Southeast Asian Wine Producers Actually Exist

Southeast Asia has a small but enthusiastic winemaking industry and as such we’re happy to report the Southeast Asian wine may soon be on your shopping list, if it isn’t already. 

The rise in a small but growing number of Asian winemakers is due to Asian vintners, who have been trained overseas in countries like Australia and France, returning home and tapping on old winemaking styles they have mastered. By placing their own spin and incorporating new techniques for local markets, each has developed their own unique brand of wines and spirits. Despite the tropical climate, Southeast Asian wineries are producing much better wines than before, even hosting wine harvest festivals.

“My work with the Asian Wine Review has exposed me to the fact that the excitement surrounding Asian wine production is not just a passing fad. Driven by a broader interest in a wine- lifestyle; domestic wine production has seen significant growth across Asia. There are currently 13 countries in East Asia producing commercial wines and each of those locations has created their own localised demand. I see the paradigm shifting daily from an elevated consumption level of imported brands towards those that are produced on the doorstep of Asia. This is an exciting era for the artisans of the region,” said Eddie McDougall, a Honng Kiong-based wine expert known as the Flying Winemaker.

Southeast Asia is a new frontier for wine and craft beers, as well as small batch spirits manufacturers

The global wine market is set to grow by 25% by 2022, the majority driven by Asian markets, according to a Mordor Intelligence’s report. In a 2015 World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Health Observatory Data Repository report, Vietnam is second to Korea in terms of alcohol consumption in Asia, at 8.7 litres a year. Thailand came up close at 8.3 litres of alcohol a year.

The median age of the population in Asia is below 30. With the region’s rising affluent middle class and millennials more likely to enjoy socialising over alcoholic drinks1, the potential of the Asian market is no longer limited to China, but also includes the smaller Southeast Asian markets.

“Asian producers are beginning to make a name for themselves as their wineries and breweries expand to meet with growing demand for their native beverages, especially from international exporters” said Ms. Beattrice Ho, ProWine Asia Project Director, Messe Düsseldorf Asia.

“Southeast Asian wine is still a rather new concept to the region, hence further wine education and knowledge transfer is needed so local wine producers can continue to upsize their production and selection.”  With a little nurturing wine producers in Southeast Asia have the potential to grow the wine industry and make their mark on the global stage.