Ninety degree heat. Ninety percent humidity. Incredibly high precipitation. Flat, low altitude topology. Sounds like exactly the wrong place to grow grapes, right? Well apparently no one told the Thais that. And when we were talking about new wine regions to watch here last week, we certainly forgot to include Thailand.
Growing wine grapes in Thailand has to be done a bit differently than pretty much everywhere else, as you might expect, starting with the staggering fact that they actually get two crops of grapes per year without even trying(!). This incredible growth needs to be carefully checked through judicious pruning and dropping of fruit in order to get grapes that are ripe and well suited for winemaking. Of course, local varietals, Podkum and Malaga blanc, that can flourish in the heat and the particularly rich, loamy soil also have to be used.
Thailand has been growing wine grapes for some time, at least since 1994 (as a small entry in my '94 edition of the Oxford Companion to Wine indicates), but apparently in the last 6 years interest and production has boomed to the point that we're even starting to see some Thai wine in the United States. The Thais also seem to be focused particularly on making wine that goes well with their spicy food, which is great, and makes me want to try some.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Warm Up: The North Fork of Long Island I'll Drink to That: Kareem Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards 2015 Family Winemakers Tasting: August 16, San Francisco I'll Drink to That: Ryan Looper of T. Edward Wines Lost Treasures in the Sierra Foothills: The Wines of Renaissance Vineyards Warm Up: The Wachau I'll Drink to That: Leo Alzinger of Weingut Alzinger Petaluma Gap Wine Tasting: August 8th, Petaluma, CA I'll Drink to That: Monica Samuels of Vine Connections Vinography Images: Cool Climate Chardonnay
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune