Khao Yai Valley, located approximately 150 kilometers northeast of Bangkok, is traditionally known as the birthplace of Thailand’s modern wine industry. Several wineries in the Khao Yai Valley – including the PB Valley Khao Yai Winery – have been making wines for more than two decades. The Khao Yai Valley is located on the very edge of Khao Yai National Park, making it a natural spot for visiting tourists to learn more about winemaking in Thailand.
Without a doubt, Thailand has faced challenges in growing its wine industry ever since the first vineyards began appearing in the 1960s. Most importantly, Thailand has a hot, tropical climate that’s not conducive to winemaking. There is a lack of both seasonal and diurnal variation. In addition, the hot weather and humidity means that producers must take additional steps to combat rot and fungal disease in their vineyards.
Many different grape varietals are grown in the Khao Yai Valley, including Black Muscat (Muscat Hamburg), Cardinal, Chenin Blanc, Shiraz, Tempranillo and Sauvignon Blanc. A local variety known as Pokdum (a cross of Golden Queen and Muscat) is also popular. Thai wines are sometimes referred to as “New Latitude” wines to differentiate them from “Old World” and “New World” wines.
While the Thai wine industry is still very young, wines from the Khao Yai Valley have won many awards at international competitions, including some Gold Medals. In addition to PB Winery, other famous wineries from the region include GranMonte Vineyard and Chateau des Brumes Winery. All of these wineries are located at elevations of at least 300 meters above sea level.