Wine in Myanmar is developing

Jan 09, 2014 No Comments by

Wine in Myanmar is developing

In Myanmar, the area of Red Mountain in Shan State, has become an attraction for foreign intrigued to find this drink in the area. “Everyone is surprised to see a vineyard here in the middle of Burma, with modern equipment,” says François Raynal, winemaker who has been working in the field for ten years. Today, Red Mountain produces nearly 120,000 bottles per year, sold about 10,000 kyat piece (8.5 euros). Now the vineyards of Red Mountain have become a real tourist attraction.

It is a German that introduced the first Burmese vineyard Aythaya (Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc). Arrived in Burma in 1989 to export rice, according to AFP, Bert Morsbach turned to the vineyards after the confiscation of his case by a minister. In 1998, he planted 4,000 vines imported from France in Karenni Stat , but the government prevented him from caring for his farm because of a conflict between the army and rebel Karenni . “This was my first experience of wine (…) . I liked it so much that I tried again” in Shan State, he says. Hans Leiendecker , director of field operations Aythaya , hopes to sell 200,000 bottles in 2013.

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A product of the Region

But the challenge of the Burmese viticulture is also geographical. Despite a very fertile land, the tropical climate and relatively short days during the period of budding, in June-July, limit the number of varieties cultivated. Not to mention mushrooms, which “often grow better grapes,” says Leiendecker. On the misty hills of Shan State, the vineyard enjoys mild revenge with an altitude of 1100 meters temperatures. “It’s cold, giving the flavors which wine needs, especially for white,” insists the German.

The winemakers of Burma should “experiment” to hope to develop in the footsteps of China, Thailand and India, who also tried it, says Denis Gastin, Asian wine specialist. According to him, the success of pioneers has encouraged the emergence of smaller farms. The development of local wine is also interesting for restaurants in the region. “We are pleased to offer a product of our land, and a quality product. This is a fantastic wine,” says Yin Myo Su, who heads the Inle Princess.

In fact, a question remains: the Burmese wine is it good? Denis Gastin was “very impressed” by the Red Mountain range, especially the Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.


The development of tourism will have an impact

In Shan State, foreign visitors are so intrigued anyway, that they make a detour to the Red Mountain area.

Moreover, opening reforms of the government since 2011 helped to raise the profile of Myanmar tourism. Foreign tourists are back, exploding literally the capacity of the hotel sector.

We can thus think that the development of tourism in Burma will surely enable the development of Burmese wine market, more and more people discovering this product.

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