Section 1

1,Xinjing Hami melon

2,Xinjiang watermelon

3,Xinjiang Korla pears

Section 2
Section 3
turpan xinjiang grape

xinjiang grape Turpan


The grapes of Xinjiang are renowned far and wide. Extensively cultivated and producing high yields, grapes are second to none among the fruits of Xinjiang, and rank among the finest nationwide. Statistics show that from the 6,000 or so hectares under viticulture in 1949, grape-growing in Xinjiang has expanded to cover over 16,000 hectares today, comprising 40 percent of the total area devoted to viticulture in China. The grape-growing regions in Xin-jiang are to be found in the vast oases, valleys and depressions north and south of the Tianshari Mountains, and especially in Turpan, Hami, Hotan and Aksu. Small family vineyards and trellises are clustered scenically all over these fertile spots beyond the Great wall .The fame of Xinjiang's grapes lies in the excellence of its varieties. Originally there were over fifty kinds of grapes native to Xinjiang and after 1949 over 200 new ones were introduced. Among the native varieties, there are a number of quality grape strains, the most highly praised of which is the Turpan Seedless White. In actual fact this variety does have pips but because they do not develop fully in the fruit, they are hardly noticeable when eating the grapes. Turpan Seedless White grapes are at their best after they have been dried. Prized for their fine flavor, color and fragrance, they are often presented as gifts to friends and relatives. These raisins are sent all over China and exported abroa.d by virtue of their high quality, with over 1,000 tons being exported to Europe, America and Japan every year. On the world market they are famed as China's "green pearls." Xinjiang also produces several other well-known grape varieties.The Mare's Teat strain gets its name from its shape. The grapes are large, sweet and succulent, and at their best when fresh. Sweet yet slightly tart, the Suosuo variety are seedless purple grapes as small as peppercorns. When dried they are used in Chinese medicine, mainly to treat measles in young children. Suosuo raisins are also used as a tonic for the internal organs, and are beneficial to the blood and the qi or vital energy. Starting from the beginning of summer up until autumn, the grape harvest. gets under way in one district of Xinjiang after another. At the big fairs or bazaars held in the towns and villages, fruit stalls and wheelbarrows of every shape and description loaded with fresh grapes to sell are to be seen everywhere. Mingling with the grapes are watermelons, muskmelons, apricots, peaches and pears in profusion. It is a splendid sight and a real feast for the eyes. All over the countryside people are busy in the vineyards and in their own courtyards, picking the drooping clusters of ,grapes off the trellises as they ripen. The countryfolk often sit round together in the dense shade of the grape trellis, admiring all the different kinds of grapes.
Grape growers store some grapes in cellars or storehouses so as to have fresh fruit during the winter and spring months, but even more grapes are dried for raisins and sold to the state. The method of grape drying used by the Uygur growers in Xinjiang is quite original. Grape growers make use of the hot dry climate of the area, and taking advantage of its constant winds and high temperatures during summer and autumn, they employ a shaded drying method to process the grapes. Selecting a hillside out of the sun, an exposed plateau or a desert area near the vineyard, the grape growers build a number of shady towers two stories high, called qunje in the Uygur language. From a distance these earthen brick constructions look like flat-topped pavilions except that the walls are chequered with holes to allow drying. At harvest time, after picking the grapes are hung in clusters from wooden racks inside the shaded towers. There, out of direct sunlight, they are left to dry in the hot wind circulating through the towers. The grapes are left in the drying towers for thirty or forty days, by which time they have turned into full, succulent sweet raisins which still retain the color and luster of fresh
grapes. The stalks are then removed by winnowing, and the raisins immediately packed and sent to market. ' Xinjiang was the earliest area in China to come under grape cultivation at least 2,000 years ago. Grape-growing and wine-making in Xinjiang are mentioned in Sima Qian's Historical Records: The Account of Dawan (the old name for an area within present-day Xinjiang), and in other chronicles. Research by foreign historians has firmly established that grapes were introduced to China from Xinjiang and Central Asia at the time of the envoy Zhang Qian's journey through the Western Region at the beginning of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220). Later, Xinjiang's fine wines and wine-making methods were carried across the Central China, and through the ages their fame spread far and wide. Historical records from the early Tang· Dynasty (618-907) show that wines from Xinjiang had already reached the imperial court some time before. Later on, at the behest of the Tang imperial family itself, methods of wine-making were acquired from Turpan, in Xinjiang, where they had been in use for 1,300 years at the very least. As a result of centuries of development, today's wine-making methods far surpass those of the past, and every grape-growing region in China produces a rich variety of wines. Among them the wines of Xinjiang, because of the high yield and excellent quality of the grapes, can still be distinguished as wines of character with a fine mellow bouquet. They are very popular and highly competitive on the Chinese market. The demand for one wine in particular, a dry white from Turpan, far exceeds supply and is no less highly thought of than the Gaochang wine which in an ancient times was sent as tribute to the imperial court.