China and wine – a growing love affair

China is now the world’s fastest growing wine market and domestic productions profits from the climate change

China has emerged on to the global wine scene with unprecedented speed in recent years, both in terms of production and consumption. After Spain, China boasts the second largest area under vine cultivation with 847,000 hectares, while France is third, and Italy is fourth. In terms of wine production, Italy was the world’s leading producer in 2018 with 42.5 mln hls, followed by France with 36.7 mln hls, and Spain with 32.1 mln hls. While China has the second largest land area under vine cultivation, it produces three to four times less than the European leaders at just 11.5 mln hls. This amount is on a par with Australia at 11.9 mln hls and South Africa with 11.2 mln hls.

The national wine consumption has more than doubled in the past two decades, and only 10% of this is satisfied by imported wines. The Chinese wine import has reportedly even decreased 7.8% during the first 2 months of 2017, compared to the same period of 2016. 22 out of the 28 EU member states has exported wine to China in 2017; as indicated in the following map.

De decrease is still continuing. China’s wine imports of 2018 show a decrease of more than 19% compared to the previous year. Insiders attribute this to the higher margins wine traders can get from selling domestic wine.

China’s indigenous vine species have been cultivated and used to make wine for more than 1500 years, but it was not until the end of the 19th century that wine production gained any form of scale and formality, with the help of European missionaries, in particular in Shandong province. The Changyu winery was established in Yantai (Shandong) soon after this in 1892, and retains a significant position in Chinese wine today.


At the turn of the new millennium there were an estimated 450,000 ha under vine in China, including classic varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot that were introduced by foreign investors along with Western winemaking techniques. Today, many international wine companies have interests in China, including Moet Hennessy, Remy Cointreau, Pernod Ricard, Torres and the Bordeaux families of Lurton and Barons de Rothschild (of Cheval Blanc and Lafite Rothschild respectively).

China’s wine industry has experienced unprecedented growth in the past decade, and millions of dollars have been invested in establishing a wine tourism industry. However, this growth has not been without controversy: wine counterfeiting has been a major issue and the quality of Chinese wine is thus far patchy, ranging from excellent to undrinkable.

Thumbs up for climate change

In the early 1950s, China planted 3,200 hectares of grapes. By 2016 that area had expanded to 847,000 hectares. The growth, and the development of the wine industry in general, have been aided by technological advances. Climate change is another, often overlooked contributing factor. According to the latest analysis from the Chinese Meteorological Administration, average temperatures in China have risen 0.5-0.8C in the last century, making it possible to cultivate wine grapes 100-160 kilometres further north. The zones suitable for wine grape cultivation have been creeping into China’s north-west and north-east. Research by the North-West Agriculture and Forestry University (NWAFU) shows that climate warming has shrunk the areas with the short frost-free periods and low temperatures that restrict grape-growing.

Climate change doesn’t just mean China is producing more wine; it’s producing different wine too. Further research by NWAFU explains that weather is crucial to a grape’s quality as it matures – and so to the quality and mouthfeel of the wine from that grape. Higher temperatures mean faster maturation and accumulation of sugars, but less malic acid, all of which affects flavour. From 1951 to 2017, temperatures increased during the grape maturation season in most of China’s 92 wine-producing regions. That means more gluconic acid and therefore a stronger and thicker mouthfeel and higher alcohol content. The following map shows the changes in the Chinese wine regions due to climate change.

Major wine regions

In this blog, I will introduce China’s main wine regions.



Hebei province, the capital city of Beijing and port city of Tianjin are de facto one region. The province spans 6 degrees of latitude between 36°N and 42°N and is home to a wide range of landscapes, from the floodplains of the Yellow River in the south to the Yan Mountains in the north. A wine industry surrounding the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety has sprung up in Hebei and there are also some smaller plantings of Chardonnay, Merlot and Marselan.

Despite the proximity of the Bohai Sea, the climate in Hebei is more continental than maritime. Hot, humid summers are followed by cold, dry winters that are subject to freezing winds from Siberia. Hebei is affected by the East Asian Monsoon, a weather system that brings cool, moist air from the Pacific and Indian oceans and causes rain when this collides with warmer air over the continent. Most rainfall occurs during the summer, and growers in certain parts of the province must be wary of the dangers of fungal vine diseases in the late summer and early fall.

Huailai sits in the shadow of the Great Wall of China in the hills surrounding Beijing and is home to several large Chinese producers. Among these is Greatwall, one of the country’s most famous wine producers. As in many parts of China, there is significant interest from French producers, and the Sino-French Demonstration Vineyard was planted in the late 1990s as a joint venture between the French and Chinese governments. Huailai’s terroir has proved well suited to viticulture, with the close proximity to Beijing’s large population providing an excellent added incentive for the development of a wine industry here. Vineyards at altitudes up to 1000 m above sea level have a much cooler climate than Beijing, and high levels of sunshine ensure that grapes receive ample sunshine for ripening.

Changli is situated on the coast just south of Qinhuangdao. Cabernet Sauvignon vines are planted in the agriculturally suitable land surrounding the city, and several large producers are located here. An interesting player based in Changli is Moutai. Patrons of this site will know Moutai as China’s top selling baijiu (spirit). Moutai has recently been cashing on its high brand awareness, including establishing a winery in Changli.

Tianjin is a municipality on the east coast of China, close to Beijing. Some viticulture takes place along the Jiyan River in the east of the region. A small amount of wine is made here from Cabernet Sauvignon, Muscat Hamburg and Chardonnay. Although the terroir in Tianjin is not ideal for grape-growing, the region’s main viticultural advantage is its proximity to Beijing. Dynasty Wines, one of China’s largest wine companies and a joint venture with the French company Remy Cointreau, is based in Tianjin and makes wines from grapes grown within the municipality as well as from those grown in more-famous regions such as Ningxia.


Unfortunately, Dynasty has been struggling with decreasing turnovers for the past few years. Dynasty’s management admits that it has problems with keeping up with changes in the environment. On one hand, other domestic wineries have dramatically improved their quality and some are winning international awards. On the other hand, imported wines have become more accessible due to China’s entry into the WTO. Dynasty needs to shake up its product range and upgrade its brand perception.


Ningxia is a rapidly emerging wine-producing region in the central-north of China. The wide, heavily irrigated valley between the Yellow River and the base of Helan Mountain has proved to be one of China’s most promising vineyard areas. A range of wines are made here from grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Gernischt and Chardonnay and they vary in quality from insipid to excellent.

While Ningxia covers 66,000 sq km, most viticulture takes place in a 160 km river valley in the very north of the region. Here, the Yellow River provides sufficient water for irrigation and the arid landscape has been transformed into arable land well suited to the production of wine.

Ningxia has a thoroughly continental climate, its eastern border lying some 950 km from the nearest ocean. The summers are hot, although the high altitude of the vineyards (some more than 1200 m above sea level) helps to create a suitable climate for wine-growing. At this altitude, intense sunlight during the day is followed by much cooler nights. This diurnal temperature shift – which is exacerbated by the lack of moisture in the air – helps to slow ripening in the grapes, leading to a balance of phenols and acidity.

The short growing season in Ningxia is followed by a long, cold winter, and vines must be protected from freezing temperatures with an insulating mound of dirt piled around the base of the plant. While this is an expensive and time-consuming task, the abundance of labour in China means that it is much easier than in other parts of the world, adding a human element into the overall terroir of Ningxia.

The land at the base of Helan Mountain is part of the Yellow River floodplain, and the soils have been deposited over time by both the river and from material washed down from the mountains. These pebbly, sandy soils are free draining and have low fertility, which lessens both vigour and yield in the vine, leading to smaller, more-concentrated berries.

Helan Mountain, is particularly well regarded and in 2003 became China’s first official appellation, recognized by the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. A 2009 Helan Qing Xue Jia Bei Lan Cabernet blend made in Helan Mountain won a major trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2010. The terroir of Ningxia has not escaped international attention, and companies such as Pernod Ricard and Moet Hennessy have interests in the region, along with some of China’s largest producers. Some commentators have been quick to point out that the slower-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety is perhaps not suited to the shorter growing season here. But Chardonnay and Riesling perform well, and some vignerons have expressed interest in experimenting with Syrah and the production of sparkling wine.

Other top wineries in the Ningxia region are:

Silver Heights; This family owned winery helped put Ningxia on the wine map. Its entry-level Last Warrior Cabernet-Merlot is sold in the UK and Canada. Several strides higher is The Summit, a Cabernet-Merlot that starts quiet and moody, then steadily gains power and complexity, with potent ripe fruit, dark chocolate, smoke and vanilla elegantly packaged.

Kanaan; In a nation fixated on reds, Kanaan puts out a pair of decent whites, including a semi-sweet blend and a Riesling. The latter is inspired by the decade owner Wang Fang spent in Germany and the 2017 Riesling is for sale in the UK.

The government of Helanshan is actively supporting the local wine industry. One activity in this respect is representing the wine industry of the entire region on major trade fairs.

Inner Mongolia

Known for its unique nomadic culture and autonomous political status, Inner Mongolia is also recognised as China’s northernmost wine region, producing approximately 41,413 hls in 2011. Making up of a mere 0.4% of China’s 2011 total production volume, this boutique area boasts one of the most sophisticated organic viticulture models in China. Planting their first vines in the early 1980s, Chateau Hansen established their current 250 hectares of vines incorporating organic principles. The owner of Chateau Hansen is Mr. Han Jianping, originally a real estate tycoon before he bought Chateau Hansen and serves as Chief Executive of the chateau. Certified by the Chinese government and on its way to obtaining the European “Bio” label, Chateau Hansen is forging its own path to produce organic wines in one of the most challenging climates in the world. Wuhai, Hansen’s home region, is located in the southwest of Inner Mongolia. It has a semi-arid continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters, featuring huge diurnal ranges, and a relatively long frost-free period. Now the total vineyard area of Wuhai is around 1333.3 ha, with main varieties:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Gernischt, Rkatsiteli, Zinfandel and Riesling.


Shandong is one of China’s oldest wine-producing regions. Cabernet Gernischt, Riesling and Chardonnay are the most important grape varieties grown in the province. The most viticulturally important part of the province is the 274 km Shandong Peninsula (also known as the Jiaodong Peninsula) that juts into the Yellow Sea toward Korea. The Yantai International Wine Exposition is an important annual event on the Chinese wine calendar and attracts interest and exhibitors from around the world.

The terroir of Shandong avoids the harsh continental extremes of the centre of China and instead has a maritime climate, with cooler summers and warmer winters. Shandong is affected by the East Asian Monsoon, a weather system that brings cool, moist air from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the province, causing summer rain. Fungal vine diseases caused by high rainfall are an important consideration for vignerons in the late summer and early autumn. Most of Shandong is relatively flat, coastal terrain, although the middle of the province is marked by some hillier country; the highest peak reaches 1500 m above sea level. Many of the vineyards spread throughout the province sit on south-facing slopes where better drainage helps to lessen the impact of summer rain, ensuring the vines do not get ‘wet feet’ and become waterlogged.

The most famous foreign investor in this region is Lafite. Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) teamed with local partner CITIC to start a winery in Shandong on the east coast (CITIC left the partnership in 2018). The project progressed until it now has 360 terraces totaling 30 hectares of vines – 25 in full production – on the granite-based soils of Qiu Shan Valley. Lafite has released the name of its decade-old Chinese project: Long Dai. The first wines are slated to go on sale September 2019 and be delivered in late November, with Pernod Ricard as exclusive distributor. Lafite released its second made-in-China wine, marketed as Huyue, in August 2020.

Another notable project in Shandong is Changyu Moser. It combines China’s oldest producer, Changyu, with Austrian winemaking family Moser. The wines are listed by dozens of vendors abroad. The entry-level Cabernet Sauvignon is found around Europe, including Germany, Portugal, Switzerland and the UK. A few steps up is Moser Family Cabernet Sauvignon. A first for China is their white Cabernet.


Shanxi covers a mountainous loess plateau between the western desert and the coastal plain, Shanxi is becoming increasingly well-known for its wines. These are made predominantly from Cabernet Sauvignon, Muscat, Chardonnay and Merlot. The province of Hebei is on the eastern border, and the Yellow River makes up the western edge of the province. China’s capital city, Beijing, is about 400 km from the Shanxi capital of Taiyuan, where much of the province’s viticulture takes place. Grace Vineyards is Shanxi’s best-known grower, and is one of China’s most highly regarded producers in terms of quality. Its Shanxi vineyards are located on the deep sandy loam soils outside of Taiyuan, where excellent drainage allows the vines to grow deep root systems, encouraging the health of the vine.


Shanxi has a continental climate, but is still affected by the East Asian Monsoon, which brings cool, moist air from the Pacific and Indian Oceans to the warmer land, causing rain. Most of the annual rainfall occurs in summer, and high levels of humidity can promote fungal vine diseases such as mildew. However, this rain is inconsistent from vintage to vintage, and Shanxi’s high altitude and high levels of sunshine mean that in years when there is less rain, high diurnal temperature variation results in grapes with a balance of phenolic ripeness and acidity, leading to good quality wines. Winters in Shanxi are cold and dry, due to far-reaching weather systems from Siberia. As temperatures drop below freezing, growers must bury the vines to insulate them from the devastating cold over the winter. While this is an expensive and time-consuming process, an abundance of labour means that it is possible in this part of China.


Xinjiang is mostly associated with light, uncomplicated wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot. Xinjiang covers 1.6 million sq km. Much of this area is either desert or mountain, and Xinjiang is cut neatly in two by the Tianshan mountain range. It is along the southern edge of these mountains that most viticulture takes place, particularly surrounding the cities of Turpan and Bayingol. Changji near the capital Ürümqi is also producing high quality wines, like Niya and Xiyu Shacheng.

Xinjiang’s climate is truly continental: the region contains the point on land that is furthest from any ocean. It is officially classed as a semi-arid desert climate on the Koppen climate scale, and is characterized by hot summers and very cold winters. Ample sunshine during the growing season ensures the grapes can reach full ripeness, and the low annual rainfall means that there is little pressure from fungal vine diseases. The vines are subject to winter freezes, and as such are buried during the winter for insulation. On the northern side of the mountains, where the climate is cooler and slightly more precipitous, several growers are enjoying considerable success with the production of ice wine, mostly made from the hybrid Vidal grape variety.

Wine has been made in this part of China for around 3000 years. Greek settlers brought vines and farming methods around 300 BC, and 13th Century explorer Marco Polo described Xinjiang grape wines in his writings. Although Xinjiang is currently better known for bulk wine production, the viticultural sector here is seeking to improve its winemaking techniques and select better cultivars in order to markedly increase both the quantity and quality of the wines. As a result, the region is beginning to attract attention from international investors, winemakers and consumers. Loulan wine has won an award at a Hong Kong wine tasting event.


Yunnan is a province in the south of China. The tropical, mountainous terrain in this part of the country is supporting an increasing amount of viticulture, mostly based around the mysterious hybrid varieties Rose Honey, French Wild and Crystal.

A chain of mountains runs through the western part of Yunnan’s 394,000 sq km, giving rise to a landscape that is not well suited to commercial, large-scale agriculture. However, the warm climate is moderated by the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and the growing season here is correspondingly long and favourable. A selection of crops, including rice, tea, coffee, wheat and tobacco, is produced on the few areas of arable land available in Yunnan. Viticulture has become an important part of the agricultural economy here, particularly in the past few decades. Yunnan lies between latitudes 21°N to 29°N, which is similar to the Sahara Desert in Africa. The temperatures usually associated with low latitudes are moderated by the high altitudes here, and vineyards at elevations as high as 1800 m above sea level are saved from the ill-effects of the heat by significantly cooler nights. The diurnal temperature variation during the growing season helps to extend the ripening period, allowing grapes to develop flavour along with acidity. Mineral resources are abundant in Yunnan, and as a result, soils throughout the province are rich in minerals.

A Yunnan wine known abroad is Aoyun. The grapes, sourced from 300 tiny plots scattered between 2200 and 2600 metres, have reportedly made exciting wines from year one. Critics like Robert Parker, Wilfrid Wong and James Suckling have praised Ao Yun. A collective tasting note might cite a complex wine with intense red and black fruit, hints of licorice, chocolate, graphite and forest floor, and fine tannins.

Since the 1980s, Yunnan producers have focused more carefully on wine quality, and as in many other parts of China, international producers are starting to take notice. Moet Hennessy has opened a winery in Deqin County in the north of Yunnan (the supposed location of ‘Shangri-la’), and Bordeaux winemaker Pierre Lurton (of Cheval Blanc and Chateau d’Yquem) has also expressed interest in the province. More than 150 years ago, Jesuit missionaries from France introduced a honey rose strain of Cabernet grapes to the Deqin area, where they have been cultivated on a small scale ever since.

Vineyards across Yunnan have even started attracting interest from large-scale international wine distributors. In 2013, 12 families in Sinong signed a labor contract for the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Group, whose beverage brands include brands like Moët Chandon and Hennessy. In Bucun, vine-ripened grapes freeze overnight, then thaw in the winter sunshine, creating the distinctive dry taste of ice wine, a growing favourite of the international winemaking community.

The neighbouring region of Tibet also has a modest wine industry, based on initiatives of early Tibetan Catholics.

Chinese buyers own 2% of Bordeaux chateaus and 10% of Barossa Valley

Chinese are also heavily investing in foreign wineries, in particular in the Bordeaux region. More than 150 or 2% of vineyard chateaus in Bordeaux are now owned by Chinese, China Business News reported citing industry estimates. Seeking beyond import business, the chateau investors aim to lock fine wine from production phase for their booming home market. Bordeaux has seen explosive surge of Chinese investors over the past decade, while it took Belgian buyers about 70 years in comparison to acquire over 100 chateaus in the region, Li Lijuan, director of Christie’s international real estate market in China, told the newspaper. Chinese buyers spend on average EUR 5 to 10 mln on a chateau whose vineyard could take up 10 to 30 hectares, according to an industry works Le Vin, le Rouge, la Chine. Recent corporate investors include subsidiaries of local wine company Changyu and food conglomerate Bright Food Group and COFCO. Investment return could be as high as 10 percent for those who have marketing and sales channels in China, Li said, adding that Chinese buyers also see chateaus as a resort for family or good real estate investment given long return period. “About 20 years ago, Chinese economy was boosted by foreign capital including those from France, while nowadays Bordeax could use help from China to retain its world-class standard,” Somalina Nguon-Guignet, managing director of French property specialist IFL, was quoted in the book as saying. “France ought to feel pleased by interests it receives from foreign investors.”

Experts revealed that by October 2018, up to 10% of the wineries in Australian Barossa Valley are now owned by Chinese nationals. Chinese businessman Arthur Wang owns two wineries and a vineyard in the Barossa Valley; Chateau Yaldara acquired in 2014 for A$15.5 million and 1847 Wines acquired in 2010 for an undisclosed sum. Since Wang’s takeover of 1847 Wines, the company’s exports have quadrupled with 90% of its products available in China.

Shangdong-based wine maker Weilong has started harvesting the first wine of its Australian subsidiary, located in Victoria. It plans to have the wine bottled by the end of 2019, and on sale for Chinese New Year in January 2020.


A big issue is pairing wines with Chinese cuisine. Chinese do not eat beef today, fish tomorrow and pasta the next day, like most Westerners. A Chinese lunch or dinner will contain at least one meat or fish dish, but often two and one ore two vegetable dishes, which can actually also contain some meat to flavour the dish. Chinese wine experts are doing their best to come up with pairing rules and the first wine pairing contest, concentrating on Yunnan cuisine, was held in Fangshan (Beijing) September, 2018.

Peter Peverelli is active in and with China since 1975 and regularly travels to the remotest corners of that vast nation.


China’s Food Capital – Yantai

China and the EU have signed an agreement on cooperation on, and protection of, geographical indications late 2020, including two products from Yantai: Yantai apple and Yantai wine.


Regional marketing: ‘Hospitable Shandong’

Shandong province is often referred to as China’s fruit and vegetable garden. Shandong was China’s top vegetable production region in 2019 with 11.65% of the national output. Yantai, a coastal city in Shandong, is committed to building a brand for itself as “China’s food city”. Geographically, Yantai is situated close to the Liaodong peninsula of Liaoning province, another important food production region, with a quick ferry service with Dalian, a major industrial and port city on that peninsula.


Watch this video to look at various aspects of Yantai through the eyes of foreign expats.

According to the mayor of Yantai, “We are working to boost the city’s food sector by promoting food diversity and security, aiming to develop the city into a heavyweight in both China and the overseas food market”.

The food sector has always been one of Yantai’s competitive industries. The China Food Industry Association recognised Yantai as a well-known Chinese food city in 2009.

Statistics from the local government show that in 2017 revenue generated from the city’s food industry hit RMB 194.87 billion, an increase of 11.9% from the previous year. This figure was 13.8% of the total industrial turnover of the region and 11.9% of the  turnover of the provincial food industry. A recent survey comparing the GDP of major Chinese cities with that of nations in other parts of the world, revealed that the economy of Yantai is roughly comparable to that of Belarus.

There are more than 500 major enterprises doing business in the city’s food industry. These include Changyu Pioneer Wine Co., cooking oil producer Shandong Luhua Co., Shandong Longda Meat Foodstuff Co., and Shandong Oriental Ocean Sci-tech Co.; the company annually produces 1,500,000 mt of edible oil in 33 factories around the nation, benefiting more than 10 mln peanut farmers.

Yantai has a competitive edge in 16 food sectors including fruit and vegetables, oil, meat, aquatic products, rice noodles (fensi), cake, candy, instant foods, dairy products and condiments. The Yantai authorities have started awarding DOC status to local products. Longkou rice noodles obtained that status in September 2020.

A noteworthy product is the cherry. The cherries from Yantai are the best in China. The following illustration is a promotional picture indicating the nutrients in cherries.

The city has 27 nationally famous trademarks and 96 leading provincial trademarks in the food sector. Three brands – Changyu, Luhua and Longda – were named among China’s top 500 most valuable brands in 2014.

Food products made in Yantai are exported to more than 80 countries and regions including Russia, the United States and South Korea. According to the city’s plans, revenue generated from the food industry will reach RMB 300 billion by the end of 2017.

Yantai’s industrial sector generated more revenue and profits in the first half of 2017 than that of any other city in Shandong province, according to data from Yantai’s municipal commission of economy and information technology. The city’s total industrial revenues reached RMB 931 billion in the first half of 2017, leading to total profits of RMB 66 billion, the statistics state.

In 2021, Yantai was home to 44 A-share listed enterprises, ranking first in Shandong province in terms of total number.

Home of fruits

With its favorable climate conditions and geographical location, Yantai has become one of China’s most important fruit planting, processing and exporting bases”.

The city is known as China’s hometown of fruit. Fruits produced in Yantai, such as apples, cherries, pears and grapes, are known far and wide.

Yantai apples, which were given geographic indication status by the State Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine Administration in 2002, have become one of the things the city is renowned for. An important centre for apple growing is Qixia, a town Southeast of Yantai.

With a cultivating history of more than 140 years. The city has 186,660 hectares of apple orchards, which produce 5.6 mln mt of apples every year. About 600,000 mt of Yantai apples are sold in 82 countries and regions every year, including Southeast Asia, the European Union and the United States, according to official figures.

The city has more than 200 varieties of apples. The brand Yantai Apple has a value of RMB 10.59 billion, the leading amount in China’s fruit industry for seven consecutive years.

With a bright color and sweet taste, Yantai apples are exported to more than 60 countries and regions with an annual export volume of 600,000 mt, accounting for one-fourth of the country’s total apple exports.

Twenty-one tons of Yantai apples were shipped from Yantai to the United States again on Nov 9, 2015. It was the first time for Yantai apples to enter the US market. As a country with strict inspection and quarantine measures, the US had previously forbidden apple imports from China for 17 years.

“As the price in the US is twice the price in Asian countries, expanding to the US market will surely promote the apple industry in Yantai and increase locals’ income,” said Bai Guoqiang, head of Yantai Agriculture Bureau.

Cherries are another well-known fruit from Yantai, where cherry trees have grown for 130 years. More than 25,000 hectares of cherry trees produce about 190,000 mt of the fruit a year. The cherries are exported to more than 60 countries and regions, including South Korea, Germany and the US.

Fruit juice

With such a variety of fruits, it is not a surprise that Yantai and the surrounding regions are a centre of fruit juice production in China. One of the country’s leading producers of apple juice concentrate, Andre, is located in Mouping, just East of Yantai.


North Andre Juice Co. Ltd. was established in 1996. The company’s products include: juice concentrate, pureed and preserved fruit, fruit essences, and pectin. Since its establishment, the company has invested more than 3 billion RMB and set up 9 modern juice concentrate production bases in Shandong, Shaanxi, Jiangsu, Liaoning and Shanxi. Andre operates a total of 14 juice concentrate processing lines, 2 pectin production lines, 1 puree processing line and 1 dried fruit production line. The designed annual fruit processing products is more than 2 mln mt, and the annual juice concentrate production 340,000 mt, the annual pectin production 4000 mt and the annual puree production 10000 mt. In April 2003, Andre Juice Company went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, becoming the first listed company in juice concentrate industry in China.

China’s Bordeaux

At almost the same latitude as Bordeaux in France, Yantai is also considered one of the world’s top seven coastal grape-growing areas. It was named the only “international grape and wine city” in Asia by the International Office of Vine and Wine in 1987.

The city now has more than 18,000 hectares of vineyards, 11,000 hectares of which provide grapes for winemaking. It is home to more than 20 international wine businesses and a large number of domestic vintners, including the brands Changyu, Great Wall (owned by the COFCO Group) and Dynasty. Chateau Lafite Rothschild selected Penglai, a county-level city of Yantai, to develop its first vineyard and chateau in China. Penglai established a sister relationship with Australia’s Barossa, one of the world’s finest wine producing regions, on March 25. Yantai has a similar relationship with Tauranga in New Zealand.

Changyu Wine Co. is China’s oldest and largest winery. The company was founded in 1892 by Zhang Bishi. The company’s name is formed from his surname Zhang (Chang) and the Chinese character meaning prosperity. In 2002, the company entered into cooperation with Castel group in France to establish the first professional chateau in China. In 2006, the company cooperated with a Canadian company to build the largest ice wine chateau in the world near Huanlong Lake of Liaoning province. It has also expanded overseas, building Chateau Changyu Kely in New Zealand. Changyu Pioneer Wine Company is now among the ten largest wine companies in the world, producing more than 900,000 hls of wine p.a.

Changyu is constructing a Wine City, with help from the Italian wine company Illva Saronno Holding Spa. It will include a European style chateau and a Wine Research Institute. The facility has been referred to as a Disney World for Wine in a Bloomberg report.

A more recent company is Domaine de Longdai, located in the Penglai region close to Yantai. The soil and climate of Qiushan valley are conducive to the cultivation of grapes and wine making. The French general manager praises Yantai for being supportive to the winery in production and commercial distribution. Combining the traditional Bordeaux brewing techniques with local grape planting, the winery brews wine with Yantai characteristics, relying on the unique natural conditions of Qiushan valley. The Domaine de Long Dai is the eighth winery of the Rothschild family in the world.

International food expo

To further boost its food industry, Yantai holds a series of international food trade fairs and trade fairs every year.

Fruit & Vegetable Food Fair


During the 16th Fruit, Vegetable and Food Fair held in the city last month, thousands of participants from more than 10 countries and regions including Japan, South Korea and Italy came to Yantai in search of business opportunities.

The four-day event attracted organizations and companies from home and abroad to display fruits, vegetables, seedlings, food processing equipment and agricultural machinery at nearly 900 booths.

Six overseas organizations and delegations including the Japan Consul General in Qingdao participated in the fair and brought their latest developments in fruit and vegetable production and related equipment manufacturing.

Some high-tech products at the expo were particularly interesting, including irrigation equipment from Israel, Italy’s agriculture testing machines, apple-planting technology from Japan and unmanned plant protection helicopters from Shandong.

Held in Yantai every year since 1999, the event has become one of China’s most influential expos in the fruit, vegetable and food industry. It provides a sound exchange and cooperation platform for Chinese and foreign companies in the sector.

The fair’s organizers said that the event has attracted more than 1.7 million delegates from across the world during the past 15 years. This year’s event alone attracted 58,000 visitors and the trade volume hit RMB 230 million.

East Asia International Food Trade Fair

The 12th East Asia International Food Trade Fair was held in Yantai June 2 – 5, 2017. resulted in the signing of cooperation agreements worth RMB 1.60 billion. With the theme of “Green, Innovation, Cooperation and Development” attracted more than 900 enterprises from home and abroad. They brought more than 13,000 food products covering 16 categories, from imported food to time-honored Chinese products. The fair was also regarded as lucrative by enterprises from other Chinese regions. More than 100 food enterprises from Sichuan brought their products to the fair, including local liquors, pigs, tea, pickles, condiments and snacks. Exhibitors from Jilin also made appearances as a group, presenting, among other products, ginseng, forest frog’s oviducts and pilose antler, known as the “three treasures in Northeast China”. Enterprises in Harbin offered Qing’an rice, time-honoured Harbin sausages and other specialties. Co-organised to the food fair, Yantai also hosted a trade fair for Jiangxi specialties and an expo of imported maternal and child products.

Scottish Chambers of Commerce opens trade office in Yantai

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce opened an international trade office in Yantai, a Chinese port city in Shandong province May 16, 2017. The formal opening ceremony was hosted by Zhang Bo, vice-mayor of the city, together with senior officials from Yantai municipal government. The Scottish delegation was led by SCC’s new president, Tim Allan, and chief executive Liz Cameron. The Scottish Chambers of Commerce identified robotics, bioscience, manufacturing, engineering and smart technologies, agriculture, food and drink and soccer management as being areas of key interest.

Dutch university opens branch in Yantai

The University of Groningen, The Netherlands, in collaboration with China Agricultural University, plans to establish a presence on a campus in the city of Yantai. In Yantai the university plans to offer Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD programmes that incorporate significant research activities and collaboration with the business sector. TheYantai campus is located in the middle of a high-tech zone covering 38 km². It is the home of many high-end industries, companies and research institutes, providing good opportunities for top sector jobs and cooperation in the area of research. In addition, as one of China’s greenest cities. Yantai is situated in the province of Shandong, whose 97 million inhabitants offer great potential in attracting future students. However, the Board of Groningen University ran into trouble early 2018, when a majority in the University Council voted against the project. The Board is now trying to reformulate the cooperation.

Bioscience Innovation Demonstration Zone

Yantai will see rapid development in its medical and health industry as authorities are mulling over building an international bioscience innovation demonstration zone. Based on the rapid development of its medical industry, the zone will consist of seven industrial parks including biomedicine industrial park, traditional Chinese medicine and precision healthcare industrial park, which will be built during the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-20) period, according to Li Wei, head of Yantai Food and Drug Administration.

By the end of 2020, the projected prime operating revenues of Yantai’s medical and health industry will exceed RMB 100 bln, achieving year-on-year growth of 15%. Yantai is home to many key national laboratories and boasts high innovation capabilities and potential.

Yantai will introduce supportive policies to encourage research and development, and attract and nurture leading enterprises and high-caliber talents in sectors such as medicine and medical equipment. Yantai has set up a special fund of RMB 200 mln to build platforms providing technological support. To boost the profile and competitiveness of Yantai’s medical industry, Yantai will host the first international conference on medical innovation and development from Sept 16 to 17, 2017.

Yantai specialties served at BRICS Summit

Three Yantai-based food brands made their way onto the dining tables of the 9th BRICS Summit, which was held in Xiamen, Fujian province on Sept 3-5, 2017. Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa were served up apples, condiments and Longkou fensi (a kind of vermicelli made from bean starch) from Yantai during the summit. Fruit supplier Yantai Lianlei Foods was given the green light to provide its apples for the summit in April. Lianlei apples first went on sale in Xiamen six years ago, and they have become hugely popular in the coastal city, their sales volume rising from just a few tons to more than 1000 mt. The company’s apples are also exported to Japan and several countries in Europe and America. Longkou fensi (see above) produced by Shuangta Foods was also selected as a designated food for the Xiamen summit by the China Food and Drug Administration. Shuangta is a world-leading producer of fensi, pea starch, and plant protein (the main raw material for plant-based meat), and it has a total value of RMB 4.3 billion. The company was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2010. Shinho Group also hit the headlines after becoming the official supplier of eight condiments including bean paste, soy sauce, vinegar and pepper to the summit.

Yantai, Stavanger sign ‘sister city’ intent

Yantai and the Norwegian port city of Stavanger are on their way to establishing official friendship ties. Zhang Dailing, vice mayor of Yantai extended a warm welcome to a Norwegian delegation headed by John Peter Hernes, vice mayor of Stavanger, on Oct 19, 2017. The purpose of the delegation is to strengthen cooperation on marine fishery and heavy industrial equipment between the two cities and sign a letter of intent to become sister cities. Other foreign sister cities of Yantai are: San Diego, Omaha (USA), Beppu, Miyako (Japan), Tauranga (New Zealand), Vladivostok (Russia), Gunsan, Wonju, Ulsan, Incheon, Ansan (South Korea), Phuket (Thailand), Angus (UK), Orebro (Sweden), Burgas (Bulgaria), Campel, Ange (France), Szombathely, Miskolc (Hungary), MacKay, Iscah, Wendendy (Australia), Enalesburg (Spain), Lahore (Pakistan).

Peter Peverelli is active in and with China since 1975 and regularly travels to the remotest corners of that vast nation..