Wine brewed from organic desert grapes on the sandy vineyards of Ningxia Xiangshan Wine Group have gotten the seal of approval by the China Quality Certification Center, the first Chinese wine of its kind to win the certificate.
The approval marks a landmark in the group's 13-year history in the region. In 1998, Xiangshan invested 8 million yuan (US$1.25 million) to build a 300-mu (20-hectare) vineyard near Zhongwei City in Ningxia's Tengger Desert. Today, the vineyard has an annual yield of 45,000 kg high-quality organic wine grapes.
Zhongwei has carved out a niche in desert agriculture. Some 100,000 mu of desert in the area have been planted with grapes and vegetables in a bid to fight sand erosion and protect the regional environment, an official with the local forestry bureau said.