We next headed to the north of Myanmar, to an old British hill station called Pyin Oo Lwin that is nationally renowned for its fruit, coffee, and wine. We were excited, some real wineries! But when we went out looking for them to see how they do things, we even found 3(!) but got turned away by every single one of them. Needless to say, we were disappointed.
We continued to do a bit of sightseeing in the little town and ran into a guy at the old Candacraig Hotel that, after explaining our misery, was willing to help us out. He called in his coworker and told him to drive us to some wine producers in town. So we hopped on our motorbike and followed him and indeed, he brought us to a family in the neighbourhood that was producing damson wine! A damson is a type of plum, and it’s the most traditional type of wine made in Pyin Oo Lwin. (And, similar to Georgian wine, it’s made in clay pots buried in the ground. Exciting!!)
We didn’t see the process but got to try some of their Min Thar Gyi Damson and Fruit Wine. I never had damson wine before so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It had a clear ruby colour and a sweet apricot/plummy aroma. The taste was sweet and sour with an alcoholic note to it. It reminded me of vermouth but a bit tiny bit sweeter. Quite nice. I couldn’t find out how alcoholic it was so we bought a big 1 liter bottle of it and sat on a lake in the hot sun to see how drunk it would get us. After finishing the bottle I would guess that the wine had around 8-9% alcohol and that a whole bottle is enough to make you drunk.