Many travelers coming to Taiwan will know Taiwan has some of the best tea plantations in the world. And then there are also coffee farms in Taiwan (check out our blog on award-winning coffee in Taiwan). But very few people know, Taiwan also produces some of the best wine in the world and won various gold medal awards against other European wine producers.
Wine in Taiwan is as incredible as its scenery
The history of winemaking in Taiwan
Wine production does not have a long history in Taiwan. In fact, it was only around 60 years ago when winegrowers started actively cultivating wine grapes and produced wine. At that time, the Taiwan Provincial Monopoly Bureau (currently the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Company Ltd.) contracted the few wineries to grow and produce wine. They imported around 200 different types of wine grapes from abroad and allowed the wine producers to cultivate their wine.
Because the climate and temperature in Taiwan tend to be hot and humid, many wineries failed to produce good wine using European grape varieties. But through perseverance, Taiwanese winegrowers continue to explore different planting methods and modify winemaking techniques. They also tried to develop a new variety of grapes. Now, the Black Queen and Golden Muscat dominate the Taiwanese winemaking field, and wines produced from these grapes have made it to the top of many international wine competitions.
A visit to Shu Sheug Winery in Taichung
Not many wineries in Taiwan will allow visitors to visit because they want to focus on winemaking and production. We came across this award-winning winery called Shu Sheug Leisure Domaine, which allowed us to tour around their vine fields and production facility, as well as wine tasting. Their maximum number of people in a group is 20, and a fixed price of NTD800 (around USD27) for the group. So the more people you have in a group, the better the money’s worth!
We arrived at Shu Sheug Winery in the morning, and the daughter-in-law of the winery owner (Mrs. Hong) greeted us. She introduced to us the many different plants the winery grow in addition to the wine grapes. From their own coffee plants to avocado plants, to papaya trees and more, this winery is one real gem! Because we visited the winery in early February, it was the season when the vines and branches need to be trimmed, and we were not able to see the grapes hanging on the vines. From far away, we saw the winery owner, Mr. Jipei Hong, cutting and trimming the vine branches. We walked over to Mr. Hong and asked him if he had any help from other workers, and he told us it is mostly him who does all the trimming and cutting because his workers cannot do as good of a job as him! All this comes with experience, and he is still training his son and grandchildren.
Inside the production facility, we saw many barrels imported from France. All their equipment are from Europe and are state of the art equipment. Because of the high fixed and labor costs, as well as the unique climate in Taiwan, the wine production volume each year is low. That is why a bottle of good red and white wine costs NTD 3000 (USD 100) per bottle. And even if you have the money to pay for a bottle of their wine, you still place your order now and wait for your bottle five years later!
If you are a wine connoisseur, enjoy touring different wineries, and happen to be in Taiwan, contact us to book a wine tour today! Various award-winning wineries in Taiwan are worth to visit. We can customize a tour of Taiwan’s best wineries for you.
Address: No. 8, Shuitou 2 Rd., Waipu District, Taichung City
Tel: 04 2683 3298