Wine consumption in China
History of Wine production
The history of wine is closely associated with the development of Early Civilizations. The product of the vine, the wine was considered a drink of the gods. The Greek god Dionysus or Bacchus, his Roman counterpart in mythology were devoted to wine. In other cultures, the wine was a symbol of bloodshed in the struggle against the gods. It was often used as grave goods. In the grape family, the genus of the vitis has the most importance. The focus of the natural range is in the moderate climate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Of the approximately 60 known species of this genus, is almost exclusively the Noble Vine (Vitis vinifera) cultivated for growing grapes. A minor role is played by products of the Vitis labrusca and Vitis riparia. Wild vines can be backdated by fossil record up to around 80 million years ago. Cores of vines grown by man could be dated to a period of 8000 years ago. These findings were made in Georgia and neighbouring parts of Turkey. The previously oldest alcoholic beverage was found in Chinese “Jiahu” in Henan province. This beverage consists of a mixture of rice, honey and fruits. Only after a settled way of life began people started growing wine as we know it today. Only this way people were able to wait for the optimum harvest date of the berries. So far the oldest wine press was Hajji Firuz Tepe, found in the Zagros Mountainsin Iran. Based on current knowledge this system is 7000-7400 years old.
Historical wine production in China
43 % of China's surface are of mountains, taken nearly a quarter of the mountainous highlands. Basins that are mostly located in hilly and arid regions, cover 19 % of the area, and only 12 % of the total levels are. China can be divided into six large geographical regions, each of them has a specific geomorphic or topographic feature. The monsoon dominates the climate of China. In winter, cold, dry winds determine the weather patterns. They have their origin in the Siberian cold high and bring low temperatures in the regions north of the Yangtze, drought into other parts of the country. In summer flows zoom warm and moist air from the sea (Pacific), which can lead to heavy rains in the form of tropical cyclones (low pressure eddies). The first wine of the world appears to have been pressed in China, not in Persia as generally believed. This is indicated by recent finds. Scientists discovered remains of a fermented beverage, which contained not only rice and honey, but also grape residues in 9000 year-old earthenware vessels in the Chinese province Henan. 2000 years before our era, in the Shang period, wine seems at first to have been only used in China for religious sacrifice. Written documents about wine production come from the Tang Dynasty in the 7th Century AD and concern the varieties imported from Russia, “snake” and “dragon pearl”. Marco Polo also recounts excellent wine in the region of Taiyuan in his travelogues (1254-1324). Later, in the 14th Century, its production and use was banned, and most vineyards had to be uprooted by order of the emperor. In their place, grain was grown.
In 1892, Zhang Bishi in Yantai, Shandong Province, the first winery Zhangyu (translated: prosperity) was founded. Bishi came from the region in the province of Meixian Quandong. At the age of 16 he immigrated to Malaysia and arrived there at very great wealth. He learned that the area was suitable for viticulture and so firstly bought 70 hectares of farmland, brought up to 120 different varieties from Europe and various places in China and launched the first steps to a successful wine company that still exists today. Because appropriate expertise was lacking in China, he hired a renowned wine expert from Austria, Baron Max von Babo. Zhang Bishi applied large sums in order to achieve a similar quality in his production, as in Europe. He even bought oak wine barrels and other equipment to optimise his...
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