Asian wines are making a mark globally and the number of Asian winemakers is rapidly growing. Have you ever wondered what Asian wineries are like, but don’t know where to begin?
Don’t worry, we know it can be a bit daunting with all the information that’s out there, that's why we’ve shortlisted some of the top Asian wineries to visit for you.
So read on and we'll take you across Asia in 10 wineries!
Wines are being made throughout Asia
1. Château Mercian, Japan
Located southwest of Tokyo in Katsunama in the Yamanashi region, Château Mercian was one of the pioneers of the Japanese wine industry when it was established in 1970.
Today the winery is recognised internationally for producing quality wines; it was awarded “Winery of the Year”at the 2016 Asian Wine Review and became the first Japanese winery to be featured on Wine Spectator.
In addition to its Yamanashi portfolio, Château Mercian collaborates with growers in the Kigyogahara, Hokushin, Omori and Nitsuru regions in order to bring the best of Japanese winemaking to the world.
Château Mercian Kikyogahara Signature Merlot 2011 is one of the four wines by the winery that received a Gold Medal at 2016 Asian Wine Review
2. Grace Wine, Japan
Like Château Mercian, Grace Wine is also located in the heart of Japan’s winemaking hub, Yamanashi. Established in 1923, Grace Wine adopted its name to pay tribute to The Three Graces. They believe good wines come from grapes that express the characteristics of their origin.
Several varieties of grape are carefully produced at Grace Wine, but they are most renown for producing good wines from their signature grape Koshu, Japan’s indigenous varietal.
Koshu is grown along the mountainous parts of the region and makes crisp and refreshing wines because of its strong natural acidity and low levels of sugar.
Grace Wine in Yamanashi, Japan (not to be mistaken with Grace Vineyard in Shanxi, China)
3. GranMonte, Thailand
GranMonte was founded in 1999 by Visooth and Sakuna Lohitnavy. The vineyard is located 350 metres above sea level in Asoke Valley, Khao Yai with a total area of around 40 acres, and it produces Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Semillon, Verdelho, Grenache and Durif.
Aside from having an ideal microclimate for growing high-quality grapes for winemaking in the wet tropical region, Asoke Valley is also known for its beautiful scenery and national parks, hence it being dubbed the “Napa Valley” of Thailand.
GranMonte in Asoke Valley, approximately 160 kilometres from Bangkok is conveniently located adjacent to Khao Yai National Park
4. Hatten Wines, Indonesia
Famous for its rosé wines, Hatten Wines has been making wines since 1994 and is owned by the Sanur family, who are local Balinese.
Hatten Wines aims to produce quality wines that are suitable for both the tropical climate and the spicy food of Indonesia. With the guidance of Australian winemaker James Kalleske, the company’s portfolio of wine has expanded over the years.
After more than 20 years of adjustments, experimentation, and reinventing itself, Hatten Wines has forged a solid winemaking company. Its international reputation was strengthened when it claimed the “2017 Winery of the Year” award in the Asian Wine Review.
Harvest at Hatten Wines
5. Aythaya Vineyard, Myanmar
Aythaya Vineyard was formed in 1999 and became Myanmar’s very first vineyard.
It’s situated in the village of Aythaya near Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State, which is approximately a 30-minute drive to the Northern shore of the famous Inle Lake.
Although nearly 100 classic varieties of grapevines were initially brought in from France, only six cultivars were deemed suitable for the calcareous soils of the Himalaya Mountain range.
Aythaya Vineyard’s signature wines include Aythaya Red, a blend of Shiraz, Dornfelder and Tempranillo; Aythaya Rosé, a fruity red Moscato, and Aythaya White, a Sauvignon Blanc dominant white blend.
Aythaya Vineyard: Myanmar 1st Vineyard Estate
6. Jade Vineyard, China
Fairly new to the wine game, Jade Vineyard is the newbie from the Jinshan wine region, Ningxia. The name Jade Vineyard recalls pieces of marvelous jade and is comprised of 210,000m2 of vines.
Despite being the new kid in town, Jade Vineyard picked up the “Best Red” award for their 2014 Aria Cabernet Sauvignon at the 2017 Asian Wine Review.
Their motto is to make the best Chinese wine while respecting nature and fully expressing the Chinese terroir.
7. Charosa Vineyards, India
Occupying 230 acres in the Nashki District of Maharashtra, Charosa Vineyards fuses science and art to make their wines.
They used open tank fermenters for the first time in India at Charosa Vineyards, and they continue to use technologies like inert gas pressing to ensure they can consistently produce quality wines.
The winery’s ultimate goal is to create an Indian wine brand that can compete internationally.
A picturesque location surrounded by hills, valleys and forests in the Dindori-Niphad-Satara area
8. Karam Wines, Lebanon
This winery is a family affair that was formed by two brothers who grew up amidst vines in the highlands of southern Lebanon and later decided to rekindle their childhood passions into reality.
Before winemaking the eldest of the brothers was a pilot and the youngest was a successful grape and fruit merchant.
Their limitless passion for vineyards initiated Karam Wines, where high quality and affordable artisanal wines are made by delicate balancing the use of ancestral skills and modern scientific methods.
Karam wines are created with the ultimate destination of their wines in mind - table of food
9. Hevron Heights, Israel
The hidden gem of Israel, Hevron Heights, led by Morocco-born Frenchman Michel Murciano, is quietly making some of the best kosher Israeli wines.
Although it was founded in 2000, Hevron Heights is lcoated in an ancient agricultural region between Jerusalem and Hebron.
Murciano believes that the vineyard location has without a doubt the best conditions for viticulture in the region. The mountainous environment has an altitude between 850m to 1000m with a hot and dry climate, making the vineyards almost exempt from diseases.
Tank room in Hevron Heights (photo courtesy of Wine Terroirs)
10. Abrau-Durso, Russia
Abrau-Durso is a small village in the mountains that gets more than 320 days of sunshine a year. Located 14km from Novorossiysk, the village is known for its sheer beauty, its history, and its sparkling wines called “Abrau-Durso”.
Abrau-Durso has an ideal environment for making sparkling wines and it was constructed from 6 km long tunnels which were used during Tsarist times to prepare wines. Abrau-Durso’s sparkling wines are made the traditional way and are aged for more than three years.
Abrau-Durso is currently the number one producer of sparkling wines in Russia in terms of both volume and value.
Sparkling wines are being made in the tunnels from Tsarist times (photo courtesy of Wine Anorak)
So now you know the 10 top wineries to visit in Asia. If you want to find the best Asian Wines, download the 2017 Asian Wine Review to read professional reviews of over 300 asian wines.