“New latitude wines”, is a catchphrase coined in 2004 by Bangkok based wine writer Frank Norel.
For a long time the tropics were not considered suitable for the production of grape vine. The territory between latitude 30 and 50 were vintners “nowhere land”, so to speak.
This has certainly changed over the last decade. Nowadays grapes are grown in places like Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Brazil, and of course Thailand.
In November this year (12.-18.11.) already the 3rd International Symposium on Tropical Wine will be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Beautiful colour – Rosé is ideal for the hot days in Bangkok
So far, I have visited about half of the Thai wineries. I love the wines produces by GranMonte Estate, a Thai wine producer from the Khao Yai wine region in the Asoke valley.
GranMonte is a family business and boutique vineyard. At this years Decanter World Wine Awards GranMonte won two silver and one bronze medals. This is recognition of the hard work of Nikki and her parents, Sakuna and Visooth Lohitnavy.
GranMonte Estate – 2009 Sakuna Rosé
Recently I discovered that I had “forgotten” a bottle of 2009 Sakuna Rosé in my wine fridge. Since it was a beautiful sunny day, the GranMonte Rosé wine was my natural choice to accompany our lunch.
Thai wines lend themselves to be paired with Thai food as well. The high acidity of the whites is a good requisite for such food and wine pairing. The Colombard and Chenin Blanc varieties are doing well in the tropics and are producing stunning examples of New Latitude Wines. But also Syrah and Cabernet are doing well.
The back label advised to consume the bottle within one year. Oh, I thought, it’s 2011 now and the wine was from 2009! Would it be too late?
Alas, it turned out that the bottle was perfectly fine. The Rosé made from Syrah grapes tasted fresh and fruity as the previous bottles I had served.
In an earlier blog entry I have described how to get to GranMonte Family Vineyard. The winery is definitely worth a visit. The trip from Bangkok to the Asoke valley takes less than two hours. However, I do know how the current monster floods have affected the region and the roads to get there. Maybe the end of the rainy season is a better time for a visit.
Luckily there is shop in Bangkok where you can get the GranMonte wines.
17 / 8 Soi Sukhumvit 6, Sukhumvit Road,
Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110
Tel : +66-2653-1522 Fax : +66-2653-1977
Mb. : +66-8-9169-7766
Address at Khao Yai
Granmonte Vineyard & Wines
52 Moo 9 Phayayen, Pakchong,
Tel : +66-36-227-334-5
Why would you have a comment section and not respond to your readers? Is this the 1920s syndrom of the emperor with big head who thinks he is too good to respond to his servants?
Sorry Tood. I take note of the comments but sometimes forget to answer especially if the answer requires additional research (to find some more information etc.). Also my day job gets in the way. I spend lots of time on airplanes and in places without internet access. This is only an explanation and not an excuse. Cheers
Many thanks for giving our Symposium a plug. Think you will find the latest Rose from Nikki has a bit more of everything.
Based on your article I will be giving Bloody Hills a visit in December.
You are too unkind Tood.
Thanks for tasting our older vintage of Sakuna Rose.
We (Sakuna and I) just woken up in our vineyard by nice cold breeze coming from the Northeast. The winter (cool) season is coming to Asoke Valley. Hope the floods elsewhere in Thailand will subside.
At first we were surprised (actually, apprehensive !) at seeing you are tasting this 2009 vintage, as we haven’t touched her for a long while. Now we surely will revisit this wine with Nikki. Not at this breakfast though ! Nikki is coming back from assignment in Douro Valley, Portugal tomorrow. Would be interesting to hear what she will say to that.
See you in Chiang Mai next month.
Dear Old man from Asoke valley,
thank you for the response. I envy you for waking up in the vineyard in Asoke valley. It reminds me of my own vineyard in Glenburn and how magic it is to wake up in the morning when the magpies sing.
We visited the Douro Valley three years ago. It’s a great place. I will see you in Chiang Mai for the conference. Meanwhile we tasted some more of your wines newer vintages. You are doing well, I would say. No time for my blog these days. Looking forward to the symposium. Yours The Man from Mosel River (also old)