Picture by Kirk Siang
Vineyvard of Red Mountain Estate
You would assume that grape vines can't grow in tropical Myanmar and that the production of wine is simply reserved for places such as Europe, South Africa, South America or Australia. However, Shan State is perfect for it. You will discover, that your assumption proves wrong, when you go wine tasting to the vineyards near Inlé Lake:
Red Mountain Estate: Located on the side of Inlé Lake, in the southern Shan State, the Red Mountain Estate, owned by a Myanmar businessman, produces produces wines with locally grown grapes. All of the 400,000 plants in Taung Che have been imported from France and Spain. The grapes grow through a combination of different factors: the cool climate, the soils and the long experience of French winemaker Francois Raynal. The Inlé Lake is located in the mountains, at an altitude of 1,000 meters above sea level. The dry season from October to March brings cold temperatures during the night and very sunny days. During the wet season: from April to September there are high temperatures and rain. The grapes are harvested in February and March. The wines reach from Sauvignon Blanc to Rosé D'Inlé and Inlé Valley Red. Red Mountain restaurant. Good reviews on tripadvisor.com and on living if.
Myanmar Vineyard: The vines grow on the Western slopes of the City of Taunggyi. The vineyard was established in 1999 in the village of Aythaya, located at an altitude of nearly 1.300 m. All fields and soils in the region are of calcareous origin. Winegarden Restaurant. Myanmar’s wine pioneer was German Bert Morsbach, who founded Aythaya. He began working in Myanmar from 1989 exporting organic basmati rice, but turned to vines after the business was confiscated by a government minister. Aythaya has found that Shiraz grows here well. It is also testing German Dornfelder, Tempranillo and Chianti. Hans Leiendecker, a German, is director of operations here. Read: Lunch at Aythaya Wines, Taunggy, Myanmar
For visiting the Vineyards the easiest is to ask a taxi driver at Heho airport or in Nyaung Shwe at the Northern edge of the Lake. Red Mountain Estate is about a half an hour bike ride from the center of Nyaung Shwe.
Winemaking takes root in Myanmar. See video.
Myanmar Wines Push the Limit
More discoveries around Inle Lake:
Inle Lake - where people live on the water
Hotels and Resorts around Inle Lake and in Nyaung Shwe - and Reviews by Guests
Kalaw - the former British Colonial Town and the Colours of the Shan Hills
Pindaya Caves - a fascinating Pilgrimage Site
Kakku: Thousands of Stupas around a Pagoda - a Magical Place