Hedong old vines (pic: chateau dedong)
China Wine

Oldest centenarian vines discovered in China’s Ningxia

Ningxia has discovered what could be the region’s oldest vines of more than 100 years old in Chateau Hedong, making them one of the oldest surviving vines and early evidence of Helan mountain’s wine history. 

Ningxia has discovered what could be the region’s oldest vines of more than 100 years old in Chateau Hedong, making them one of the oldest surviving vines and early evidence of Helan mountain’s wine history. 

Altogether over 220 centenarian vines from Chateau Hedong are identified by experts and have been listed as protected cultural sites by Shizuishan city of northwestern China’s Ningxia.

It is reportedly the first-ever vineyard to be listed as a culturally protected unit in the city and Ningxia, the premier wine region of China.

The discovery of the hundred-year old vine area in Chateau Hedong is deemed as a historical proof of Helan Mountain’s wine-making culture with important ecological and scientific value.

Among the 220 vines, the oldest vine has a diameter of 28.6 cm and a circumference of 90 cm.

Hedong old vines (pic: chateau hedong)
220 old vines of more than 100 years old are listed as protected sites in Ningxia (pic: Chateau Hedong)

Gong Jie, owner of Chateau Hedong, spoke to Vino Joy News and said the experts have yet to identify the exact variety, but it is suspected to be a type of table grape named “Summer Black”.

Chateau Hedong sits on the eastern foothills of Helan Mountain in Ningxia, which is renowned as a “golden belt region” for grape-growing for situated in the same latitude as Bordeaux’s wine growing region. 

Established in 1997, Chateau Hedong now owns 2600 acres of vineyard, which is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Marselan, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Gernischt and Chardonnay. It was promoted to the “second growth” tier of Ningxia’s winery classification system last year, a recognition for the winery’s reputation and winemaking effort.

The winery’s old vine planting area was initially listed as a protected area in 2019. After investigation and assessments from Ningxia’s cultural department, the area was officially listed as Historical and Cultural Sites Protected at the City Level last February, an addition to other 155 protected sites in Shizuishan city.

Summer Black” is known as a hybrid descendant of the Kyoho grape from Japan’s grape breeding experiments started in the 20th century. It is a triploid, seedless, dark purple black grape cultivar.

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