Our Vineyards

Terroir-Biodiversity

The grapes for Monsoon Valley Wines are grown in 3 locations: Monsoon Valley Vineyard at Hua Hin, Tab Kwang Vineyard and Chiang Mai Vineyard. Hua Hin Hills, the largest of the three, spans over 700 Rai (about 110 Hectare) of uncultivated land which will never be used for farming purposes and serve as a retreat for the local wildlife. Only rain water is what is used to keep the grapevines growing. During the rain-season, water gets collected in several ponds to irrigate the plants during the dry-season.

The ponds are also home to various fish and lobsters. As in all of Thailand, the nature around the vineyards is very lively. Animals who call the vineyards and its surroundings home are rabbits, different kinds of snakes, monkeys, various lizards and wild chickens. Apart from growing grapes, all 3 vineyards have other farming projects going on. Chiang Mai Vineyard also conducts some rice fields; Tab Kwang Vineyard has several kinds of poultry such as chicken, peacocks, bantams and turkeys.

Monsoon Valley Vineyard has two vegetable gardens to provide ingredients to the local restaurant, The Sala, as well as several wild boars who feed on the leftovers of the restaurant. Furthermore many local and foreign trees and plants can be spotted in Monsoon Valley Vineyard, including banana, mango, papaya, olives, coffee, raspberries, baobab, roses, mulberry and various Thai and Italian herbs. Monsoon Valley Vineyard also participates in a project to preserve Hornbills. As part of this project, old wooden wine-barrels get modified and hung up high into trees to provide nesting sites for the birds. These barrels can not only be found in Monsoon Valley Vineyard but in several locations throughout Thailand.

Sustainability

Within all vineyards itself, a certain biodiversity which is made up by insects is natural. Some of the insects can be harmful to the plants, the vermins. Other so called predators feed on the insects which have harmful effects to the grapes. Common pest control systems use chemicals which kill both vermins and predators – and sometimes also can be harmful to the environment. The Monsoon Valley Vineyards use Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus (NPV), a selective virus which is only harmful to certain insects. This way the vermins can be controlled while the predators and the environment don’t get affected.

The foundation for agriculture is the of course, the soil – not just mud and stones but a continuously active eco-system that provides the 'food' and water for our plants. To reduce the need of artificial fertilizers, we return the grape-skins and seeds back to the vineyards after they have been pressed in our winery. After pruning, all pruned branches, shoots and leaves get shredded and also returned to the soil. This returns most of the nutrients which have been taken out of the soil by the plant back into the soil, so the nutrients stay in an almost closed circulation.

In addition, all our vineyards are covered by a grass-layer which gets cut frequently. This produces a constant supply of fast rotting compost which keeps the worms and microorganisms in the soil active and the soil alive.

A project for turning the trunks of old grapevines into Biochar has also been started. Biochar improves the nutrient- and water-storage capacity of a soil and activates microorganisms. In a long term this is a first step towards a complete production of 100% organic fertilizers.

Our Varietals

Also known as Syrah, is a French variety which has its origin in the Rhone-Valley in France. The myth that the variety originated from Persia (Todays Fars Province in Iran whose capital is called Shiraz) could be proven wrong.

Shiraz grapes have small, dark-blue berries with a currant-flavor. The plants love sunny and dry climate which makes them suitable to produce high-quality fruit during Thailand's dry-season. Depending on the region and the soil where the grapes are produced, Shiraz wines can develop a wide variety of flavors – this made the variety so popular that it has been elevated a group of ‘noble-vines’. Shiraz is mainly grown in France and Australia but also in California, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Italy – and it’s becoming more and more popular in tropical regions.

Colombard originates from the south-west of France and is one of the three varieties used to produce Armagnac.

Colombard wines are typically rich in flavors of tropical fruits such as mango, passionfruit and pineapple – makeing this variety a popular grape in Cuvees to add fruity notes. In Thailand however Colombard wines fit perfectly into the wide range of local fruits. Colombard grapes maintain a good acid-level during ripening, even in hot climates which keeps the wines lively and refreshing. Today Colombard gets grown in large amounts in France, California and South Africa but also in Spain, Australia and Israel, where smaller areas of Colombard can be found.

The origin of this variety is still a mystery but is most likely around 300 A.D. (850 B.E.) in the Loire Valley in France. Though it got its todays name Chenin Blanc more than 1,000 years later after being grown successfully near Mont Chenin.

Chenin Blanc can be considered the all-rounder under the grape-varieties. It is rich in sugars and acids and gets used for dry, as well as sweet and desert wines, usually for still wines and for different styles of sparklings. Depending on the region, soil, and wine-style, the wines can have a wide spectrum of flavors reaching from nuts and almonds to peaches, apricots and apples. These characteristics make it a very popular variety around the world. Today Chenin Blanc gets also grown in France, USA, South Africa, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay and Israel.

A very young variety which was bred in 1955 (2498 B.E.) by August Herold at the Grape-Breeding Institute in Weinsberg, Germany.

The popularity of Dornfelder rose quickly in Germany where it is today the second-most planted red grape variety. Depending on the style of the winemaking, the wines can be either fresh and fruity or structured with high tannins. Because of its young age, the variety did not gain much popularity outside of Germany yet but this might change as growers in the USA, Canada, Brazil and Japan have already discovered its potential.

Being one of the most popular varieties in Italy, two regions, the Toscana and the Emilia-Romagna, claim to be its origin.

Sangiovese is most famous for being the main variety in Chianti though it offers a wide range of flavors depending on the length of the wine-aging. While younger wines have mainly fruity and floral flavors, longer aged wines tend more to dark and earthy flavors. Italy still is the country with the most area of Sangiovese vines, with this variety being grown in most regions there. But the variety has also moved to France, Greece, Israel, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile.

Production Cycle

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January

Jan

Production

Fruit Development

Enlargement of cluster & berries, tipping of the green shoots to archive uniform growth, remove weak growing shoots.

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February

Feb

Veraison

Onset Of Rippenning

Represents the transition from berry growth to berry rippening, where color changes and skin softening; green harvest to reduce yield

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March

Mar

Maturation

Rippening & Harvesting

Sugar content increases, acidity balances, flavor & aroma development, then selective picking.

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April

Apr

Vegetative

Short Prunning

Pruning 1 bud per spur

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May

May

Vegetative

Bud Break

Sprouting of new shoots, shoot selection & distribution along cordon arm.

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June

Jun

Vegetative

Canopy Management

Arrange shoots to exposure the light perfectly by using double wired trellis, carry out to minimize infestation & grant healthy development.

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July

Jul

Vegetative

Canopy Management

Canopy management continues throughout July

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August

Aug

Vegetative

Tipping

Control vegetative growth by frequent tipping which positively influrences the microclimate, good ventilation to avoid leave compaction.

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September

Sep

Vegetative

Tipping

Controled growth by tipping continues throughout September.

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October

Oct

Production

Long Pruning

Pruning 3-4 bud pre spur.

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November

Nov

Production

Budbreak / Leave development

New shoot with grapes sprouting, shoot selective to avoid compact canopy.

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December

Dec

Production

Flowering

Blooming and Pollination, Defoliation along the grape zone "get more light into the vine"

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Varietal plot map

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