Monsoon Valley was founded in 2001 by Chalerm Yoovidhya, a wine-loving entrepreneur with a vision to create a Thai wine culture. Upon returning from his studies abroad, Chalerm saw potential in growing grapes in his beloved native Thailand and set out to show the world that great wines can be crafted even at the 13th latitude of the northern hemisphere.
His first vineyard was at Tab Kwang, in beautiful Khao Yai, a region known as the “traditional” grape-growing region of Thailand. Surrounded by national parks and jungle, the choice for this area was perfect, as the fertile red soil and convenient climate conditions created the best platform for making opulent and rich Shiraz. After initial success in Tab Kwang, he explored other areas of Thailand that would give birth to great wines.
A new opportunity arose in 2003, when Chalerm was invited to plant grapes at the Huay Sai Royal Research Project, a trial vineyard located in Petchburi, which at that time was not viewed as a wine-growing region in Thailand. However, to his surprise, the quality of the grapes was very good. As such, he started searching for a plot of land large enough to grow grapes at a commercial level in the Hua Hin area.
He found the ideal spot in Baan Khork Chang, a pristine valley 35km away from sunny Hua Hin beach. The site was built on a former elephant corral, a sublime place where wild Asian elephants were once domesticated. This is where our flagship vineyard, Monsoon Valley Vineyard, is located today. Varietals such as Colombard and Chenin Blanc, Sangiovese, Rondo and Shiraz were found to thrive here. Added later were Muscat, Dornfelder, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc varietals.
Being close to the sea gives our Monsoon Valley vineyards an advantage, as nights tend to be cooler with a fresh breeze coming from the hills, whilst the sandy and loamy soil is enriched with shells and fossils, giving minerality and freshness to the wines. The total area planted in Hua Hin is 110 hectares. The remaining land is home of many indigenous plants and animals that Chalerm is keen to cherish and foster as he believes that the balance of nature is key to crafting great and unique wines.
In 2013, Chalerm ventured further North to Chiang Mai and planted a small vineyard to see if the climate conditions would generate further characteristic wine styles. In doing so, he continued his pioneering spirit, being one of the only people that believes in cultivating grapes in different locations within Thailand, giving wine lovers a choice of wines crafted in various areas that differ in character and style.
Together with a strong viticulture and winemaking team, he continues to explore and continue striving for excellence and crafting high quality Thai wines.