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Sunday, May 22, 2011

All you need to know about Loire Valley Wines (France)!

Loire Wines interesting website and in english!

A must read if you are planning to visit Loire Valley.

You'll discover a wonderful region in west of France that is home from authentic winemakers and large varieties of fine wines. Last but but not least it's a place where you can relax, be in touch with nature and enjoy very tasty meals.

Thank you thomas for letting us know about this website.

A personnal "Like" from Loire Valley Wines: 
Thanks to the large varieties of wines grown in Loire, you can enjoy a full diner only drinking Loire Valley Wines.
Let say that you'll be starting with a sparkling white (eg. sparkling Vouvray, Chenin Blanc grapes), then, going ahead with a dry white (eg. Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc grapes, or Muscadet, Melon de Bourgogne grapes). Along the way, you'll be experimenting tanins from a red wine (Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil, Cabernet Franc grapes), continuing with a dry white (Montlouis, Chenin Blanc grapes) and finally chilling-out with a sweet white wine (Bonnezeaux, Chenin Blanc). Whaoua!

Most well-known Loire Valley grapes / related wines:
White grapes (dry, sweet, sparkling)
- Melon de Bourgogne : Muscadet
- Sauvignon blanc: Sancerre
- Chenin Blanc : Montlouis, Touraine, Côteaux de Layon
Red grapes
- Cabernet Franc : Chinon, Bourgueil
- Gamay : Anjou, Saumur

I have tasted and enjoyed very good wines from this region, some are listed on my blog, here below is a summary:
In 2008 (refer to  : Wines I tasted & enjoyed in 2008!)
- Bubulle 2007
Château Baudry - Les Grézeaux 2005
Fosse Seche Kelle
Gratien Flamme
- Les Clous - Fiefs Vendéens 2005
- Olga Raffault
- Domaine Sauveroy - Clos des Sables
In 2009 (refer to : Wines I tasted & enjoyed in 2009!)
Chinon 2005, Les Picasses
In 2010 (refer to : Wines I tasted & enjoyed in 2010!)
Domaine Pellé
In 2011 (refer to : Wine I tasted & enjoyed in 2011)
Domaine du Landreau Village
- Château de la Fessardière

Other websites :

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wines from Thailand!

Dear wines lovers!
I would like to share with you my last wine discovery and experience. During my stay in Thailand I had the opportunity to taste and enjoy Thai wines.
I am planning to write some posts about my journey by one wineyard close to Hua Hin in the south west of Bangkok  : Monsoonvalley which is part of the Siam Winery group. 
For this post, I'll concentrate on giving general info about the wine industry in Thailand as well as a focus on Siam Winery highlighting some insights that could be useful business cases for other wine makers in the world.
To start with, here below are general information about wines in Thailand :

  • Total production in Thailand is 1.1 million bottles/ year and 1/3 of it is exported. (2008)
  • The wine industry in Thailand was valued at 400 million baht ($10.25 million) in 2000
  • The Market for Wine in Thailand Grew at an Annual Rate of 6.5%.
  • Leading manufacturer of Thailand’s wine industry is the Siam Winery.

Focus on Sian Winery (which owns Monsoonvalley wineyard):
Siam Winery is quite a large company that produce (Thailand) and import wines from various countries. They also recently launch a new beverage, a wine cooler under the Spy brand.
Three main brands are marketed : Monsoon Valley, Sabai and Spy
Personal insights : 
I would not have expected to find such a sucessful wine company in Thailland as far as it's size, brand activation actions and product range are concerned. From my point of view, they could give throughtful advices to distressed french wine makers for marketing and branding activities. They have for example built an impressive winery estate next to Huan Hin in the middle of the Monsoon Valley wineyard that's including a restaurant, a shop, a wine tasting area and a wineyard tour riding elephant!. This winery is a perfect application of the oenotourism concept that is a fast growing trend within this industry. Thanks to this estate, Siam Winery offers a unique experience to its potential customers which is also for sure helping positionning the brand. Certainly a benchmark for the french wine industry that count few of this kind of "flagship store", to use a retail wellknown strategy. They are also effective in product development as far as the Spy range for example. A wine cooler that found a lot of appeal next to asian women. I know there was some trials to launch such beverage targeting younger potential customers in France but it was not such a big sucess. Here again, product diversification is another strategy to consider in an highly competitive industry. The key for France producers could be to join forces and (re)launch such a beverage in asia.

Wines tasted : I would like to thanks Nichcha for her explanations during the tasting.
I will publish a specific post in the coming days. Stay tuned!

References :