Schnapps made in Thailand – Licci by PB Valley Estate

February 9, 2013

Licci 1

My twin daughters 18th birthday in November last year, was accompanied by a dinner party. The Great Hornbill Bistro in Soi Sukhumvit 39 had kindly provided the venue, the food and the wine.

Together with about 20 of their friends, Lucy and Charlotte held a celebratory birthday dinner at the mezzanine floor of the bistro. I had selected the wines. My choice was the entry level wines of PB Valley Winery, one of my favourite Thai winery.

The ‘2010 Sawasdee Khao Yai Chenin Blanc’ and the ‘2010 Sawasdee Khao Yai Shiraz’, both very fruity and lively wines, seemed to be ideally suited for newcomers to the world of fine wine.

Licci 2

My daughters had asked me to serve them shots when the meal was over to conclude the event. It was also a signal that the night was still young and that they could troupe out to spend the rest of the evening at a place of their choice, probably near Khaosan road and surroundings.

Fortunately, PB Valley Estate produces a fine Schnapps (40% alcohol) distilled from fresh Lychee fruit grown in Northern Thailand. The kids, used to shots of vodka and other taste-neutral alcohols, could not believe it. The intense Lychee aromas just blew them away. They all liked it.

For me, it was also the first time that I had a go at this “Schnapps”. I just loved it. Licci, although not cheap (quality has its price), is a great product and ideally suited as a digestive after a beautiful Thai or Western meal.

PS: PB Valley Estate is currently celebrating their vintage festival. You should visit. Have a look and enjoy to explore Thai vineyards and wineries. The Khao Yai national park is just next door.

The Great Hornbill Bistro
59/3 Soi Sukhumvit 39, Sukhumvit Road,
Klongton Nua, Wattana,
Bangkok, Thailand 10110
Opening hours: Mo – So. 11-22 h
Tel.: +66-2 262 0030

The Great Hornbill Bistro is the cellar door of PB Valley Khao Yai Winery in Bangkok.

PB Valley Khao Yai Winery
102 Moo 5, Phaya Yen,
Pak Chong 30320, Thailand
Tel.: +66 (0) 2 262 0030

Vineyards of Thailand Part 3: PB Valley Khao Yai Winery

February 25, 2010

Wine tastings at PB Valley

PB Valley is the largest of the Khao Yai vineyards and wineries. It’s total production is about 600,000 bottles a year. It is also the oldest vineyard in the region. It was started in 1989 on a large plot of land. It took a couple of years to identify the most suitable grape varieties for the climate.

PB Valley wines have won a number of international wine awards (mostly at AWC in Vienna). Apart from vineyard and winery, it also has a restaurant, the Great Hornbill with about 200+ seats, and holiday accommodation. I like their reserve Shiraz and Tempranillo wines best.

Unfortunately, we had no time for a winery tour or any organised tasting. We just dashed to the cellar door and bought a couple of bottles. As in other wineries, the product range includes all kinds- of non-wine products from health care, cosmetics to nutrition.

The entrance to the sales room

The cellar door

Wide product range

If you visit Bangkok, rent a car with driver for the day and visit the wineries and vineyards of PB Valley and Gran Monte. This gives you a perfect start for the exploration of new latitude wines. The area is beautiful and the national park offers some unique experiences of Thailand.

If you have no time, visit their sales offices in Bangkok and stock up on their wines.

Vineyards of Thailand Part 1: Holiday Park

January 10, 2010

This blog entry if the first of three looking at various vineyards in Thailand. During the Christmas vacation, we went on a winery tour, visiting three Thai vineyards; Holiday Park, Gran Monte and PB Valley, except Holiday Park, all in the Khao Yai area.

Holiday Park, about two hours north of Bangkok, is a complex undertaking, more a holiday home cum entertainment facility than a vineyard cum winery. However, they do produce grapes, as it seems mostly table grapes for direct consumption. When we arrived in the place, vineyard workers were busy “cleaning” the grapes, which was thinning individual bunches of smaller berries so that the remaining ones could grow bigger. The table grapes we saw were very healthy.

Vineyard workers thinning bunches under the trellis system

Table grapes at Holiday Park

Small tractors were converted into small “locomotives” with wagons so that visitors can be driven around the property including a holiday housing park, a lake, an activity centre, the vineyards and a play ground.

The locomotive

The undertaking is obviously targeting domestic tourists and visitors. The staff at the tasting counter did not speak English. But nonetheless there were wines and juices to be tasted. It was my first ever experience with small plastic cups for a tasting.

Plastic cups for wine tasting at Holiday Park

I assume the wine made is just a by-product of the table grape business. The grapes which cannot be used as table grapes and/or are left over are made into wine. The price of the bottle was THB 250 (about 5 EURO or A$ 7.50). We did not buy any wine.

Holiday Park red

If you have small children, Holiday Park is still worth visiting. I suggest you go there early in the morning when it is not too hot. From there on you drive to Khai Yai to visit other wineries or the national park.

I could not find any address for Holiday Park on the internet in English. Sorry folks.

A new beginning – pasta alla Margit with new latitude wine from PB Valley, Khao Yai

January 3, 2010

Well, it was the first day of 2010 and we wondered what type of pasta we should have for tea (Australian for dinner). We intended to try a bottle of the Tempranillo we had bought a couple of days earlier at PB Valley Winery in the Khao Yai Region, Thailand.

The ‘2007 PB Valley Tempranillo’

What type of pasta would go with this wine, was the question. Margit searched the internet and found the website of Fiona Beckett called Matching Food and Wine. She could not find anything suitable for what we had in mind. The website is still under construction anyway and does not yet contain inputs on every topic. However there was a button saying, “if you want to know anything please contact me” and this is exactly what Margit did. Within an hour we had a reply from Fiona. How amazing.

Fiona suggested a pasta with the spicy Spanish ‘chorizo’ sausage, originating in Extremadura, which we accidentally had in our fridge. It was made by our local Thai German butcher (TGM standing for “Thai German Metzger”). We also had the needed red peppers, onions and tomatoes. The result was a wonderful pasta which went very well with the wine. God bless you Fiona. This was a great suggestion. It made for an awesome dinner. I highly recommend visiting Fiona’s site. There is so much to learn about food and wine pairing.

The chorizo pasta

The wine, a ‘2007 Pirom Tempranillo’ from PB Valley was just ideal with the food just as Fiona had predicted. The intensity of the red berry fruit is very nice, no oak which could “taint” the natural flavours (the wine is aged in stainless steel “). They go for low yields at PB Valley to produce this wine. Thai wine has come a long way but many of the new latitude wines are of a quality which can easily match wines from temperate regions. The awards and medals won at international wine shows are witness of this development.

What a beautiful colour the Tempranillo has

พีบี วัลเล่ย์ เขาใหญ่
102 หมู่ 5 ต.พญาเย็น อ.ปากช่อง
จ.นครราชสีมา 30320 ประเทศไทย
โทร: +66 (0) 3622 6415 – 16
แฟ็กซ์: +66 (0) 3622 6417

PB Valley Khao Yai Winery
102 Moo 5, Phaya Yen, Pak Chong,
Nakorn Ratchasima 30320, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 3622 6415 – 16
Fax: +66 (0) 3622 6417
E-mail :