Posts Tagged ‘Siam Winery’

Tropical Wine Making: An Insight into Handling Temperate Zone Viticulture on a Warming Planet

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Siam Winery

Thai and other Southeast-Asian vineyards located only a few degrees north of the equator with only 12 hours of sunlight and hot climates all year long, would certainly not be thought of as ideal place to cultivate grapes for wine-making. Of course it’s a given, that production will never reach levels of traditional old world or new world vineyards within the temperate climate zones. In spite of this, a few brave viticulturists’ and winemakers are breaking the mold by doing exactly what textbooks have said not to do. By doing so, they are not only enlightening themselves and producing wines worthy of notice from around the world; but they are collecting valuable information and techniques that might be very helpful to winemakers faced with warming temperatures in the usually cooler temperate growing zones.


Among the leaders of this movement is Kathrin Puff, a German viticulturist and head winemaker at Thailand’s Siam Winery who is responsible for the really well-made cuvée and single grape wines coming out of the Monsoon Valley brand According to Ms Puff, “We are extreme winemakers here,” and she went on to say, “we are the future consultants for all the other wine countries because there is desertification in Spain, drought in France and heat waves in Italy. We are pioneering new developments in grape-growing.”

Kathrin Puff

Ms Kathrin Puff as Siam Winery’s resident winemaker, oversees production of Monsoon Valley Wines, the leading premium Thai wine brand, as well as other products under Siam Winery – Mont Clair, Kookaburra, Chateau Vendome, and Peter Vella.

Kathrin studied viticulture and oenology in Udine (Italy) and Geisenheim (Germany) acquiring double diplomas from both institutions in 2004. She began her career in the wine industry as a Cellar Hand and Assistant Vineyard Manager at Winery Villa Gutenberg, in Germany, in 1999.

In 2001, she moved to Italy and had the chance to work at several wineries including Laboratory Dottore Diust as Assistant Wine Consultant and Laboratory Technician; Assistant Winemaker and Assistant Vineyard Manager at Azienda Borgo del Tiglio; Assistant Winemaker at Azienda Pighin in Udine; and she was then promoted to become Chief Winemaker at Azienda Dievole, reknowned producer of prestigious Chianti Classico. Her expertise in wine is not limited to the European wine industry. In 2005 and 2007, she had the opportunity to participate as associate winemaker during two vintages in New Zealand.
These outstanding experiences and her intimate knowledge of wine, led to her appointment as Siam Winery’s Winemaker in 2007. She is responsible to guarantee the best quality possible in every bottle of Siam Winery premium wines.

Monsoon Valley Wine Dinner at Sra Bua in the Siam Kempinski Hotel – Bangkok

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Monsoon Valley

Overcoming the handicap of working with grapes such as Colombard & Chenin Blanc, Kathrin Puff, resident winemaker at Siam Winery, coaxed the very best out of them to deliver: Monsoon Valley Sparkling Brut Blanc de Blancs 2009, a sparkling cuvée she created that had hints of creaminess along with the added rapture of achieving an effervescence of small, tightly knit bubbles and Monsoon Valley Premium Colombard 2010, made from pure Colombard, ascended far above any version I had previously sampled. Another wine I really fancied, was the easy to drink Monsoon Valley Cuvée de Siam Rouge 2008.

The dinner was given at the Siam Kempinski Hotel, Bangkok at their restaurant Sra Bua featuring Kiin Kiin’s authentic Thai food with a modern flair. Chef Morten Bøjstrup created an interesting 6-course experience meant to enliven the senses.

Thursday, 10th February 2011
Seaweed Tapioca with Oyster Sauce Foam
Lotus with Lime and Sugar
Monsoon Valley Sparkling Brut Blanc de Blancs 2009

Prawn Cevice with Lemongrass
Young Coconut and Tom Yum Dip
Monsoon Valley Premium Colombard 2010
Pan-fried Scallops with Carrot
Ginger and Tamarind
Monsoon Valley Cuvée de Siam Blanc 2009
Quail with Tom Kha, Consommé Gel and Mushrooms
Monsoon Valley Premium Shiraz 2009
Poached Egg with Magic Sauce
Black Pepper and Basil
Monsoon Valley Cuvée de Siam Rouge 2008
Five Spice Banana Cake
with Earl Gray Ice Cream and Jasmine Foam
Monsoon Valley Chenin Blanc Late Harvest 2010

Kempinski Hotel Lobby The beautiful lobby at the Siam Kempinski Hotel, Bangkok

Julep 3

Above: A Vanilla Mint Julep was delivered to the table by a charming young lady called Jill, a mix of Japanese & Thai Chinese, who at the time was the front-of-house representative for 1897 Bar, just off the lobby, although she was also capable of jumping behind the bar and mixing an amazing cocktail herself. As is commonplace these days in Bangkok, employees are like butterflies flitting from place to place, and it comes as no  great surprise that she is no longer working there.  The bar has an adjacent open-air terrace where smoking is permitted.

The Wines

Coco 1Young Coconut and Tom Yum Dip

PrawnPrawn Cevice with Lemongrass

QuailQuail with Tom Kha, Consommé Gel and Mushrooms

DessertFive Spice Banana Cake with Earl Gray Ice Cream and Jasmine Foam

Sra Bua 1

Sra Bua 2

Sra Bua 3