China has world's second-biggest wine-growing area

China has world's second-biggest wine-growing area
The ambitions of wineries on the outskirts of Xi'An in China, like Jade Valley, have official support, and are boosted by a growing number of Chinese wine connoisseurs.

PARIS - China now has the second-largest wine-growing area in the world after Spain, pushing France into third place, according to figures released Monday by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine.

The figures for 2014 showed China had 799,000 hectares (1.97 million acres) of land devoted to wine growing, compared with 1.02 million hectares for Spain.

France remained the biggest producer of wine in the world, pumping out 47 million hectolitres last year. It also made the most from selling wine abroad, raking in more than 7.7 billion euros ($8.4 billion).

Meanwhile, the United States is the biggest consumer, quaffing some 31,000 hectolitres -- 13 per cent of the global intake -- followed by France and Italy.

China has rapidly emerged as a major player in viniculture, accounting for 11 per cent of the territory given over to vineyards last year, up from 4 per cent in 2000.

The biggest importers of wine were Germany, the United Kingdom and the US -- with total global trade valued at 26 billion euros.

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