Vineyards are scattered around Thailand, with the biggest concentration in the Khao Yai’s Asoke Valley, easily a day trip from Bangkok. Whether you daydream of beautiful vines in neat rows, or have a special relationship with reds and whites, you will want to stop for a glass of vino (and a hundred photos) as you make your way around the Kingdom.
GranMonte, Nakhon Ratchasima
A 2.5-hour drive from Bangkok takes you to the home of the most decorated wines of Thailand— a must-visit for any oenophile (wine lover). The vineyard grows 15 hectares of table grapes and wine grapes 350 metres above sea level, on the foothills of Khao Yai National Park. The family-run estate also includes VinCotto Restaurant, famous for its set menus; Montino cellar door, which carries fruit jams, sauces and crafts, aside from its syrah (shiraz) and chenin blanc wines.
Tours run thrice daily, more frequently during the high season from November to February, at the cost of THB 300 for adults over 20 (with wine tasting), THB 220 for under-20s (with grape juice).
PB Valley Winery, Nakhon Ratchasima
Established in 1989, PB Valley is where the Khao Yai Wine Region was born. It is also the largest vineyard in the region, with 80 hectares devoted to growing grapes such as syrah, tempranillo, chenin blanc and colombard.
Aside from its wines, PB Valley is also known for its excellent grape juice. Sample wine pairings at the attached Great Hornbill Grill, which has a wide selection of dishes. The vineyard and winery tour includes stops at the fruit orchard. Tour takes place five times daily, for a fee of THB 300 for adults and THB 250 for children 4 to 12.
Village Farm Winery, Nakhon Ratchasima
A boutique winery producing under the Chateau des Brumes label, Village Farm promises a charming experience 500 metres above sea level. Perhaps you would like to stay overnight in a Swiss chalet and log cottages? You could do that right here.
Wine classes can be arranged, in addition to the customary winery tour (rate depends on group size). The gift shop’s preservative-free and chemical-free offerings are also worth a look. The highlight of the year has to be the night harvest festival—the only one of its kind in the Khao Yai—when there’s food, wine, music, and a guided walk around the vineyard for the night harvest.
Chateau de Loei, Loei
Chateau de Loei (aka Wanothayan Grape Farm) is one of the pioneers in Thai wines, rolling out Thailand’s first commercially produced wine in 1995. The low humidity and hilly terrain is similar to climate in the South of France.
On your way to Phu Ruea National Park, stop by the Chateau de Loei, if not for the wine, for their ice cream and macadamia nuts under the rooster-branded house label.
Silverlake Winery Pattaya, Chonburi
Who would have thought you’d find a picturesque Tuscan-style winery in tourist magnet Pattaya, and so conveniently located next to the gigantic Khao Chee Chan Buddha image and the Ramayana Water Park at that?
Take the tram on Silverlake’s daily tours (THB 100 vineyard only, THB 250 vineyard & winery), which will give you plenty of photo ops in the gardens.
The restaurant, which serves Thai and Italian food, is also a pizzeria with its own wood-fired oven. All manner of grape products line the shelves of the well-stocked shop. If you’re lucky, you might catch a concert or live performance. For a retro experience, stay overnight at the attached Movie House Bed and Breakfast, a funky homage to Thai cinema.
Hua Hin Hills Vineyard, Phrachuan Khiri Khan
Located at a former elephant corral outside the seaside resort town of Hua Hin, the vineyard is renowned for Sala restaurant, famous for its exceptional views and good food to go with its syrah and colombard. Tour the vineyard on a vintage jeep or explore on a mountain bike.
Tastings with tapas are at THB 1400, with the three-course pairings with the jeep tour at THB 2100, but there pocket-friendly tastings as well for those who can do without mains. Shuttles are available from downtown Hua Hin twice a day, but it’s recommended to hire your own transport so that you can enjoy at your own pace.
Floating Vineyards, Samut Sakhon
Samut Sakhon province is known for its tropical fruits, and here in the Chao Phraya Delta, malaga blanc and local pok dum grapes are grown in a unique way. “Floating vineyards” is a misnomer, since the vineyards themselves don’t float. Instead, the vines grow on strips of land surrounded by canals where tiny boats pass through, shaded by tendrils crisscrossing in the canopy overhead.
Tour operators can arrange trips to the Floating Vineyards.
BONUS: Siam Winery, Samut Sakhon
The largest winery in Southeast Asia is where the grapes of Hua Hin Hills and the Floating Vineyards go after they are picked. With the Monsoon Valley label as its signature brand, the winery also produces Spy Wine Coolers, and the World of Wines selection, with grapes sourced internationally. Tours of the winery include a video presentation, guided tour of the facility and tasting twice daily except Sundays and national holidays for THB 500 (adults)/THB 200 (under-20s). Special rates are available for groups.
GETTING THERE Most vineyards are accessible as day trips from Bangkok, except for Chateau de Loei, which can be visited from Loei, a domestic flight away from Bangkok. For flight info and fares, visit airasia.com.