Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Urban Agricultural Heritage – Xuanhua Grape Garden




Site location: Xuanhua District of Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, China

Area of GIAHS: 0.49 km2

Population working for this system: 4680 people in the core area

Topological Characteristics: the northern semi-arid agricultural areas

Climatic Classification: Semi-arid Continental Monsoon Climate

Ethnic Groups/Indigenous People: The majority population is Han (97%), and 25 ethnic

minorities such as Hui, Manchu, Mongolian, Korean, Zhuang, Tujia occupy 3% of

the population; however the population of three villages is Han.

Primary Income Sources: agriculture and tourism


The Xuanhua traditional Vineyard system has over a 1,300 year history of culture and cultivation. This is a typical example of traditional Chinese garden agriculture funnel-shaped designed trellises, conserves soil and water and protects the grape vines from frost and strong wind. The Xuanhua traditional vineyards, which are mainly distributed in Guanhou village, Penyao village and Dabei village of Chunguang Town, present outstanding features of big bead, thin skin, thick pulp, and moderate sweetness, giving it its name of ‘treasure of the fruits’ and enjoys a high reputation both at home and abroad. The traditional cultivation of milk grapes is also a unique tourism attraction in Xuanhua District.

The dynamic conservation of this vineyards and its grape varieties, is part of the Xuanxua farmers’ tradition, culture, promoting national heritage, but also serving as a platform and source of information for scientific research on ecology, economy, society and culture, with its outstanding advantages of enriching biological diversity, adapting to climate change, helping to ensure food safety, and providing a variety of livelihoods for local farmers.

However, this precious traditional courtyard-style vineyard and its culture are being endangered by encroaching urbanization and are decreasing year by year. This system which has allowed overcoming drought and yield issues is an interesting example to save and spread the used technologies.