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Title: Chunche  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Turpan, Agriculture in China, Viticulture, Raisin, Appropriate technology
Collection: Agricultural Buildings, Agriculture in China, Buildings and Structures in Xinjiang, Viticulture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Chunche in Boyluq, Turpan
Hanging grapes being dried for raisins inside a Chunche.

Chunche (Uyghur:چۈنچە; Chinese: 晾房, 阴房) is a Uyghur word that refers to a kind of building used to make raisins in Turpan, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. The building has a dark interior, and the walls are covered with a large number of holes to allow wind to pass through and assist in the drying process through evaporation. Chunches are usually built in high, windy, areas due to the need for the wind.

These structures have long attracted attention of visitors to Turpan. The 19th-century Russian traveler, Grigory Grumm-Grzhimaylo, wrote of Turpan:

Turfan is famous for its raisins, which one can deem to be the best in the world. They are dried in drying houses of a completely peculiar type.[1]

The drying process takes about 40 days. Grapes that have been dried in a drying house (the "air-dried" kind) usually appear green or yellow, because of the shade, while grapes dried under direct sun appear dark. [2]

For 2009/2010, China's annual raisin production was forecasted by international expert at 155,000 metric tons (the largest in the world), of which 75% would come from Turpan.[2]


  1. ^ Grigory Grumm-Grzhimaylo (Г. Грум-Гржимайло), East Turkestan (Восточный Туркестан), in Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary. (Russian) (The original quote: «Турфан же славится и своим изюмом, который можно считать лучшим в мире (высушивается в совершенно своеобразного типа сушильнях)».
  2. ^ a b Dried Fruit Annual 2009, Beijing, China (USDA Global Agriculture Information Network)

External links

  • 葡萄干晾房 (Grape drying houses), a photo report

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