Posts tagged ‘wine’

High Hopes for Indian Wines

Been spending time visiting the wineries of parts of India, especially the ones around Nashik and Pune. The whole area is fascinating and hold incredible potential.

The quality of the wines is variable but the enthusiasm is high with high hopes and investment in the industry.

I am here to negotiate distribution and production/consultation deals with some key people here. So far, I like what I am seeing!

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April 26, 2009 at 10:22 pm Leave a comment

More Excellent Fruit Wines at Forbidden Fruit!



I am truly amazed at the quality of the fruit wines we are pumping out at Forbidden Fruit Winery in the Similkameen Valley, BC.

Steve and Kim’s commitment to quality and certified organic farming is certainly making a great difference in the wines being made. The awards and medals they are earning from that are a testament to their vision and commitments.

If anyone out there has a chance to try these wines, count yourselves part of the lucky few!

October 22, 2007 at 3:46 am Leave a comment

La Dolce Vida


il Maido Vineyards

Originally uploaded by Rivard

A few days in Northern Italy to survey wineries to work with for the Asian markets has been an eye opener. This beautiful land rich in history and culture is truely a pleasure to be in.

The food and wine is without comparison. The Italian really know how to enjoy themselves are are proud of their heritage and their wine.

Anyway, I found a couple great wineries to work with in the Piacentini region, just south of Milan. I will be back soon I hope…

October 5, 2007 at 8:25 am Leave a comment

Party in Changchun


I was invited to the 70th Anniversary of Tonghua winery in Changchin, Jilin. It was a heck of a party. Over 10 million RMB was spent on the event, so it had better been good.

I was able to meet up with some very interesting people, catch up with some old friends and unfortunatly drink a lot more than I would have liked.

Tonghua winery is the second oldest winery in China and they have announced the purchase of a Canadian winery, so this party was a large scale promotional event to get as much media publicity as possible.

I think they achieved what they wanted…

August 31, 2007 at 6:12 am Leave a comment

A Visit to Chiang Rai Winery

The other day I visited Chiang Rai winery. A beautiful facility surrounded by the lush rugged mountains of Northern Thailand.

We were greeted by smiles, which is obviously common in Thailand and had a very friendly and informative tour of the winery.

I was very interested in visiting this winery, as it is the fruit winery that has the best reputation in Thailand. Their main story is that they make “health wines”. Wines that have health properties in the fruits they use or in the medicinal herbs steeped in the wine.

I tried the off-dry lychee wine that had a great aroma but unfortunately was not very balanced.

The mangosteen wine was interesting and apparently their best seller. However, the wine was a bit vinegary and lacked varietal aroma and taste of what fresh mangosteens demonstrate.

One wine, which I really like and actually purchased, was the “Thai Tokay Wine” made from several kinds of herbs, such as, Doh – Mi – Rue – Lom, Aloe Vera and Santol. An interesting blend made in the sweet style and a nice tropical fruit, honey, almost apricot flavour, which I found alluring.
The winery produces about 40 000 bottles a year and has no problem selling them, mostly to Japanese and Korean tourists.

A trip to Chiang Rai winery proved to be a unique and interesting winery tour that should be done by anyone visiting the area.wine

March 11, 2007 at 1:39 am Leave a comment

Kao Yai – The Wine Center of Thailand?

I did a day trip to the beautiful region of Kao Yai, about 1 to 2 hours drive North East of Bangkok. My purpose was to check out this now popular “Thailand wine region”. The area has become the “Napa Valley” of Thailand with a few attractive and pricey wineries clustered around the Nao Yai National Park.

Thailand’s wine industry is about a decade old. It started with Chateau de Loei in the north, followed by Siam Winery to the south of Bangkok in the Chao Phraya Delta. However, the area that now seems to be a centre for wine growing is the Khao Yai National Park. Not only does the area produce wine and grape juices it has become the center for wine tourism.

At 350 metres above sea level and the vineyards situated in valleys, the area has all the right microclimate conditions ideal for growing quality grapes especially for wine making. The wine grapes produced in the area of different varieties including Shiraz, Tempranillo, Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. A fair amount of table grapes is also grown such as Muscat of Alexandria and Hamburg, Thomson seedless and Perlette.

One of several wineries in the area I visited was GranMonte Family Winery in Asoke Valley, Khao Yai. It conveniently lies adjacent to Khao Yai National Park. Asoke Valley is known in Thailand for the beautiful yellow blossom flower that is special to the region of Khao Yai. The serene atmosphere and truly beautiful surroundings of Asoke Valley, Khao Yai provides a perfect environmental setting for the GranMonte Vineyards.

Next on my stop was a visit to PB Valley Winery, not far from GranMonte. The winery sits amidst a lush 320-hectare plantation, of which 80 hectares is dedicated to growing grapes.

In its sixteenth year of operation, the winery boasts itself as being the birthplace of Thailand’s wine industry.

It has a large-scale wine operation, state-of-the-art technology. We were there a short time and did not try any of the wines, as they were not pouring any at that time. However, we did get to try the most amazing passion fruit juice!

After that, it was a relatively long drive to another winery on the other side of the National park called Village Farm Winery. The winery is very small but quite attractive. The whole area has a rustic feel, which I like, and it also acts as a hotel and restaurant. Again, I did not have any wine as they were sold out!

It was a good day trip but again, I don’t think it is where I will set up my winery. The area is busy over weekends with well to do Bangkok Thais out on the weekend but absolutely dead during the week. I would love to live there for the lifestyle though.

If you ever visit the area, whatever you may think of the wine (and do not go expecting too much), its an interesting alternative day out or weekend away from Bangkok.

February 6, 2007 at 1:38 am 2 comments

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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