Here’s Why China Launched Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir Vines Into Space

All in the name of research

Space wine, anyone?

China launched cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and pinot noir vines into space with the hopes that the harsh conditions in space will trigger mutations that scientists can replicate to create vines “more suitable for the harsh climate in some of China’s emerging vineyard regions,” Decanter China reported.

Mutations on a genetic level may help the vines to develop a resistance to cold, drought, and viruses, which would be key to the plants’ success in the not-so-ideal developing wine regions in China, such as the cold northeastern province of Liaoning and the scorching deserts of Xinjiang, The Guardian detailed.

China consumes more red wine than any other country, and now boasts more vineyards than France.

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“The best Chinese wine I’ve ever tasted in my life is produced just outside of Beijing,” said Fongyee Walker, a China-based wine specialist. “Beautiful wine... Blind tasting you wouldn’t even know they were Chinese.”