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Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 16:56

China now has more vineyard land than France

By Associated Press

China now has more vineyard land than France
This picture taken on Aug 29, 2013 shows grapes growing in a vineyard owned by France's Domaine Barons de Rothschild (DBR), maker of the renowned Chateau Lafite reds, in Penglai, east China's Shandong province. (PHOTO / AFP)

PARIS - China now boasts more land dedicated to wine-making vineyards than France, but France has beaten out Italy to regain the title of world's No. 1 wine producer.

This is according to figures released Monday by the Paris-based International Organization of Vine and Wine.

China's vineyards grew to 800,000 hectares (1.9 million acres) last year, putting it behind No. 1 grower Spain and ahead of France. EU countries have intentionally reduced vineyards in recent years to make them more efficient and improve quality.

France's wine production rose in 2014 to 46.7 million hectoliters, or 6.2 billion bottles. The United States remained the world's biggest wine consumer, at 30.7 million hectoliters (4.1 billion bottles).

Wine sales worldwide grew 2.6 percent last year in volume, for an overall value of 26 billion euros.

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