by Jaclynn Seah and Stephanie Zheng
Wine lovers looking to indulge in a little getaway exploring vineyards and sipping fine wines will often look to traditional ‘Old World’ countries like France, Spain and Italy, with a long-established history of wine production. Others may also turn to well-known wine regions in the United States, Australia and New Zealand for a tipple. But did you know that tropical South East Asia has some secret spots that wine-lovers can check out? Here are some of our favourites:
Hua Hin, Thailand
Wine would probably be the last thing one would associate with quiet Hua Hin, an area known for its tranquillity and beautiful beaches, but in nearby Baan Khork Chang you can find the Monsoon Valley vineyard serving up what they term ‘New Latitude Wines’ grown in tropical climates. While you sip your wines on the terrace overlooking the vineyard, keep your eyes peeled for the occasional elephant wandering around – this valley used to be a former elephant corral, and they still have some elephants on site that you can feed.
Visitors typically come to Bali for a round of sun, sand and sea, but wine lovers who make the journey up in the hills of the Bali’s northern region can enjoy a tipple at Hatten Wines located between the villages of Seririt and Pemuteran. Extending over 45 hectares, most come here to tour this Proudly Balinese vineyard, but many more come to sample and purchase some award-winning wine, a product of over 20 years of extensive experimenting and hard work.
Look out for Hatten Wines when picking a bottle on your next dining adventure in Bali as they are stocked in many restaurants and shops around the island. Another local wine brand to check out is Sababay Winery.
Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
If Japan's excellence in agriculture is any indication, there are treasures to unearth in their wine scene. sake, biru and highballs, consider checking wine off the list in Japan, specifically from the many wineries around the base of Mount Fuji. One of the Japanese wine industry pioneers is Château Mercian, established in 1970 and awarded “Winery of the Year” at the 2016 Asian Wine Review.
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