I am going to write some of my short weekend getaways in Aye Tharyar vineyard. I now live in Taunggyi, the fifth capital of Burma and the wine yard is just around 20 minutes from my place.
The vine yard is not only to sip and enjoy the best quality wine, but also to see the panorama view and have a delicious meals. There are ranges of mountains surrounding the vineyard.
They also have a nice lodge where you can stay overnight.
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Now, let me tell you a brief history of it. The person who owns the business is A German guy called Bert Morsbach . As he and his friends share love for Myanmar and for wine, they decided to do the first wine production in Burma.
At first, he chose Kayar state, Loikaw with little success. Then he moved to Shan state in 1999. . The reason for choosing Aye Tharyar as a vine yard is it has excellent soil and weather condition . The winery is at the altitude of 1,200 m which is required to produce excellent white wine. It is also situated near a famous tourist attraction called Inn Lay Lake
Mr Morsbach has put tremendous effort in improving the quality of wine until it got international recognition in 2004. His goal is to produce top quality wines from carefully selected European grape varieties.
Most varieties of grapes are imported from Europe, France, Germany and Spain. Out of 50 varieties, only less than 10 can survive in tropical climate
Usually, the vine yard use a variety of grapes such as Shiraz grape ( imported from Italy ). Myanmar sparking rose, Sauvignon Blanc ( Bordeaux) , Chenin ( Loire), red Dornfelder ( Germany ), red Tempranillo ( Spain ).
Ayethaya Wines are grown at an altitude of 1,200 meters on the slopes of Taunggyi Mountains, near the village of Ayethaya, Geologically, these slopes are the Sounthern extension of the Himalayan Mountains.
The dominating soil is based on limestone which is ideal for the cultivation of wine. The famous Inle Lake, an attractive tourist destination , is very close ( 25 km )
Not only the owner, the wine makers are the best experts from Europe. They work closely together with the company . The chief wine maker is Mr Hans Leiendecker. He has been living in Myanmar for many years and married to a Burmese lady . Both of them are very nice people.
To make the wine available to distribute all year round, the company has imported wine from South Africa. As South Africa has 6,000 different types of wines which are produced by 560 wineries, the imported wine called “ Monte Vino “ is much cheaper than locally made wines. They import semi fermented grape juice and finishes the maturing process by bottling MONTE VINO in Myanmar. The result is an outstanding quality wine at an amazingly low price.
There are around 100 workers. They used to export to China but stopped because there is not enough for local market.
By the way, I saw a lot of workers are happy there. I even witnessed they were doing the meeting and some good workers were given bonuses for their hard work. I am glad that Burmese people are learning how to make wine from the company . As it’s not easy to get a job easily in Aye Tharyar, the vine yard is giving jobs to Burmese people.
here are the price of wine bottles
Red wine one bottle : 12,000 kyats or 12 USD
White wine one bottle ( normal ) 10500 kyats or 11 us D
White wine one bottle ( late harvest ): 20,000 kyats , 20 us D ( for take away price), for sit and drink 23,000 kyats or 23 us D
Red wine use all the components of grapes such as skin, seeds and fresh while white wine use only fresh and juice.
The staff called Peter explained to me that the vine yard try to use lease chemical ( 85% of fertilizers are organic ) using cow dung, branches , leaves of grapes trees, mixed with rice powder.
The harvest time is in February or March.
Before harvesting, the vine yard staff prick six grapes from different plants in a row and put the mixture or the juice on the slide to measure sugar break. Sometimes, if sugar break is not as high as expected level, the grapes are not harvested. That means the time of production will be delayed. Red white needs two times fermentation and white wine needs only one time. Red wine needs to be stored in oak barrels for a while to alter the taste and smell of wines. The oak is ordered from Europe. The whole process of crushing, pressing, fermentation, storage, re fermentation , storage, bottling, labeling takes 9 to 12 months.
I am impressed with the way Peter explained me about making wine, he described each and every step in details. It is impressive to know young people have passion for their job.
The reason I like the restaurant is they have cocktails, ( not all bars have cocktails) and I can walk along the vine yard facing the mountains. I also think they decorate the place well. You can look a few photos of the restaurant.
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If you arrive Taunggyi, you should not miss going to Aye Tharyar Vine yard.