Colombard, Chenin Blanc, Mourvedre, Grenache Noir, and Shiraz. The wines have won international awards. The Siam Winery is the largest in Southeast Asia. Visitors may visit the Hua Hin vineyard by appointment. The web site is http://www. siamwinery.com.
Silverlake Vineyard, 20 kilometers northeast of the resort town of Pattaya, was started by Surachai Tangjaitrong. It is most famous for being located adjacent to the Khao Chee Chan Buddha image. A wide variety of vines were planted next to a reservoir called Silverlake in 2005 and the winery is experimenting with a Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah vines. A restaurant has received enthusiastic reviews, and a full-scale resort is a project in progress.
Chateau de Loei was founded by the late Dr. Chaijudh Karnasuta, who discovered that the Phurua highlands of Northeastern Thailand in Loei province could produce good wine-making grapes.
The wines first came to market in 1995 and are made from Syrah and Chenin Blanc grapes in a wide number of styles including an excellent dessert wine and a sparkling wine, both from the versatile Chenin Blanc grape. Chateau de Loei was the first winery to export to Europe and China. The web site is http://www.chateaudeloei.com Mae Chan Winery was founded by Suphot Tangvitoontham, a Thai-Chinese gem tycoon, who fell in love with the Mae Chan valley near Chiang Rai and started the winery in 1997. The 32-acre vineyard is a sandy clay soil type and is largely planted to Syrah vines brought in from Australia, with smaller plots of Chenin Blanc, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Some of the wine is now exported to Malaysia. A unique feature is that the winery has been dug into a hillside. The setting is spectacular and the winery also features the Doi Hom Fha Resort & Spa for overnight stays. The web site is http://www. maechanwinery.com.
The Ayatha Winery was established in 1999 at an altitude of 1,300 meters near the city of Taunggyi in Southern Shan State by Bert Morsbach, a German businessman who previously resided in Thailand. Three wines and a grappa are produced there. The wines are a rose produced from an Italian Muscat variety, a white that is entirely Sauvignon Blanc, and a red that is predominately Syrah with a little Cabernet Sauvignon. The web site is http://www. myanmar-vineyard.com.
Red Mountain Winery is located on the shore of Inle Lake in southern Shan State and was started in 2002. The first vintage was in 2008 of Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah wines, and in 2009 the range dramatically expanded to include Shiraz/ Tempranillo, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, a Carignane rose and two fortified wines _ a tawny from Shiraz and a White Muscat. The winery employs a French winemaker, Francois Raynal, and it appears this winery is really doing well. The web site is www.redmountainestate. com.
Hatten Wines was established in 1994 in Sanur, Bali. Red, white and rose wines are produced from unique grapes that can grow on Bali. The rose and red wines are made from the Alphonse- Lavallee grapes, and the white wines are from a Belgia grape of Muscat origin. The web site is http://www. hattenwines.com.
VietnamVang Dalat Vang Dalat is usually the wine that will be on the menu when tourists visit Vietnam. Dalat Premium red wine is made from the Cardinal grape which can be used as a table or wine grape with some Dalat strawberry added. It is popular with tourists. Two other red wines and two white wines are also produced. The wine production center is in Dalat City and started in 1993 when the present company took over from a state-owned operation. The facility is not generally open to the public.
Dalat Beco Together with the Dalat Beverage Company (Dalat Beco), French viticulturist Daniel Carsol formed the Dalat Grapes Joint Venture Company to cultivate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Caladoc and Syrah (or Shiraz) on 15 hectares of Ta Nung Commune, 23 kilometers from the town of Da Lat, early in 2007. The site is in Vietnam’s central highlands.
Carasol harvested the first crop in 2009. He thinks it’s simply marvelous as it takes three years for the same vines to bear fruit back in Avignon.
He estimates the vineyard will yield 25 tons of grapes per hectare after five years, enough to produce 200,000 liters of wine per year. Still, that’s a drop in the ocean when you consider that the Vietnamese buy more than 10 millions liters of wine a year, at least according to the Frenchman.
Carsol’s next ambition is to blend the four grape varieties he is cultivating to make a special Ta Nung wine that could put Da Lat on the global wine map. This venture seems to raising the bar for Vietnamese wine.
As these early pioneer wineries progress, expect more wineries to develop in the “New Latitude” winemaking region of Asean.