FINE WINE OenoTourism & Wineries

Thailand’s Monsoon Valley celebrates an exceptional 2021 harvest!

Written by Aksel Ritenis

Thailand’s Monsoon Valley celebrates an exceptional 2021 harvest! 

Christopher Carter, Chief Operating Officer of Siam Winery Company Limited, proudly proclaims

”We started in 2001, with the vision of creating world-class wines right here in Thailand. After 20 years of dedication, experimentation and passion at our vineyard in Hua Hin, we’ve made great strides towards this goal. From humble beginnings, we today output a yield of 300 tonnes of grapes producing over 300,000 bottles of award winning wine per year, 70% of which is sold domestically and 30% exported to international markets. Now with the exceptional 2021 harvest, we are excited to build on this with the next vintage”. 

 

Christopher Carter, Chief Operating Officer

It’s no secret, great quality grapes create great quality wines and 2021 is shaping up to be an exceptional year for Monsoon Valley’s annual harvest, where the hard work is really bearing fruit.

 

Hans-Peter Hoehnen, the German winemaker and oenologist who specialized in tropical viticulture with 25 years of winemaking experience, explained:

“As any winemaker will attest, growing grapes in a hot and humid tropical climate presents many unique challenges.  For example we have year-round intense heat polarized by wet and dry seasons which gives two vegetative seasons. In addition, the heavy monsoon rain and immense moisture makes the vines susceptible to disease with limited hours of daylight being so close to the equator.

Because of this, the vineyard needs extensive care and preparation in order for the grapes to thrive. Yet despite all these challenges, the hard work and experimentation over the years mean the 2021 Harvest season has produced some of the best quality grapes to date. On top of that, the longer dry and cool December and January allowed the grapes to steadily develop the flavors and sugar level, resulting in a great balance of flavor, acidity, and potential alcohol level.

Jan Erik, Viticulture and Research Manager (left) and Suppached Sasomsin, Winemaker (right) were examining this year’s harvest in vineyards

Suppached Sasomsin, Winemaker at Siam Winery Company Limited, added,

“As a Winemaker I am very excited about this year’s vintage.  Not only was it a bountiful harvest, the high quality allows me to use conventional winemaking techniques to express the terroir.  This year’s grapes are incredibly balanced and with over 30 varietals bearing fruit, I’m really looking forward to creating wines with unique character.”

 

Monsoon Valley continues to pioneer grape growing techniques in Thailand in order to prove that Monsoon Valley Thai wines can overcome the tropical climate, achieving more than 300 awards from around the world.

 

On top of Shiraz, Sangiovese, Chenin Blanc and Colombard varietals, Vintage 2020 benchmarked a new milestone of Monsoon Valley with the success of Merlot harvest, which have historically been very challenging to thrive in Thailand.

 

Having been experimenting with growing Merlot grapes for almost 10 years, and the plants have matured nicely, producing consistently well-balanced fruits over the past 3-4 seasons.  Monsoon Valley looks forward to being Thailand’s first and finest winery in releasing locally grown Merlot.

Today, Monsoon Valley produces 4 ranges of wines:

 

  1. Classic range primarily served in Thai restaurants around the world;
  2. Premium and Signature range served at top hotels and Michelin restaurants locally and internationally; and
  3. Cuvée flagship range, which is made from the finest grapes from the vineyards with limited release each year

 

Moreover, the many international awards proved that Thai vignerons and winemakers can plant great quality grapes and make world-class wines. From the aforementioned achievements, we invite both Thais and foreigners to come and taste the premium Monsoon Valley wines, visit the stunning vineyards, and dine at the SALA Wine Bar & Bistro.

 

Merlot grape berries at Monsoon Valley

Underscoring the quality of Monsoon Valley wines, are over 320 international awards received over the years, the most among all Thai wines and producers.

 

Highlighted Wines:

  • Monsoon Valley White Shiraz is awarded as “World’s Best Rosé” by James Suckling in 2018, beating over 150 rosés around the world in the blind tasting.
  •  Monsoon Valley, Cuvée di Siam Rouge 2015 is the only wine in the world saluting to Thai Royalty to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej’s accession to the Throne.

Of course, the journey in Thailand will be so flawed and incomplete if you leave the foodie paradise without a delicious meal. At Monsoon Valley, visitors are offered with unique and authentic dishes with a Thai vineyard spin.

The highly recommended signature dish is the popular Shiraz Padthai, a special creation where the noodles are cooked in Monsoon Valley Shiraz sauce – a must try.

 

Alternatively, you can visit the vineyard and enjoy the many fun excursions throughout the year, such as vineyard tours and cycling tours, wine tastings, elephant feeding, wine safaris, and, most of all, the Harvest Festival held annually from March to April. Furthermore, vineyard staff strictly observe COVID-19 safety measures so that everyone can visit with confidence and harvest enjoyable experiences.

 

 

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Aksel Ritenis

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