(Bloomberg) — China, a fast-growing wine market, plans to turn a northern region on the edge of the Gobi desert into a center of top quality wine production to compete with international brands and boost the local economy.
The Ningxia region has had a wine industry on the eastern foothills of the Helan Mountains since the early 1980s. The area, lying at a similar latitude to the Bordeaux region in France, has more than 200 vineyards with annual production of 130 million bottles, or a quarter of the country’s output, Zhao Yongqing, a vice governor of the region, told a press conference in Beijing.
But local brands have been unable to keep up with the changing tastes of domestic consumers and their desire for different types and qualities of wine. Sales of domestic wines have been losing out to overseas brands, which have increased their market share over the past