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What is the world’s highest altitude vineyard and where is it found?

A. “Pure Land & Super-High Altitude Vineyard” in Lhasa, Tibet

B. Moya Vineyard in Jujuy, Argentina

C. Mount Sutherland Vineyards in the Western Cape, South Africa

D. Zorah Estate Vineyards on Mount Ararat in Rind, Armenia

A.

At 11,690 feet above sea level (3,563 meters or over 2.2 miles high), the “Pure Land & Super-High Altitude Vineyard” in Cai Na Xiang, Lhasa, Tibet, has been designated by Guinness World Records, as the “world’s highest vineyard.” The roughly 160-acre vineyard, planted in 2012 on the Tibetan Plateau, includes 11 different grape varieties from the well-known muscat, to bei bing hong, an indigenous variety used to make local ice wine. Though no facilities currently exist, owner Rong Shun Biotechnology Development Ltd. hopes to expand the size of the vineyard as well as build a winery and tasting room. Meanwhile, half a world away, winemaker Claudio Zuccino, owner of Ayni winery, farms his vineyard Finca Moya at 10,922 feet (3,329 meters) above sea level, making it the highest vineyard in South America (2nd highest in the world). Ayni’s facility, Cava Mina Moya is, however, the highest altitude wine cellar in the world. Chewing coca leaves to cope with the oxygen shortage is the norm for Zucchino, who had to construct a single-carriage track four miles up the mountain before he even considered planting vines. The vineyards of Armenian winery Zorah, in the foothills of Biblical Mount Ararat, grow at 5250 feet (1600 meters) above sea level, a stone’s throw from the world’s oldest known winemaking facility (the 6100-year old Areni 1 cave). Mount Sutherland Vineyards in South Africa sits at a mere 4,921 feet (1500 meters) above sea level in the Sneeuberg Mountain Range.

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