China overtakes France in land under vineyards

April 28, 2015 07:53
A farmer tends tends to grape vines at a vineyard in Yantai, Shandong province. Photo: Bloomberg

France is still the world's biggest producer of wine, but China is emerging as a major player in viniculture.

China is now the second-largest wine-growing area in the world after Spain, pushing France into third place, BBC News reported, citing data from the International Organization of Vine and Wine (IOVW).

The Asian giant has 799,000 hectares (1.97 million acres) of land devoted to wine growing, next only to Spain, which has 1.02 million hectares for viniculture.

But France remains the biggest producer of wine at 46.7 million hectolitres (mhl). It is also biggest wine exporter, earning  7.7 billion euros (US$8.37 billion) last year.

The United States, on the other hand, is the biggest consumer of wine at 30.7 mhl or 13 percent of all wine produced last year -- followed by France and Italy, the report said.

Global wine consumption fell by 2.4 mhl to 240 mhl last year, according to IOVW.

The biggest importers of wine were Germany, Britain and the US with total global trade valued at 26 billion euros, it said.

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