Posts tagged ‘Vineyards’

Visiting the Vineyards of Jian County, Jilin, China

Grape Pruner, Jian, China

Originally uploaded by Rivard

An interesting and beautiful day in the Vineyards of Jian County on the border of North Korea.

The vines are starting to shoot quite vigorously and are now being tied by the grape growers and peasants.

What is interesting is that a lot of these vines are Vidal hybrids which were either bought and often smuggled from Canada in order to grow Vida grapes to make icewine with them. This region is re-inventing itself to become the next “icewine” producing region.

It does have the right climate and are starting to catch on to the technology and certainly have the market. I’ll have to come back in a couple years to see how these young vines have made out…

July 24, 2007 at 5:19 am Leave a comment

Floating Vineyards of Thailand

I visited a large winery situated near Samut Sakorn, 50 KM southwest of Bangkok, called Siam Winery. It is a very nice facility and very modern. Their business is thriving in Thailand’s growing wine markets but most of the growth is attributed to exports to Europe. Actually, 80% of the production is exported and ends up at the table of Thai and other Asian restaurants in Europe and the USA.

What has made them popular here in Thailand is its line of coolers called “Spy” which are “drinkable”. Their line of wines is light, fruity and could match spicy Thai cuisine quite well. They certainly have an interesting story and have done a brilliant job of marketing it.

The grapes used to make the wines are from Thailand’s “floating vineyards”. A unique way to grow grapes hydroponically in the very wet flood lands in central Thailand.

This is what I found very interesting and was lucky enough to be given a tour of the vineyards while workers were busy harvesting. Grapes grown vary from local indigenous varieties to Colombard for white and even some Shiraz for red. There are up to three harvests of grapes a year! However, we were told that the spring harvest yields better quality grapes as it is a drier time of the year.

I think Thai grape wine is an interesting and curious product for people outside of Thailand. As the quality increases, so will its popularity. However, in my opinion, the real future in Thai wines lays elsewhere. What is Thailand known for in terms of food and beverage? It is not grapes but its high quality and very abundant tropical fruits. I think making a high quality and well-presented tropical fruit wine is where Thailand can make some real headway in the “global wine world”.

Anyway, it was a very interesting day out and lovely countryside. If you see some Thai wines at your local Thai restaurant, give it a try!

January 26, 2007 at 1:35 am Leave a comment

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Lover, father, global winemaking consultant, winemaker/exporter, hobby farmer, author and modern-day nomad...

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