
In recent years, the autonomous region has strengthened cooperation with the world's major winemaking countries and domestic grape-producing regions, and has introduced a number of major wine industry projects.
In 2019, there were eight wine industry projects in the region, with a total planned investment of some 2.02 billion yuan.
Ningxia wine has won more than 1,000 awards at various international events and has become a calling card of the region.
"In the next step, we will focus on four aspects: building high-standard and high-quality bases, cultivating leading enterprises, innovating marketing models, and enhancing brand influence in all directions," Zhao said.
"By 2025, the total scale of wine grape bases in our region will reach 66,700 hectares, with an annual output of more than 300 million bottles of high-quality wine," he said.
The region has cultivated 20 leading wineries and more than 10 large brands. There are also more than 25 wineries in Ningxia that have integrated tourism into their business models, together generating 100 billion yuan annually.
"We strongly support Ningxia's wine companies to set up counters in exhibition centers across the country, and carry out online and offline activities such as promotions, tasting and sales," Zhao said.
"We have set up the Ningxia wine brand on large e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, JD and Pinduoduo. From January to September, online retail sales for Ningxia wine reached 289 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 21.66 percent."