Naturally you know wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux, but what about those from Pattaya, or even the Khao Yai region? While Thailand may not the first place that comes to mind when you think of wine, its booming New Latitude wineries are producing wines that can stand up to Old World standards.
The country may be more synonymous with year-round summer, exotic culture and tropical islands and beaches, but its ability to produce quality wines is an exciting proposition for oenophiles. We know it’s hard to picture vineyards next to coconut trees, and the humid weather may not seem ideal for wine production, but thanks to advanced viticultural techniques, steady improvements in refrigeration and irrigation methods in the past few decades, vineyards are now growing grapes outside the traditional zone: 30 to 50 degrees of latitude north or south of the equator.
If you’re familiar with conventional grape-cultivation processes, then you’ll be amazed by how Thai wineries adapt these methods to better suit the local environment. For example, creating false dormancy by pruning and planting grasses to prevent soil erosion during the rainy season. If you’re interested in sampling some fine, decadent wine in some of the country’s most unique destinations, we’ve rounded up a list of must-visit vineyards in Thailand to tempt your palates.
Silverlake Vineyard, Pattaya
A hidden gem tucked away in the countryside of southeastern Pattaya, Silverlake Vineyard is a Tuscan-style winery known for its winemaking technology imported from Italy. Tranquil, classy and pastoral, this vineyard couldn’t be more different from the city of Pattaya, which is better known for its full moon parties and backpackers. Best known for their wide variety of grapes, Silverlake Vineyard’s must-try pours include Silverlake Chenin Blanc, Shiraz Private Reserve Red, Rosé Grande and Chardonnay its annual Silverlake Music Festival, this estate also offers daily activities aside from tastings of its fine wines. Simply hop on an electric tram to explore the state-of-the-art wine farm, and then enjoy an outdoor dining experience with panoramic views of the wooded hills, large lake and Buddha Mountain. Don’t forget to make a stop at the shop, where you’ll find everything from vine-fresh grapes to homemade jams and juices.
Silverlake Vineyard, 31/62 Moo 7 Na-Jomthian, Sattahip, Chon Buri 20250, Thailand, +66 87 079 9922
GranMonte, Khao Yai
Located 350 metres above sea level in the Asoke Valley, Khao Yai — a region gifted with an ideal microclimate for growing high-quality grapes — GranMonte is one of the best-known winemakers in the country. This family-run vineyard, located just next to Khao Yai National Park, produces a variety of wines including Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Semillon, Verdelho, Durif and Grenache. If you wish to make a weekend out of your trip to GranMonte, the vineyard’s guesthouse offers a unique retreat featuring a stunning view of GranMonte’s vineyard and the surrounding valley’s lush forests. Feeling hungry after the wine tour? Head over to the vineyard’s restaurant, VinCotto, for some exceptional home-style Western and Thai dishes, or better yet, enjoy the ultimate dining experience with their exclusive wine pairings.
GranMonte, 52 Moo 9 Payayen, Pansuk-Kudkla Street, Nakhon Ratchasima, 30320, Thailand, +66 81 900 8282
PB Valley Khao Yai Winery
Just a 2-hour drive from Bangkok, PB Valley Khao Yai Winery makes for the perfect escape from the urban hustle. With roughly 1000 acres of vineyard and plantation, it’s also the largest winery in the country. From Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir to (award-winning) Chenin Blanc, Shiraz and more, the excellent variety of grapes cultivated at PB Valley makes it a Mecca for wine connoisseurs. The best time to visit is between January and March, when the PB Valley Winery holds its annual grape harvest festival, where you will get to use your feet in the traditional method of grape stomping. Apart from producing some of the best wines in the region, the vast expanse of land at PB Valley Winery also means that they are able to grow different agricultural varieties. The best part is you can bring home their farm-fresh mushrooms (or ask for chef’s recommendations for mushroom dishes of the day to enjoy at the restaurant) and even freshly roasted coffee beans.
PB Valley Khao Yai Winery, 102 Moo 5, Phaya Yen, Pak Chong Nakorn Ratchasima 30320, Thailand, +66 81733 8783
Monsoon Valley Vineyard, Hua Hin
Nestled at the foot of the mountains that separate Thailand and Myanmar, the sprawling Monsoon Valley Vineyard can be explored by Jeep or by bike. Owned by Thailand’s largest wine producer, Siam Winery, their signature wines include Muscat, sparkling Brut Blanc de Blanc, Cuvée de Siam, Chenin Blanc. More than just offering wine tastings, the winery also provides a wide range of activities such as wine bottle painting, wine safaris, elephant riding and mountain biking, so you can easily spend the whole day at this picturesque estate. A visit to Monsoon Valley is not complete without sampling wines with the Mediterranean-style tapas created from local produce grown on their farm — with a view of an elephant sauntering through the vineyard.
Monsoon Valley, 1 Moo 9 Baankhok Chang Patana, Nong Plup, Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand, +66 81 701 0444