The vineyards of Myanmar II: Lunch at Red Mountain Estate

February 11, 2012

View from the tasting shed: Majectic mountain chain in the back

Red Mountain Estate is located near Inle lake in Shan State. It was the second vineyard in Myanamar I had the chance to visit in January.

I had met its French vintner and wine-maker, Francois Raynal, at the 3rd International Symposium on Tropical Wine in Chiangmai, Thailand in November lasy year. Francois has presented the experience of Red Mountain Estate and the challenges of cultivating and producing “new latitude wines”.

The international wine experts were very positively surprised by the good quality of his wines. Ever since his impressive presentation, I wanted to visit the place. And here I was.

Some of the vineyards at Red Mountain estate

Unfortunately, Francois was not there when we visited the estate. But the staff was very friendly. They took us around the premises and explained the various items. I will show you the modern facilities in another blog entry later. Red Mountain Estate has lots of steel tanks, new oak barrels, a bottling facility and an underground cave for the storage of its wines.

The bottle shop

From the “tasting shed”, a roofed veranda open at four side, one has a good view of the vineyards and the surroundings. Red Mountain was set up in 2002, so it is a bit younger than Aythaya. Every year some more vineyards were planted. In 2006 the first wine was produced (about 1000 bottles). Today the annual production is about 120,000 bottles.

The Inle Valley series, a low price vin-de-table

Before lunch, we did a kind of tasting of some of the wines. The Chardonnay, the most expensive one on the list, we had reserved to be sampled with lunch.

We started with the Sauvignon Blanc, then went on to the rose and ended with the reds.

Red Mountain Sauvignon Blanc

The wine we liked best was the SB, fresh and fruity. The only thing I hated was the cheap plastic cork.

The rose

A very drinkable wine, well suited for hot summer days.

The Red Mountain Shiraz-Tempranillo blend

The Shiraz-Tempranillo blend is somehow special. It is a light bodied red with low alcohol and with pleasant fruit flavours and tannins. I guess that it must be difficult to get to the desired style. I consider the wine to be work in progress.

The food was OK. But I did not take pictures of it, so I guess it was not exceptional. There might be some room for improvements here.

Friends who had visited the estate just a couple of months earlier, were pleasantly surprised by the general improvements of the facilities. While we were there quite a few small tourist groups dopped in for a meal and/or a tasting.

Francois had reported about the difficult process of experimentation in a completely new environment and a economy riddled by the international sanctions. Some of the cuttings had to come from Israel, the oak barrels from Hungary, the bottles and corks from China, and so on.

But Red Mountain is a place to watch. The investment undertaken is huge, the staff motivated, the wine-maker committed, and Myanmar is a coming power in South-east Asia. It will take no time to get the tourist flow to come to vineyards and wineries. Myanmar has a lot to offer.

PS: We bought as many bottles of the Sauvignon Blanc as we could carry.

Address:
Red Mountain Estate
Taung Chay Village Group, Nyaungshwe Township,
Southern Shan State, Myanmar.
Tel: +95-081-209366, +95-081-209554
Fax: +95-081-209475
Mobile: +95-09-5174312
www.redmountain-estate.com

Red Mountain Production Co., Ltd
No. 39(A), 7 1/2 miles, Pyay Road,

Mayangone Township, Yangon, Myanmar.
Tel: +95-01-664970, +95-01-652662
Fax: +95-01-652793
Mobile: +95-09-2035632, +95-09-5021843
Email: redmountain.tc@gmail.com
info@redmountain-estate.com
contact@redmountain-estate.com


Red Mountain Estate – Wines from Burma

December 11, 2010

Pinot Noir by Red Mountain Estate

My friend Moritz brought some bottles of wine from a trip to Burma back to Bangkok. He gave me a ‘2009 Pinot Noir Taunggyi Wine’ by Red Mountain Estate which is located in the Southern Shan State at the picturesque Inle lake. The vineyard was planted in 2003 at about 1000 meters altitude.

When I opened the bottle and found a plastic “cork” my enthusiasm declined rapidly. Well, what will the wine taste like, I thought, with such an enclosure?

To say it from the outset, the wine is a project in the making. The technology used by Red Mountain Estate may be ultra modern. All equipment is imported from Europe and the wine is aged in Hungarian oak. However, the tropical conditions, as customary to New Latitude wines, is still a challenge.

The colour of the wine is a dark red. It is medium bodied and has 12.5 % alcohol. The taste is a mixture of saw dust and rubber, not unpleasant though, and perfectly drinkable.

I had the chance to taste some more of the Red Mountain Estate products at Moritz’s house. I liked the Chardonnay best followed by the Rose. The reds were not particularly strong, a bit thin, for my taste. As I said, work in progress.

Front label of Red Mountain Estate Pinot Noir

The location of Red Mountain Estate is very beautiful, almost spectacular. Photos of the Inle Lake, the vineyard and the winery can be found on the estate’s webpage (Moritz has some on his facebook site). I should visit this region and have a look myself.

The back label of the Pinot Noir by Red Mountain Estate

PS: We had some antipasti – fried salami – before the main course, a pasta. The recipe is from a Jamie Oliver cookery book. Wonderful, so tasty, with olive oil and fresh Parmesan cheese.

The fried salami antipasti

Address:
Red Mountain Estate
Taung Chay Village Group, Nyaungshwe Township,
Southern Shan State, Myanmar.
Tel: +95-081-209366 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +95-081-209366      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
      +95-081-209554
Fax: +95-081-209475
Mobile: +95-09-5174312
www.redmountain-estate.com