In 1892，the first wine producer in China-Changyu wine company was founded in Yantai，Shandong by Zhangbishi who introduced winemaking technologies from abroad. Since then, Yantai has become the cradle of the wine industry in China. Till now, with more than 20,000 ha land covered by wine grapes, Shandong has become the biggest wine- producing province in China.
Climate and Grape Growing
Located on theeastern edge of the North China Plain and in the lower reaches of the Yellow River (Huang He), Shandong is one of China’s major wine-producing provinces. Most of the vineyards lie in the 170-mile-long (274km) Shandong Peninsula that juts into the Yellow Sea toward Korea，surrounding three main cities：Qingdao，Yantai and Penglai. While Yantai is the most well-known as a wine city, most vineyards are found in Penglai.
Shandong has a moderate to warm maritime climate, with cool summers and moderate winters. The East Asian Monsoon carries cool, moist air from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the province, resulting in high rainfall in summer, which results in less hours of sunlight and makes fungal diseases a particular issue. Most of the vineyards lie on south-facing slopeswhere brunisolic soils are found.Better drainage on the slopes can well protect the vines from getting ‘wet feet’ or becoming waterlogged.
Regions and Grape Varieties
Yantai, with hundreds of years of viticulture and winemaking history, is located in the north of Shandong Peninsula, surrounded by the Bohai sea on three sides. Here more than 75% of the vineyards are planted on a series of rolling hills，centering around two town centers: Longkou and Laizhou, along with some minor vineyards being planted in Laixi.
The dominant variety is Cabernet Gernischet, along with a small proportion of Syrah and also some varieties for making distilled wines.
Wineriesin this area areChangyu, Zhongliangchangcheng, Weilong, Nanshan, Ruifengaosaisi, etc.
Penlai，located along the same latitude as Bordeaux and Napa in California, with more than 100 years of winemaking history, is home to Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite)’s Domaine de Penglai Winery and China’s Foodstuffs Conglomerate COFCO’s Great Wall Penglai Winery.
The hills in the south of Penglai have an average elevation of 200 metres (660 ft), while to the north lie the coastal plains. Most of the soils are loose, well-aerated and fertile. The climate here is quite similar to that of Languedoc, with relatively high humidity and mild diurnal range. Mai varieties grown here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Gernischt, Merlot, Riesling and Chardonnay, all reaching 20 years of age, which is considered to be the golden stage for these grapes. The Cabernet performs especially well with deep colors and concentrated aromas.
More widely known as China’s German beer-town, Qingdao is also a wine-growing region. Most vineyards are located on the hillside of Dazeshan Mountain in the west of Shandong Peninsula, with brunisolic and gravel soils. Located at a warm temperate zone,Qingdao has a semi-humid continental monsoon climate, with a rainfall concentrated in July and August. Main varieties are Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Ugni Blanc, and Chardonnay.