The International Grapes and Wine Festival 2014 will take place in Phan Rang-Thap Cham city, central Ninh Thuan province from July 14-19.

The official opening ceremony will be held on the evening of July 17, said Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Vo Dai at a press conference in the city on July 7.

Under the theme “Vine and grape - Attractive tourism product”, the festival aims to honour the value of grapes – a specialty of Ninh Thuan and introduce the province’s economic and tourism potential, he said.

It is expected to provide a venue for Vietnamese and foreign processors to show off their products made from grapes, he added.

There will be two seminars during the event, focusing on orientations for the development of Ninh Thuan grapes and wine, and measures to promote tourism in the central coastal and Central Highland regions.

A photo exhibition on the land of Ninh Thuan and an international trade and tourism fair will be also held together with a sheep contest, a coracle race and art performances.

Ninh Thuan has the largest vineyards in Vietnam , with 2,500 ha mainly in Ninh Phuoc and Ninh Hai districts and Phan Rang-Thap Cham city. The grape output is between 60,000-65,000 tonnes a year.

Ninh Thuan grapes are processed for many kinds of products such as raisins, jelly and wine.

The grape was introduced into Ninh Thuan in 1960, test-planted by the South Central Centre for Agricultural Technical Research based in Nha Ho, Ninh Son district, and was commercially produced in the 1980s.

The locality has given priority to grape investment and development projects since 1992, including planting, preserving and processing techniques, while conducting studies on new grape varieties suitable with the local climate.

As many as 17 Ninh Thuan grape development projects with a total funding of some 15 billion VND were carried out. Some new grape varieties were introduced to viticulturists, including NH01-48, NH01-152 and BlackQueen.

On February 17, 2012, the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) issued Decision No. 194 certifying the geographical indication of Ninh Thuan grape products, which helps raise the value of Ninh Thuan grapes on the market.-VNA