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.
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.
Red Mountain Estate
Taung Chay Village Group, Nyaungshwe Township,
Southern Shan State, Myanmar.
Tel: +95-081-209366, +95-081-209554
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
Mobile: +95-09-2035632, +95-09-5021843