Two down, one to go — our weekend of hopping Thailand’s wineries was so far a smashing success. After spending our first day at Khao Yai’s first vineyard and Thailand’s one and only winery helmed by a women, we were excited to see what our third and final stop of the weekend would have in store.
After a home-cooked group breakfast at our Airbnb, we hit the road for Alcidini Winery, a small, family-run and organic vineyard about an hour east of PB Valley and GranMonte. We ooh-ed and ahh-ed as we pulled up the winding road to Alcidini, soaking up the idyllic setting.
Piling out of the car, we were greeted by a flock of the family’s freshly-bathed and obscenely-adorable goats, who were hanging out next to a fence while they air-dried.
Unlike the other wineries we visited, there was no tour of the forty acre vineyards. However, we were free to poke around the immaculate vines on our own. Wine grapes take up about half the planting area, with table grapes and another favorite — avocados! — taking up the rest.
Inside, we were given a private tasting and talk by the Alcidini family’s prodigal son, Tony, who was also the family winemaker. The entire facility was run by Tony and his parents, along with ten farmers who assist with the harvest. Plus, the goats — turns out they don’t just sit around and look cute, they actively help clear the vineyards of weeds!
While Alcidini proudly uses no pesticides and no chemicals, Tony explained that they need a 2km buffer around any plantings in order to be “certified organic,” and with such a small plot they can’t afford to give up that much acreage. Still, staying dedicated to sustainable farming and organic methods is tantamount at Alcidini.
Without a tour attached to the tasting it was our briefest stop, however it was also perhaps our most informative.
Tony studied in San Francisco (there’s a mini Golden Gate bridge on the property!) and spoke impeccable English, and thus was able to teach us much about the wines we were tasting as well as the unique struggles and joys of running a vineyard in Thailand.
We loved the offerings at Alcidini and all walked away with some treats — including not just wine but also special organic spiced raisins made by Ton’s mom. After, rather than hop right back in the van, we took some time to explore the gorgeous grounds! With a bit of wine in us, we were happy to traipse around and entertain ourselves for a bit.
After one more goodbye kiss to our new favorite goats, we were back on the road.
We had just one more stop ahead of us. On my previous trip through the Khao Yai region to visit Khao Yai National Park, I’d spotted something that left me rubbing my eyes and wondering if I was seeing things: a castle.
Yes, a castle. Khao Yai is one of the most popular domestic tourist destinations in the country, and the region is chock full of faux-European homes, shopping centers, restaurants, and even a mini Leaning Tower of Pisa. It’s where high society Bangkokians go for a weekend in Italy without having to get on a plane — and where Koh Tao expats go to guzzle wine and wear fancy clothes.
Midwinter Green was the perfect final stop for our lovely weekend away. Though we were disappointed that the extensive wine selection only included one or two options from Khao Yai (where’s the local pride, Midwinter Green?!), we couldn’t have asked for a greater menu, more beautiful vista, or more swoon-worthy setting with which to toast to our weekend.
As usual with our crew, things got more than a little silly.
And with that, we were back to the big city! What had originally started as a short and sweet low-key wine weekend morphed into something a bit more, and so stay tuned for coverage of our continued adventures in Bangkok and beyond. But alas, the first chapter was over.
While it may have been brief, these two days made up one of my favorite trips I’ve ever taken in Thailand. Part of it was the amazing crew we had assembled, with whom I could have fun in a parking lot, but much of it was the thrill of planning a truly offbeat trip in such a well-trodden country.
In fact, this trip really sparked an obsession for me to visit all of Thailand’s wineries, and I’d tick off another in Hua Hin not long after! Coming up, I have plans to check off one or two more. Wondering how you too can visit these fabulous places? Stay tuned for my upcoming guide on hiring a driver, finding accommodation, and arranging tours in Thailand’s burgeoning wine country.
I’ll wrap this post with a thank you to my wonderful Koh Tao friends who make every day an adventure, and who generously trust me with their precious vacation time and funds. I can’t wait to see where life takes us next!
But I do hope wherever it may be… there will be wine.
Cheers for reading! Which of the Khao Yai wineries would you most want to visit?
Love the goats and the swing! Sounds like a nice tipsy getaway, it was so cool to hear about vineyards in Thailand of all places!
Glad you enjoyed it Cate! It was SUCH a fun trip!
Cate and I are into the same thing I notice 🙂 Haha those goats are adorable and the swing looks great! It’s unbelievable how many cool places there are in Thailand – I can’t wait for your post with all the tips & tricks!
Coming up soon! Hope I’m able to add to it with even more winery info now that I’m back in Thailand again for the winter!
Looks like a lot of fun was had
Laughs all around 🙂
Wine and castles: two things that don’t spring to mind when I think of Thailand! Really interesting to hear about this though 🙂
Ha, definitely not! Probably not a first timer’s dream trip when coming to Thailand, but pretty awesome for the repeat visitor to have something so quirky to enjoy.
Which winery would I like to visit? The one with baby goats, obvs! Adorable 🙂
Excellent answer 😉 Loved that they were organic, too!
Wow, just when I thought Thailand was about the beaches, you uncovered a winery and a sunflower field. I am amazed, I have never heard of this side of Thailand. I am looking forward to a holiday next year, probably during low season to enjoy less expensive rates in a nice hotel in the Southern region.
That’s my aim — to introduce another side of this country I love so much! Glad you’ve enjoyed it 🙂
I do. keep em coming. Your blog is wonderful. I said that before and I will say it again 🙂 Hi to Koh Tao.
Wow! Castles in Thailand? Never knew that existed. Awesome.
Cute goats and what a neat time visting vineyards in The Land of Smiles. Never knew, again, about the presence of vineyards there. Learning tons about Thailand today 😉
Thanks much for sharing.
Not many visitors to Thailand know about its wine industry… even long-term expats! I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to share this new side of my old favorite country with so many people.
Hi Alex, I am off to Thailand this weekend and will be spending 3 nights in Khao Yai National Park and will definitely visit Alcidini! I wondered if you could recommend somewhere else to go for 2 more nights close by Bangkok that is unique? I had saw your post about Bangkok Tree House but as I am a big foody not sure I would enjoy it. It would be great if you could recommend somewhere great! Thanks, Gabby
That sounds like an amazing trip Gabby! Have you considered Ayutthaya? That’s my go-to recommendation for a destination that’s close to Bangkok. You can find more about it on my destinations page — I adore it!
Hi Alex, I just finished reading your 3-part Khao Yai wineries posts. I love them so much, you have a new reader! <3 I am going to Khao Yai in January. And I have been scouring the internet on how to do the Vineyard hopping. And I have not been very successful. Khao Yai lacks in public transport, ugh! Did you have a private car to go to those 3 vineyards? Did you go to GranMonte & PB Valley on the same day, and Alcidini the next? Sorry but need help on this!
Hey Geunice! You actually remind me that I have been meaning to write a comprehensive guide to Thailand’s wine regions, at some point. Yes, we did indeed have a private van with driver — and that’s really the only way to go. We left from Bangkok early in the morning, hit GranMonte and had lunch there, then went to PB Valley, then stayed the night in a nearby Airbnb. Then we went to Alcidini and back to Bangkok the next day. I hope that helps, and stay tuned for future wine posts!
I am amazed, I have never heard of this side of Thailand. I am looking forward to a holiday next year, probably during low season to enjoy less expensive rates in a nice hotel in the Southern region.
That’s smart — rates vary wildly in Thailand depending on the season! You can get some incredible deals.