As I mentioned in my earlier post, I was lucky enough to be invited up to the beautiful Aythaya vineyards in Taunggyi, in Shan state, at the end of March for their first (hopefully annual) wine festival.
The grounds of the vineyard were opened to the public from 10am-10pm with activities including grape crushing (something I have always wanted to do!) wine tastings, tours of the vineyard and winery and a party with a DJ flown up from Yangon especially.
The Aythaya vineyards were planted in 1999, with an initial 3,000 vines that had ben imported from Europe especially for the project, with a further 15,000 vines being imported soon after in order that the wine makers could do sufficient research into which grape varieties would be the most successful, and make the best wine.
Their first vintage was produced in 2004, and was successfully launched in Yangon over a series of events held at the British Embassy, the Strand Hotel, and Le Planteur. Aythaya has grown significantly since then, with their first exports coming in 2009, as well as achieving a good foothold in the local market and becoming the house wine everywhere from the prestigious Savoy Hotel, to the beachfront seafood restaurants in Ngapali.
Daily tours and tastings (of 4 wines) are available Monday – Sunday: 8:30 am – 9:30 p.m. Whilst you can just walk in, I would recommend contacting them to book in advance if you are able to do so. The tastings (whilst small pours) are remarkably good value at just 2,000 mmk per person (thats less than $1.50!) or 1,000 mmk (65 cents) if you eat in their sunset restaurant.
As is often the case in this part of the world, their whites and rose wines are more to my liking (their Sauvignon blanc is my favourite) but do give them a go and let me know what you think!
Aythaya Vineyard – Htone Bo
Aythaya – Taunggyi, Southern Shan States
Phone: (+95 – 81) 20 86 53, 20 85 48, +95 (0) 952 12 830