The wine industry in Myanmar

March 31, 2015

I have written about the wine industry in Myanmar a couple of times. Recently, I found the above video clip on the Al Jazeera news channel. They interview Hans-Eduard Leiendecker, the wine-maker of Aythaya Vineyards in Taunggy, Shan State. Mr. Leiendecker is a man from the Mosel. He comes from Bernkastel, the famous wine centre, located in the central part (Mittelmosel) of the Mosel river.

Tropical viticulture (new latitude wines) has its specific challenges which are outlined in the video. Overall, production cost are not insignificant. Moreover, the nascent wine industry in countries sub-tropical and tropical countries is often subject to taxation and a regulatory environment which puts the young sector at a disadvantage.

I am very pleased about the positive outlook for the pioneer in Myanmar and hope that their efforts will one day pay off. The wine industry in neighbouring Thailand is a very inspiring example of an emerging vineyard and winery industry in a country without the many centuries of grape growing experience.

I will follow the progress and development, and hope to present you more success stories in due course.

Cheers

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The vineyards of Myanmar I: Lunch at Aythaya Wines, Taunggy, Myanmar

February 8, 2012

View over the valley from Aythaya Winery

I habe written about the wines from Aythaya Winery near Taunggy, in the Shan State in Myanmar in an earlier blog entry.

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Shan State and the twon of Taunggy. This gave me also the chance to drop in atAythaya which is located in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, about 5 km on the road leading to Taunggy.

Together with my two colleagues, we went for lunch at the winery cum restaurant. It was a glorious day with sunshine and warm temperatures.

In 1997/1998, Bert Morsbach, a German native, started with this venture and planted the first wine grapes in Myanmar. Though the first attempt was not successful, Morsbach continued his efforts until finally succeeding.

The elevation of the vineyard near Aythaya village is at about 1000 to 1300 m. But there is another vineyard in another location nearby.

The first wines were presented to the public in 2004, and since 2006 another German joined the team at Aythaya Wines: Hans-Eduard Leiendecker, vintner and wine-maker from Bernkastel, Mosel. When we visited, both were not at Aythaya, but the friendly Burmese staff showed us the premises.

Tractor spraying the vines through Bougaivillias and palm trees

We sat on a shaded terrace with a beautiful view over the valley. Some work was done in the vineyards. We also explored some of the surroundings.

A pond with vineyards in the background

The peakock is the symbol of Aythaya

The Aythaya product range is impressive

I had tasted Aythaya wines before, some of them in Yangon, others had been given to me by colleagues returning from Myanmar. Aythaya’s product range is quite impressive. I like their Sauvignon Blanc (late harvest) best.

Another terrace at the restaurant with vineyard views

The menu is quite simple and straight forward. To my great suprise also “Spaetzle”, a type of South-German dumplings, were on the list. My heart jumped. I had to try them. I was not going to be disappointed. The “Spaetzle” were delicious.

So was the wine, buoyant with tropical fruit flavours, fresh acidity and a pleasant finish.

Suebian “Spaetzele”

The flagship Aythaya wine, I would say

The back label of the Sauvignon Blanc

Beautiful SB in the glass

The Aythaya wine-maker comes from the Mosel river

Of course there is a lot to see in Myanmar. However, in my view nothing beats a visit to a real vineyard where “new latitude wines” are grown and made. The region around Taunggy is very interesting and the nearby Inle lake deserves your visit as well.

The best time to visit is November to February when the nights are cool and the days sunny and warm. Meet you there, one day.

Address:
Aythaya Wines
38G Myitzu Street, Parami Avenue Mayangone T/S,
Yangon, Myanmar.
Tel.: +95-664386, 664756
E-mail::Sales@myanmar-vineyard.com.mm
Website: www.myanmar-vineyard.com

and
Aythaya Vineyard
Aythaya-Taunggyi, Southern Shan States
Myanmar
Tel.: +95-81-24536.