The Grape Escape
The only thing better than fresh grapes on a hot day, is fermented grapes, in a bottle, any day of the year. Luckily for all of us, somewhere between a trip to the closest 7-11 and a trip to Bordeaux, lies the perfect combination of convenience and tear-jerking taste (come on, we’re Indian, the only thing that makes us cry more than Baghban (2003) is good food and drink). Over the last decade, Thailand’s vineyards have been raking in international awards and upping their range of offerings into something truly spectacular. So, keep reading to find out how to convert your weekend from a boring Bangkok failure into local Bacchanalia.
By Shruti Kothari
Monsoon Valley, Hua Hin
Although Hua Hin is best known for its beaches, it is also home to vast greenery and fertile ground, perfect for a vineyard. Monsoon Valley is nestled in lush hills, and with a 20 years of winemaking, they have a well-documented history of tropical viticulture. Aside from a tour and tasting of their award-winning selections, this spot also offers bottle-painting (THB 800, including wine), so you can create your own wine label to take home and cherish. Moreover, you can indulge in activities like mountain biking, and a thrilling all-day wine safari (THB 7,000), replete with food and tipples, for a relaxed exploration of the surrounding nature.
Silverlake Vineyard, Pattaya
Next time you’re planning to party with your pals, forget Pattaya’s lurid walking street, and opt to visit the pocket-friendly Silverlake Vineyard to at least add the illusion of sophistication to your soiree. As this property belongs to famous Thai actor Supansa Nuangphirom, it has been featured in many movies and TV shows, so you can be sure it is photogenic. Alongside the expected tour and tasting (THB 250), this vineyard also has ATV and elephant riding, making it perfect for the more adventurous wine afficionados out there. Moreover, their onsite Bed and Breakfast is inspired by Thai cinema, making it an attraction in its own right.
GranMonte, Khao Yai
Originally meant to be a retirement passion project, GranMonte’s success quickly transformed it into an impressive and deeply popular brand synonymous with quality. A labour of love fortified with profound scientific research, each New Latitude wine is thoughtful, awardwinning, and deeply delicious. We highly recommend going for a tour and tasting (THB 450), followed by a meal at their onsite restaurant Vincotto. While they offer both Thai and Italian fare, the latter features a stunning array of local cheeses, including burrata and parmesan, which taste fresh from Europe. Definitely don’t miss the shop, which boasts homemade jams, pestos, and other delectable treats. If you’re feeling inspired, stay a night or two at their whimsical, Tuscan-themed estate to truly soak in Khao Yai’s clean air in style.
Insider tip: To experience this vineyard at a different level, schedule a visit during their Sparkling Harvest Festival!
Issara Winery, Khao Yai
A family-run affair, the Issara Winery produces delightful wines and varietals. The most exciting aspect of visiting their vineyard is that aside from informative tours and tastings, you also have the opportunity to attend a workshop, during which you can create and take home a custom bottle with your name on it. Their property is also popular for hosting weddings, so if you’re looking to tie the knot, they are well-prepared to take care of your special day! If, during a visit, you decide you’re in love with the grounds, you’re in luck: they also offer residential options adjacent to the vineyard for endless nights of wining and dining.
Disclaimer: all images belong to their respective owners.