I recently went on a trip to Khao Yai with TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) and one of our stop there was at GranMonte Vineyard and Winery.
Truth is, I haven’t been drinking much wine since I moved to Thailand as it’s incredibly expensive here (especially when you compare it to France).
But of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t miss wine.
So the least I can say is I was really excited to take a tour of GranMonte vineyard, to learn how they make wine in Thailand, and to finally get the chance to try some (good) Thai wine.
So here we are, for a tour and tasting at GranMonte Vineyard and Winery in Khao Yai.
Before we get into the property tour, and the wine itself, let me give you a bit of history about them.
GranMonte actually means Khao Yai (or big montain) in Italian.
It is a family-owned winery started in the late 90s by a Thai couple passionate about wines.
Two decades later, the couple is still running the show, their 2 daughters have joined the business (one as head of marketing and the other as a winemaker) and they became one of the best Thai vineyards, winning multiple national and international awards in the last few years.
When we went there we had the chance to meet all the members of the family, and you can feel their passion is 100% what drives the business and they’re on a mission to spread the word about GranMonte and to help Thai wines get more recognition.
The property itself is quite small compared to other wineries you can visit in Thailand.
It is about 100 rai (approximately 40 acres), but nonetheless, they manage to squeeze about 90 000 bottles of wine each year from it.
And that’s the only thing that matter.
The property also include:
- A small coffee shop / local shop, that sell coffee of course, but also other local products, some they make on the property like grape juice, grape jam, and others from the region.
- The winery, where the magic happens.
- A restaurant, called VinCotto.
- A small bed and breakfast
More on the 2 last ones below.
The property offer a tour multiple times a day, all year long, that is about 30 minutes.
The really cool thing about the tour is you have the chance to learn more about the history not only of their vineyard but about winemaking in Thailand.
Because making wine in Thailand, with hot and humid weather isn’t an easy feat. And it’s even different in Khao Yai as in the rest of Thailand, because the province, and especially where the vineyard is located have its own micro-climate.
The other thing I really liked about the tour, is to hear how much work, thoughts and science they put into growing wine in Thailand.
They’re constantly testing new types of vines to see which one adapt the best to the local climate and soil.
Really interesting to see how much trial and time went to make the wine we drink today, and how much they invest in not only the future of the vineyard but also to help the Thai wine industry grow.
They’re also working with a local university to see how science can help them grow better grapes and make better wine. A really interesting story.
So the tour goes through the vineyard, and at the end of it you got to visit the winery to see how they make the wine. What process they use to turn the grapes into wine, but also what they use to age it.
Nothing really surprising or cutting edge there but if you’ve never seen it before it’s actually pretty cool.
Now on to my favorite part of any vineyard tour, the tasting.
The tasting is done by the same guide as you have for the tour (in both English or Thai depending on your group).
They give you a cheat sheet with tasting notes, then pour each wine one after the other and take the time to explain the story and composition of each bottle, and to answer your questions.
A great wine tasting that will suit both wine connoisseurs and those who are just getting started.
For us, the tasting consisted of 4 wines : 1 wine, 1 rose and 2 reds.
- Gradient Verdhelo (White)
- Sakuna Rosé(Rosé)
- Heritage Syrah Viognier (Red)
- Gradient Syrah (Red)
A great combination to understand what kind of wine they’re making there and to get an idea of what you like the most.
Finally, let’s talk about the wine.
So what does GranMonte wine taste like?
Well, you can feel that the vineyard is young. Maybe it’s me coming from France, used to taste more flavorful, rich wines, but it wasn’t as punchy or long in the mouth as I like it.
That being said, they’re fresh, well balanced, offer great aromas, and are easy to drink. Probably not for the wine snobs out there but most of their bottles will please any wine lover.
Most of the bottles at the property are around 800 to 1,200฿ which is, for Thailand, a good value for money.
Whether you like white, rose, or red wine, GranMonte’s got something for you, and their wines are great to pair with a nice meal, especially with Thai food.
At this price, they are really interesting wines to try. And I’m sure if you buy it by the cases, you can probably manage to get a discount on the price.
To finish, we also talked about their best seller, the GrandMonte Asoke.
A red wine that offers a lot of flavors, not too heavy but definitely stronger on the palate than their other wines. Too bad it’s a bit expensive though, sold at around 2,200฿ at the property. It would be a really good wine for half the price.
But if you put the price aside, I understand why it won many awards and why it was sold out when we went there.
Anyway, if you haven’t tried GranMonte wines, you definitely should give them a try.
And if you have the opportunity to go to Khao Yai to do the tasting at the property, even better.
In the property, next to the vineyard is a restaurant called VinCotto, that propose both European and Thai cuisine.
We had the chance to have lunch there after the tasting and I can only recommend it.
Not only the food there is delicious, made with some really good ingredients, but the price is also quite affordable.
I went for the braised veal shank in red wine (520฿++) and it was absolutely beautiful, with fresh legumes that melt in your mouth.
If you go for a tour and the tasting there, make sure you book a table at the restaurant afterward, and if possible outside to enjoy the beautiful nature surrounding the vineyard.
Definitely a must if you want the full GranMonte experience.
Stay at the Vineyard
Talking about experience, here’s how you can push it even further.
Yes, you can stay for a night (or more) at GranMonte Vineyard.
They have a 7 bedroom bed and breakfast called GranMonte wine cottage.
And what’s best to start the day than to wake up to an incredible view of the vineyard and the peaceful valley.
I haven’t tried it so I can’t tell you how good it is exactly but the location is great, the rooms look good, and the wine and food there is amazing so that’s definitely something I’ll add to #mythailandbucketlist for later.
Right now (late 2020), they offer up to 40% on the price of the rooms. So now is the best time to try it.
That’s it for my tour of GranMonte Vineyard and Winery and my first time trying their wine.
In short, I 100% recommend you to go have a look, at least for the tour and the tasting, and if you can, to eat and stay there.
That’s an experience you will love for sure.
And for more information about the Vineyard, the Wine or the Restaurant, have a look at GranMonte website.
As usual, thanks for reading and if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments.
And if you’ve been there and tried their wine, let me know what think. 😉