Ningxia introduces winery classification system

Coming into effect in March, Ningxia’s new winery classification system is thought to be China’s first for regulating the production of quality wines in the Helan Mountains.


A vineyard in Ningxia nestling at the bottom of the Helan Mountains

Devised by the Ningxia Helan Mountain East and International Wine Association (宁夏贺兰山东麓葡萄与葡萄酒国际联合会), the guide will qualify the wineries in Ningxia’s Helan Mountains into five growths (similar to Bordeaux’s 1855 classification) with the first growth being of the highest quality.

The classifications will be reviewed every two years, allowing promotions to be admitted.  Once promoted to ‘first growth’, the winery will only be re-evaluated every 10 years. All wineries registered in Ningxia’s Helan Mountain East can participate in this classification.

According to the guide, all participating wineries need to fulfill 10 qualifying conditions before they can be classified, including the following:

  • wineries must demonstrate integrated vineyard and cellar management
  • all fermentation, ageing, bottling and cellaring processes to be competed in the winery
  • the winery contributes to China’s wine tourism industry with its main building “showing distinguished character and regional style”
  • all grapes must come from the winery’s own vineyard with vine age of five years and above
  • the grape yield must be between 500-800 kg per mu (1 mu is around 667 sq m) with sustainable quality and traceable provenance
  • the products of the winery must have sustainable quality and distinguished characters while the winery has reliable sales channels and markets and demonstrates certain brand recognition both in domestic markets and overseas

Thought to be China’s first official winery classification system, it is hoped it will pave the way for similar guidelines to ensure the regulation of China’s wine production.



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