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China now boasts more wine-making vineyards than France

A vineyards in Cizhong, a small hamlet once inhabited by early French missionaries, along the Mekong River in northern Yunnan, China. .
A vineyards in Cizhong, a small hamlet once inhabited by early French missionaries, along the Mekong River in northern Yunnan, China. . Leisa Tyler/LightRocket via Getty Images

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 hectolitres, or 6.2 billion bottles. The United States remained the world’s biggest wine consumer, at 30.7 million hectolitres (4.1 billion bottles).

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

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