Try Myanmar’s ‘Tranquil’ Local Wines
Myanmar women drink even less than men. When they do drink, they prefer wine to beer. Locally produced wines are winning more market share in Myanmar. At the same time, big supermarkets in Yangon display a huge variety of local and foreign wines, starting at US$7 per bottle.
Back in the 1990s, a German winemaker collected one million dollars from his friends and started his own vineyard near Inle Lake. The location was called Ayethayar, which means ‘tranquility’. Not far from his vineyard some French winemakers started a similar undertaking under the brand Red Mountain.
Both vineyards use imported vines from France and other places in Europe and cultivate them in the Shan State. At about 1,000 meters altitude, the climate turned out to be more than perfect for grapes, so that over the years the annual output of these vineyards has increased markedly.
Foreigners are not the main target group of these businesses, and selling their wine to Europe is still impossible due to EU laws. However, the vineyards in the Shan State have restaurants and hotels, and their most important customers are well-to-do Myanmar business people. That’s why there’ll always be a karaoke machine at these places. (Who wants to drink their wine without singing a happy tune anyway?)
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