Environment and Climate

With an average of 3,800 hours of sunshine per year, large temperature differences between day and night and a long frost-free period, the most important conditions for perfect grape growth are met. For comparison: Germany has an annual average of almost 1,800 hours of sunshine; in all of Europe, only Nicosia (Cyprus) and Seville (Spain) have more than 3,200 hours of sunshine.

The relative lack of rainfall in the desert can be addressed by irrigation. The entire Ordos Plateau, including the Kabuqi and Mu Us deserts, lies in a large loop of the Yellow River with sufficient groundwater. The Ulanbuh desert west of the river can also be partially irrigated in this way. Chateau Hansen uses drip irrigation technology from Israel.

At first, however, strong winds and occasional sandstorms posed a serious challenge. In the first few years of experimental planting of desert grapes, the young vines were repeatedly knocked over by wind and sand and died, so they had to be replanted again and again. Hansen developed a grape planting model that places equal emphasis on sand control and interplanting grapes and willow.

Trees and shrubs with good adaptability were first planted on the sandy land, creating a network of windbreak forests. “Grass ridges” were then constructed with psammophytes and willows, which have a windproof and sand-binding effect, forming a planting pattern that combines forest and grass into a suitable microenvironment.

Desert Wine