Grape Valley

Source: Global Times [14:39 July 11 2009]

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Every August the sweet air will herald the vintage. The best place to enjoy the grapes is Grape Valley.

Grape Valley of Turpan is located in northeast of Turpan, Xinjiang province. Due to the unique climate, the grapes here are particularly sweet with especially high sugar content. The varieties of grapes include Manaizi grapes, Core-free White grapes (also known as Small Grapes) and red grapes.

As early as over 2,000 years ago, Zhang Qian who was dispatched on a diplomatic mission to the Western Regions in the Western Han Dynasty discovered grapes growing here and introduced them to the mainland.

Located in the Flaming Mountain 13 km (8 miles) of Turpan, the Grape Valley runs 8km from north to south with a width of 0.5km. This green paradise of 400 hektares (988 acres) is covered with layer upon layer of grapes.

It seems that all the water in the desert of Turpan flows into the Karez systems in the Grape Valley. Every single grape is crystal, watery-some and as green as emerald; some as red as agate, some as small as pearls while others seem like olives.

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