Vietnam is a stunning country to visit with many famous sight-Nam Cheah / Travel Blogger
Vietnam is a stunning country to visit with many famous sight, but wine certainly isn’t one of them. To save you a google search, yes – there are wines in Vietnam, and they are pretty good!
Southern Vietnam, especially around Dalat and Ninh Thuan provinces, is the wine region of Vietnam. Some of the wineries have existed for over thirty years, with wine traditional Vietnamese wne roots or learning from the French. It’s easy to combine your trip to southern Vietnam with a wine tour, and here are some of the wineries you can visit:
While RD Wine Castle is owned by a Vietnamese company, their wine are produced in Napa Valley in California. The Wine Castle is located in the Sealink Resort, and the building itself resembles a medieval castle. The castle aims to provide a wine tasting experience to visitor as though they are visiting one overseas.
They showed a short documentary of the company’s business in Napa Valley before showing us around the castle. The wine tasting take place in the dining room, and we were able to try their Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet, Syrah, and Merlot. The tasting size in Vietnam is a lot smaller, so bare that in mind. The wine are excellent and you can nip to the beach after for some relaxation.
Thien Thao Winery
Thien Thao is a family owned business that has been making wines for the past 20 years. A wholly local company, they only sell wine nationally and grow their own grapes organically.
The owner was a wine factory worker and now his daughter runs the business. With a company name that means good sky, they sell several wine variety as well as a syrup for masses. They are most popular in Hanoi and second in Ho Chi Minh City, but also sells online via vendors.
You can visit their only showroom at the edge of Thap Cham to try some of their wines, and if time permits, you can also visit the Vineyard right behind it.
Their most popular product actually isn’t wine at all, but this grape syrup – Siro Nho Thien Thao. A sweet, fruity number that’s best mixed with cold water, it’s perfect for a hot summer day. The syrup only takes three days to make and sells for 70 000 dong.
One step up from grape syrup we have Mat Nho Thien Thao. It’s a naturally fermented syrup that is good for stomach. It is fermented without using yeast and for around 3 years.
While the local don’t consider it an alcohol, it tastes slightly vinegary and probably does have some alcohol percentage. This one is very popular for women.
Their three signature wines are the red, green, and white. The red wine – ruon vang nho phan rang – is smooth an easy to drink, though the aroma is vinegary but not unpleasant, with a bit of a sour after taste. The wine takes 5-7 years to ferment and is a popular order for local restaurants and hotels.
The wine that they call green wine is white by western standard and a popular dinner wine. It is their table wine and rather sour with a fruity aftertaste. This needs 7-10 years to ferment and is a favourite with the men.
The white wine is a clear wine made through distilling and more like a grape Brandy. Grapes are put in big pot to cook on top of a fire, distilling through a bamboo tube. It resembles a milder vodka with a light fruity scent and is apparently drank during dinner. The alcohol percentage is high so be careful when drinking this one.
Ba Moi Winery
Not too far from Thien Thao, Ba Moi is a slightly younger company and has been making wine for 15 years. They have been growing the grapes of their own for 5 years with two harvests per year during May and October.
They produce a similar range of products to Thien Thao and only sell their product nationally, mainly in Ho Chi Minh City. Unfortunately, due to a bad harvest as a result of heavy rain, we were only able to try their grape syrup and Brandy. The Ba moi Ruou Brandy is a White Wine Brandy, with 30% alcohol. It is a Traditional Vietnamese white wine but it’s clear in colour.
The Grape Syrup is different to the grape syrup from Thien Thao. This one has a peachy, honey colour that has more flavour. It is made using green grapes, with the juice pressed and naturally fermented with some sugar for three to six months. This is also their best seller.
Dalat Beco Winery
Started by the French in 1974, Dalat Beco used to be part of a bigger wine company founded by the French. It was split into two companies in 75, and one of the of the three biggest wineries in the area.
They imported cardinal grapes from France and now grow it in Ninh Thuan province, as the soil is not suitable for grapes around Dalat. They also used to make beer, but now only produce wine. Their grapes are all organically grown and produces 3 million litres of wine per year. They also exports to Thailand, Korea, and Nigeria, with their house red and white being a favourite.
Their Premium Syra Cardinal give off a lovely berry scent, albeit a little vinegary. The taste is a little sour but still smooth. The classic white is rather sour, but their export Sauvignon Blanc Cardinal is our favourite white of the trip. It’s smooth, sweet with a floral scent.
Vinh Tien Winery
The Vinh Tien Wine started at the same time as Dalat Beco in 70s, but the company is not as big. They make over ten kinds of wine and Champaign too, mixing different kind of grapes to produce different flavour. They also import Chilean and French Wine as well, while exporting to Thailand and selling nationally. They used to import grapes from Italy 30 years ago, but now they grow French grapes in the far in Ninh Thuan province, too.
Their top three are the white, red, and sweet red, with the Syra being the most popular. Vinh Tien produces sixty hundred thousand litres of wine annually, and also make tea for wholesale. The Vang Trang vinh tien white wine is a floral and sweet number with a long finish. A decent Sauvignon blanc.
The La chat noir is a sweet red wine that’s smooth with a lovely floral woodsy aroma. It feels not as sweet but is sweeter than the white wine. The wine is made with mulberry and Cabernet grapes. Their Red wine is like a dryer version of la chat noir.
Nam Cheah / Travel Blogger