after three days in Hua Hin, Ian and me retirement of relaxation was nearly completed. We had ticked almost every box: Sun, sand, sea and sleep. He was only an agent of unwinding last to attend to the: wine.
our explorations of unknown wine of the Thailand country had been a wild success. Two days in the area of Khao Yai had revealed three wonderful vineyards – the boutique female-bar GranMonte wines, local club PB Valley and Alcidini family, bio. Now, in a totally different part of the country, we had one more white chenin cheers in Hua Hin Hills, the vineyards the further South in Thailand.
about 45 kilometers in the hinterland of coastal Hua Hin, the picturesque vineyard is located in the middle of the jungle hills dotted with temples. We arrived just in time for the second of two free tours offered daily at 13:00 and 16:00. The visit was short and sweet and carried in the back of a red, brand, jeep outdoor. If it had not been our fourth producer in a week, I could be a bit disappointed us does not stop once for photos, but as it was I would have had my annual filling to photograph vineyards.
other activities are offered to allow you to discover the vineyards a little further. Mountain bikes can be rented for 100B for thirty minutes, or 150b for one hour, and in retrospect would have been a nice way to explore – but we were too hungry before tasting and post too drunk. For creative professionals in the heart bottle painting is offered for 300 b / set. Elephant riding is also available, but also romantic as it may seem to cross a vineyard at the top of the national animal of Thailand, I personally recommend that you don’t have for reasons detailed here.
one important detail to keep in mind is that Hua Hin Hills consists only of a vineyard, not a producer. The production facility, Siam Winery, is located in Samut Sakhon, about two and a quarter hours back to Bangkok. One day, I can’t wait to visit the winery and in taking one of their tours as well!
Togther, Hua Hin Hills and Siam Winery produce Monsoon Valley Wines, one of the most common spotted bottles on the shelves in Thailand. The company also produces the cellars of Spy, the best-selling ‘wine-based drink’ in the country, a financial springboard allowing them to produce their prestige wines. Family behind the brand is unsuccessfully by a stranger to based drinks: the cellar was founded by the late Chaleow Yoovidhya, co-founder of and recipe-Creator for Red Bull
in 1986, son of Chalerm Yoovidhya founded the company Siam Winery, market of wine which today represents more than 30% of the Thailand and recently surpassed PB Valley as the most prolific producer in the country. Starting in 2014, the company produced 260 000 bottles per year, with more than half being exported to Europe, to the United States and beyond.
and then after much anticipation, we were on our way to taste some in the Sala.
inside the room, which serves breakfast and a menu during the day, our eyes widened to offerings for the wine tastings and delicacies. Affordable obscene Khao Yai region has spoiled us, and these prices seemed shocking in comparison. But we quickly decided to throw fiscal caution to the wind, to accept that this was going to be away from our most expensive cellar visit and just enjoy.
in the end, we spent 2, 500 b (about $70US!) at the restaurant and another 1, 750 b ($50US) on the wine at home. Considering tasting varied between 100-200B per person on the previous sites, we had visited, it was a good thing that we had decided to laugh about the Bill.
we settled into a table of extra-vineryard and I chose the tasting of sweet wines for 240 b, which included glasses of the late harvest Chenin Blanc and Muscat. Ian went with the Valley of monsoon Grand Tasting for 1, 050 b, which included a Colombard, a white wine, a Chenin Blanc, a Shiraz and a large red cuvée. We passed on the pairings tapas thai and ordered to place a Board of cheeses, which was perfection. In contrast to the wineries we had visited Khao Yai, who were European influenced in a variety of their menus to their architecture, this one was all Thais.
there is no doubt it – these are grapes Thai Thai wines to complete Thai food. Labels are wearing the mythical naga , a Thai guardian figure, and the bottles are stamped with the Thai Buddhist year – currently, it’s 2560 – rather than the Gregorian calendar used in which we has sounded just in 2017. Funny enough, there’s a whim in exercise otherwise detailed in the Thai nationalism: a German winemaker, Kathrin Puff, that makes the magic comes to the Valley of the monsoon.
after our last toast, I was ready for a little recreation in the vineyards.
one afternoon perfect – although he had not begun quite as expected. We took the shuttle free of our resort in Hua Hin for the official vineyard shuttle of the Hua Hin Hills Bistro & cellar in downtown. (If you can not do it all the way to the vine, it’s a little upscale place to taste and buy wines of Hua Hin Hills right in town!)
the shuttle leaves twice a day for 300B per person, first at 10:30 and return to 14:00 and then at 15:00 and return at 18:00. However, we have made the critical mistake of not booking and arrived to find that the shuttle had completed and left before our arrival. It is worth noting that I had browsed the site and seen nothing on reservations… but still, I should have known better.
Fortunately, a former employee-turned-taxi driver was strolling around the bar and heard our tale of woe and offered us take for 1, 000 b (about $35) return. Given that we were going to spend 600 g on the shuttle, it was not a bad deal for forty-five minutes each way in a private SUV – and he even called the cellar for us to let them know we were coming back and organize the tour! Lesson learned. If you plan to take the vine Shuttle, call ahead to book.
If Yes, our trip to Hua Hin Hills was a bit more expensive and chaotic that our previous trips cellar of Thailand. But it was a very unique experience and perhaps the most picturesque – and when he came to the Sala, impressive architecture – of all, and so we enjoyed every last drop.
cheers, Thailand, for another delicious tasting!