Especially if you are here visiting, this might come as a surprise to you; but Thailand has actually been producing wines for more than three decades. These are the country’s major wine producers and areas, so besides trying them when you are dining out, don’t miss out on taking a wine tour if you happen to be near them!
PB Valley Estate
(102 Moo 5, Phaya Yen, Pak Chong, 02 262 0030 ext 107, 036 226 415-16,
Located 150 kilometers northeast of Bangkok, PB Valley Estate is on the edge of Khao Yai National Park. This region can be visited year round as this mountainous region is always a few degrees cooler than the capital; even better from November to March, during the dry season. Harvesting of wine grapes is from the end of January to the middle of March each year but table (fresh) grapes are grown and harvested year around. The winery welcome visitors daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and offers wine tours of the property. End your visit trying Thai and Western dishes paired with PB wines at the Great Hornbill Grill or PB Pizza.
(31/62 Moo 7, Na Chom Thian, Sattahip, Chonburi, 02 261 6565)
Owned by former Thai leading actress, Supansa Nuangphirom, Silverlake Vineyard is located next to the Khao Chee Chan Buddha—also known as the “Buddha Mountain”—just about an hour from Bangkok. At 110 meters above sea level, and with a soil of loamy sand, the winery boasts a flower garden and provides tours though the vineyards, as well as fine dining in its hilltop restaurant.
Chateau de Loei
(7/4 Soi Soonvijai, New Petchburi Rd., Bangkok, 02 716 5337, www.chateaudeloei.com)
More than a decade ago, Dr. Chaijudh Karnasuta, founder of Italthai Group, discovered that the Phurua highlands of northeastern Thailand could produce good wine-making grapes. In 1995, Chateau de Loei put on the market the first commercially produced quality Thai wine, which became the first Thai wine to be exported to Europe and Japan. They currently produce Chenin Blanc for white, and Syrah for red and rosé.
(176 Moo 2 (Bann Perm Sombut), Wang Kata, Pak Chong, Khao Yai, 085 916 3757, www.alcidini.com)
Located 550 meters above sea level on the hillside in Pak Chong, near Khao Yai National Park, Alcidini boutique vineyard and winery gets plenty of sun during the day and is cooler at the night. The terra rossa, or limestone-based soil, is also rich in minerals, which makes conditions perfect to grow grapes. Visit any time during the year to enjoy 360-degree views of the valley and snacks and Thai fusion food, together with its wines.
Did you know?
Because Thailand produces wine outside the traditional 30° to 50° latitudes north and south, it falls under the category of “New Latitude” wines.
The main wine-producing areas in the country are Hua Hin Hills, Pattaya, and Khao Yai, with an elevation of 110 to 530 meters above sea level, and with microclimates that are favorable for growing vines.
The harvest takes place in Thailand mainly from January to March, although table grapes are grown and harvested all year round.
The main white grape varietals produced are Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Malaga Blanc, and Viognier; the main red grape varietals are Black Queen/Pokdum, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dornfelder, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah, and Tempranillo; another grape varietal is Muscat.
According to the Thai Wine Association, annual production is around 500,000 bottles.
(52 Moo 9 Phayayen, Pak Chong, 02 653 1520–22, 044 009 543-4, 081 900 8282, www.granmonte.com)
GranMonte vineyard and winery is located 350 meters above sea level in Asoke Valley, Khao Yai. Known for its beautiful yellow blossom flowers, which are particular to the Khao Yai region, GranMonte is nestled in the valley and thus sheltered from the Pacific Ocean’s tropical storms and the Indian Ocean’s monsoons. Its loam and clay terrain, with limestone sub-soil on a gentle slope with good drainage, allows the growing of premium quality grapes such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Semillon, Verdelho, and Durif. The vineyard is also experimenting with other varietals, such as Grenache, Sangiovese, Barbera, Touriga Nacional, and Touriga Franca. A visit to the winery offers wine and fine dining, private and exclusive accommodation, a vineyard and winery tour, cellar-door shopping, private tastings, and peaceful strolls through the garden.
Hua Hin Hills Vineyard
Hua Hin Hills Vineyard is located 40 kilometers west of Hua Hin beach town, and is the home of Monsoon Valley Wines. Built on a former elephant corral, where wild Asian elephants used to be domesticated, and just 150 meters above sea level, the terrain is mostly composed of loamy sand and slate, and the microclimate of the area allows the cultivation of grapes, which are harvested and shipped in refrigerated trucks to Siam Winery, near Samut Sakorn, for the production of wine. The winery receives visitors daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dine at the Sala Wine Bar& Bistro, and don’t miss the wine pairing with tapas.
Village Farm & Winery
(3 Moo 7 Thaisamakkee Wang Nam Keow, Nakhon Ratchasima, 044 228 407–8,
At around 500 meters above sea level, Village Farm & Winery covers 80 acres along the ridges and slopes of Baan Pai Ngam village. Although the first crops of the winery were actually sweet corn and potatoes, in 1997 it Village Farm began to lay the foundation for wine production. Built in stone, like a classic French chateau, the winery’s building is now called Chateau des Brumes and is produces French-style wines under the guidance of master French winemaker, Jacques Bacou. The vineyard also provides accommodation.
● Hua Hin: Huan Hin Hills Vineyard
● Pattaya: Silverlake Vineyard
● Phurua: Chateau de Loei