Elephants in The Vineyard

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This article is the first of a series of articles shining light on some of the newest wine growing areas in the world.

During the Roman Empire, the production of wine really kicked off. The Romans appreciated it so much that it became part of their soldier’s diet. At the highlight of the Roman Empire, the Romans controlled most of Western Europe, stretching as far as the Middle East and Northern Africa.

In order to be able to provide its soldiers this heavenly beverage made of fermented grapes, it became necessary to plant vines in other parts of Europe as well. Wines from these areas are now known as Old World Wines. During the Golden Age of Roman wine making, it is said that each citizen in Rome consumed on average one bottle of wine each day.

The Europeans introduced wine to the New World during the Age of Exploration. Mexico, California, South-America and South-Africa started growing vines and produce wine.

In the past, a general rule of thumb was that vines for quality wine making could only be grown between 30 and 50 degrees Northern/Southern Hemisphere. But in recent decennia, a new wine world opened up. These are regions where until recently, it was not possible to grow quality grapes used for wine making. Due to newly developed techniques and climate change, it became possible to produce quality wine in these areas. We refer to these wines as New Latitude Wines.

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Thailand is renowned for its unique cuisine, pristine beaches and friendly people. However, in recent years, it is starting to make a name for itself for making delicious wine as well. Monsoon Valley, located just outside the resort town Hua Hin, started experimenting at the start of this millennium, and looking back it has been a tremendous success.

The German winemaker Kathrin Puff played an important role in the success of the winery and since she joined the company Monsoon Valley has won many international awards, including the prestigious Decanter World Wine Award. Wine critic James Suckling recently rated the Monsoon Valley Rosé as the best rosé in a blind tasting among 80 other wines.

A major difference compared to the tradition wine growing areas is the variance in maturity of the fruit; the same vineyard would have ripe and unripe fruits at the same time. Therefore, harvesting is more difficult and has to be done by hand.

Monsoon Valley Wines

At Monsoon Valley, the following varieties are grown on its vineyard in Hua Hin; Colombard, Chenin Blanc, Shiraz, Dornfelder and Sangiovese.

The company is also closely working with a German University to do develop a unique grape variety more suitable for the extreme weather conditions present in Thailand.

We’ve tried all the below wines and were blown away by their Premium Range Rosé as well as their Sparkling wines.

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Classic Range

Monsoon Valley Classic White (Colombard, White malaga, Chenin Blanc)

Monsoon Valley Classic Rosé (Colombard, Shiraz)

Monsoon Valley Classic Red (Shiraz, Pokdum)

Premium Range

Monsoon Valley Chenin Blanc

Monsoon Valley Colombard

Monsoon Valley Shiraz Rosé

Monsoon Valley Shiraz

Signature Range

Monsoon Valley Signature White (Chenin Blanc)

Monsoon Valley Signature Red (Dornfelder, Rondo & Syrah)

Monsoon Valley Brut Prestige Sparkling (Colombard)

Flagship Range

Monsoon Valley Cuvee de Siam Blanc (Chenin Blanc & Colombard)

Monsoon Valley Cuvee de Siam Rouge (Shiraz & Sangiovese)

Monsoon Valley Brut Blancs de Blancs (Chenin Blanc, Colombard & Viognier)

Monsoon Valley Extra Sec Rosé (Shiraz)

Monsoon Valley Chenin Blanc Late Harvest

Monsoon Valley Muscat

Visiting the Vineyard

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Visiting Monsoon Valley Vineyards is worthwhile if you are holidaying in Thailand – being about 2.5 hours away from Bangkok, but just 30 minutes from Hua Hin. The visitor center is great – very educative, but the highlight must be the restaurant and its spectacular view. The restaurant offers some contemporary classics as well as Thai delights. Naturally, there is a degustation wine-pairing menu available that perfectly matches the wines with the food. Once you are seated and enjoy your first glass, you might even see elephants walk through the vineyards.

An unforgettable experience.

Visit their website for more details.

This article is the first of a series of articles shining light on some of the newest wine growing areas in the world.

Have you experienced other Newest World Wine regions that are worth sharing? Let us know in the comments below!

Santé!

Albert & Willem


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