Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Côtes du Riveière Kwai ??

More wine in Thailand...
..continuing the wine news from Asia:

...Metge-Toppin jokingly calls the red he has helped to create, Côtés de la Rivière Kwai. He is the first to admit that, "Everything is different when you are growing wine in Thailand, so you need to adapt. And, after you have adapted your growing techniques, there are the problems of storage - as well as people's perceptions."

As one wine critic said, "I still find it hard to believe that New Latitude wines will ever be seriously good - but then that's what we said about New World wines not so long ago."...

This is new territory, and quite a bit of work will need to be done. Mold and rot could be serious problems given the heat and humidity. But there may be other problems...

As Metge-Toppin proudly points out: "Selling our wine to every Thai restaurant in the world would amount to over six million cases each year. Even Jacobs Creek would be jealous." This demand could be easily met: unlike the West, which has just one harvest each year, Thailand has two and, because of the climate, can grow grapes continuously for eight months at a time. [emphasis added /huge]

That challenges some of the notions of Western viticulture, though if workable could give them a leg up on production. And initially it might make for a glut, if too many farmers see some growth in the market and try to jump on at the same time.

However, some of it's wines are already finding their way into the EU, New Zealand, the US and Japan. Will it take off - is this the new model for wine?

Very probably - NOT. But it is a further sign that many niche markets will open to local products from almost every corner of the world - albeit small markets.
And can you imagine the work involved with trying to identify the stated 6,000 Thai resaurants in the world, much less the work of trying to get each one to carry your wine? The "authentic taste of Thailand" might be one way to market those wines, but it wouldn't really have a big draw outside of the related ethnic food market would it?

Maybe not, but it will push the current envelope of perceived wine growing regions should it be a successful endeavor.



Post a Comment

<< Home