Hua Hin Hills Vineyard
Whilst the tropical climate of Thailand might not appear to be conducive to wine-making, there are a few locations in the country which are able to use their unique surroundings to produce quality grapes.
One such location is Hua Hin Hills Vineyard, less than 3 hours drive south of Bangkok and open daily for the public to enjoy the picturesque surroundings and sample the award-winning Monsoon Valley wines.
Part of the New Latitudes wine movement, this vineyard is nestled in a scenic mountain valley 45km west of Hua Hin. The loamy sand and slate soil feeds several grape varieties that are used in their Monsoon Valley wine label. Daily vineyard tours start at 1500THB, including return transport, wine and a three course meal. Alternatively you can just do the wine tasting .
Built on a former elephant corral, the vineyard is protected from some of the harsher extremes of the Thai weather. Approximately 150 metres above sea level, Hua Hin Hills vineyard enjoys a mountain backdrop, cooling ocean breeze and a soil type that mixes sandy loam with slate. Not all types of grape can be grown here, but those that can include: Colombard, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Cabernet and Merlot.
Located closer to the equator, countries such as Thailand and India produce what is described as New Latitude Wine. Lower light intensity restricts the variety of grapes that can be grown whilst the extremes of the dry and rainy season make the task for wine producers in Thailand more difficult compared to Old World or New World producers.
Siam Winery was founded in 1986 by the man behind Red Bull, Chaleo Yoovidya. Monsoon Valley is the label used by Siam Winery for premium wines produced from selected grapes grown at the Hua Hin Hills Vineyard. With experience in the European and New Zealand wine industry, Kathrin Puff is the expert who oversees the production of the Monsoon Valley range.
If you look at a bottle of Monsoon Valley wine, you will notice a distinctive design on the label. This serpent-like figure is the naga, a mythical creature which is regarded in Thailand as being a guardian figure and one which helps to protect the land.
The amount of thought and effort that has gone into production also shines through during the wine tasting at Hua Hin Hills with particular styles of wine paired specifically with recommended Thai dishes. On a different note, you can try our Pairing with the Master where we matched the perfect wine with Grilled Norwegian Salmon.
In Thailand, Monsoon Valley wine can be purchased from King Power duty-free stores as well as a number of hotels throughout the country including Hyatt, Marriott and Holiday Inn to name just a few.
Even if you don’t want to do a tour of the vineyard, it’s worth a trip out to Hua Hin Hills just for the quality of the food on offer and the exquisite views from the Sala Bar and Bistro. Combining local elements with contemporary designs, this focal point of the vineyard also includes a retail shop and wine cellar in addition to the dining area.
It is an extremely memorable vineyard experience, mostly because it is so foreign to what you can be used to in Thailand. Random palm trees surrounding the grape vines and big tropical birds in the sky. It makes an entirely different wine type setting that is equally as beautiful in its own unique way.
At Hua Hin Hills vineyard, I just had a completely “junglefied” wine production and consumption experience and it was amazing in every way. It was beautiful, relaxing and above all, something new. Sometimes it’s good to make a change.
Once again, Thailand taught a lesson: keep your mind open. If you don’t, you will probably miss something beautiful.
Hua Hin Hills Vineyard is open daily from 08.30-18.30 with the Sala Bistro serving food from 11.00-17.30.