Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is known as the home of fruits. Grapes are one of the most representative fruits. Xinjiang grapes are world famous for their high sugar content, fresh flavor, bright color, rich nutrition and high quality.
More than 600 varieties are planted in Xinjiang for the production of table grapes, raisins and wine. Xinjiang is now China’s largest wine producer. The regional government is encouraging investment in the wine industry.
Xinjiang's grape cultivation can be divided into three production areas in the east, north and south.
The eastern production area, represented by the Turpan and Hami basins, has a plantation area of more than 115 thousand acres, and its yield accounts for more than 50 percent of the total output of grapes in Xinjiang – and 20 percent of China's total output. The main species in the region are Thompson Seedless, Horse Milk and Red Globe.
Though Turpan is short on resources, and the summer heat stifles most industrial development, with the wine industry’s rise, the local government sees new hopes for Turpan’s future.
Thompson Seedless white grapes, also known as Horse Milk Grapes, are the most widely planted variety in Xinjiang. They are harvested in mid July and are sold until early September. The brix of high-quality grapes can be as high as 25 percent, while normal grapes have a good flavor at 18 percent.
Southern Xinjiang production areas include Hotan, Kashgar, Aksu and Kizilsu. Cultivation in this area is mainly dominated by local varieties, including Hotan Red and Mugena.
Huocheng county is one of the major red grape producers in Xinjiang. In 2000, Huocheng’s Mohuer pasture was recognized as the home of red globe grapes in China. The county’s grape planting area has reached 4,666 hectares, becoming the largest red grape planting area in the country. Grape growing is one of the key industries that helps the development of local economy.