Visit Red Mountain Estate Vineyards & Wine Tasting
Red Mountain Estate, one of Burma’s two wineries, lies just a few kilometres west of Nyaung Shwe and makes for a great side trip if you’ve a half day to hand.
Red Mountain’s advantage is that it lies less than a 30-minute cycle from Nyaung Shwe. Located on the lower slopes of the mountain rim, the winery provides spectacular vistas back towards Nyang Shwe and down the valley as far as Inle Lake itself. With a swish outdoor terrace, cheese plate nibbles, a crisp Sauvignon and views across vineyards, it’s all very incongruous but delightfully so.
The wine’s sold either by the bottle or glass, while a tasting of four samples goes for 3,000 kyat. Whites, reds and even a rose feature on the menu of around 10 different wines.
While some visitors won’t be able to get past a perceived Burma/wine contradiction, none are downright bad and the best are of a good standard. Having visited several times now, we can say that the notoriously awkward Pinot Noir, which logically does well in this damp climate, is a consistent favourite. We’ve actually fooled French restaurateurs with bottles of the excellent late-harvest white we’ve taken home, too.
A selection of Western and local dishes is also served, including a small cheese plate at 4,500 kyat, to help with the wine tasting.
HISTORY OF THE RED MOUNTAIN ESTATE WINERY
So now that you know there’s wine in Myanmar, how did it come to be in Inle Lake? Well as you might of assumed the Europeans played a part in bringing the delicious beverage to this part of Asia. Red Mountain Estate Winery started in 2002 by importing equipment from Italy and recruiting French Winemaker Francois Raynal.
The following year they planted the first crops, and by 2006 the first one thousand bottles were produced! Now the Red Mountain Winery in Myanmar proudly churns out hundreds of thousands of bottles per year, and has become a popular stop for tourists looking for what to do in Inle Lake.