Where Do Most of the World's Grapes Come from this Country?

Consider a painting of a fruit bowl. It has grapes, is that correct? It does, of course. Despite their little size, grapes are a really significant thing. They are consumed uncooked or made into the raisins that parents give their children. (Or the wine they drink when they leave work.) Grapes can help prevent heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure in addition to promoting ocular, digestive, neurological, and bone health, according to Medical News Today. In addition, grapes are rich in naturally occurring substances called polyphenols, which give grapes their distinctive opaque hues and act as potent free-radical-fighting antioxidants, adds Healthline.

Variety is the essence of life, and there are several varieties of grapes to savour, including black muscat, red globe, cotton candy, and concord for jelly. According to the Agricultural Marketing Research Center, practically every state in the U.S. grows some type of grape, with California producing the most. Other than California, other places that might spring to mind when you think about grapes include Tuscany in Italy or Bordeaux in France. However, none of these nations produce the majority of the grapes consumed worldwide. Unbelievably, China produces more grapes than any other country in the world. According to Atlas Big, China is in charge of cultivating about 16 million of the approximately 85 million tonnes of grapes that are produced annually across the world. Italy, the second-largest producer of grapes worldwide, produced 8.7 million tonnes, which is almost twice as much.

Read Also: Where Do Most of the World's Apricots Come from this Country?

The History of Grapes in China

So how did China become the world's largest producer of grapes? Grapes have been loved by people for much longer than they have been able to express that affection in writing. According to Britannica, hieroglyphics have been found that show images of ancient wine-making techniques. The National Center for Biotechnology Information claims that between 7000 and 4000 B.C., grapevines were originally domesticated for agricultural purposes in the areas that are today Iran and the Black Sea. After then, growing of grapevines spread to Egypt, Turkey, Israel, and Cypress. However, according to DistanceFromTo, Egypt is just 4,285 miles from China, and early viticulturists walked such distances.

But soon after grapes arrived in India, they managed to cross the border into East Asia, either by chance or sheer force of will. Once they entered China, the rest is history. In addition to being an associate professor of Wine Tasting and Enology at Beijing Agriculture College, LI Demei is the deputy director of the Chinese Wine Technique Committee, a member of the National Wine Judge Board, the vice president of the Chinese Viticulture Society, and an expert on wine. According to Demei in "The History of Chinese Winegrowing and Winemaking — Part 1," geological fossils of the V. romanetti grape species were discovered in Linqu County in the Shandong Province and had a staggering 26 million-year age.

Ancient Chinese Civilization included Grapes and W*ine

It makes sense if you consider how wine was central to ancient European culture. In his writings, the Greek poet Homer, who was born about 850 B.C., extensively discusses wine. The titular hero Odysseus even delivers wine as a peace sacrifice to a hostile Cyclops in Homer's epic adventure novel "The Odyssey."

There are other historical works regarding wine in China, albeit they may not be as well known. One of the two most prolific poets in all of ancient Chinese literature is hailed as Li Po (701–762). (alongside Tu Fu). In Po's "Waking From Drunken Sleep on a Spring Day," the poet writes: "Voice of beauty regretfully touches me. Does wine exist? Ah, fill the cup. Sing till the song ends and your senses are gone while watching the white moon rise." Given that this poem was written more than a thousand years ago, the evidence Po provides shows how important viticulture was to Chinese society even in the sixth century.

According to Demei, the author of "The Whole Book on Agricultural Activities," Xu Guangqi, recorded particular information about the many grape varietals that were planted in China. The Tang Dynasty, which followed, was an even better era for grapes: Demei considers it "the glorious moment in the history of Chinese winemaking." (In actuality, Li Po lived and wrote under this dynasty.)

Viticulture in China Now a Days

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), China's grape industry underwent improvements on a significantly greater scale after the founding of the People's Republic of China. China produced an estimated 43,000 tonnes of grapes annually on more than 7,900 acres of farmland prior to the establishment of the Republic. However, once the Republic encouraged economic expansion in the agricultural industry, the amount of cropland increased dramatically, producing approximately 60 times as much grapes in 1998 as in 1949. China is now the United States' greatest trading partner, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative. In 2020, the United States imported items from China worth an astounding $434.7 billion, of which $3.8 billion were only agricultural products.

China is the perfect location for cultivating fresh grapes for a scientific reason. According to the University of Minnesota, China offers the perfect environment for producing grapes in full sun. Except for the Highlands and the high mountains, summer is the warmest and wettest time of year in all of China. Tonghua Grape Wine Co. is ranked No. 7 on Tripadvisor's list of the best 12 things to do in Tonghua, China, so you can see for yourself. The winery, which was formed in 1997, produces sweet, dry, and ice wines that are popular all over the world.

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