In the annual Year in Ideas special, the New York Times Magazine quotes a report from Berry Brothers & Rudd, England’s oldest independent wine merchant, predicting that in 50 years China will become the world’s largest wine producer:
Don’t laugh just yet. China is already the world’s sixth-largest producer, with some 400 wineries. And it has been making grape-based wine for at least 2,000 years. True, most Chinese wine today is unremarkable, even undrinkable to Western palates. And reports abound of counterfeiting and labeling imported wine as Chinese. But China’s 1.3 billion citizens are developing a taste for wine, which experts say will drive better winemaking.
For more on the questionable practices of Chinese winemakers, read a behind-the-scenes account, via CDT.