viernes, 8 de mayo de 2015


Thailand is a country of natural resources virtually infinite, was encouraged to embark searching great wines and found Nikki Lohitnavy, one of its greatest ambassadors.

Nikki Lohitnavy 
How did you become oenologist? 
I was interested in viticulture since I was young, when my parents started the vineyard in 1999. And I decided to pursue this career when I was 14. I graduated from the University of Adelaide with Bachelor of Oenology and Honours in Viticulture in 2008.
Nikki Lohitnavy 
How is your winery called? And where is in Thailand?
It’s called ‘GranMonte’, and Italian translation of the name of our region ‘Khao Yai’ which means big mountain in English. It’s 200 km Northeast of Bangkok, 350 meters above sea level in UNESCO world heritage site. Khao Yai has the highest peak of 1,350 meters so you can imagine why it’s cooler here.

Vineyard - GranMonte
Which kind wines do you produce? 
I make all kind of wine, sparkling (crémant), white, rosé, red and sweet wine from many different varieties such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Durif, Grenache, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Verdelho, Semillon and Muscat.

Grapes - GranMonte
How much wine do you produce? 
80,000-90,000 bottles/year depending on the yield.

#wine - GranMonte
Is it true that sometimes there are elephants eating grapes in your vineyards?
We had one wild elephant in the vineyard a few years ago. We were lucky enough the grapes were not ripe enough for him to enjoy. He did pushed over a few rows of vines and broke the fences on his way to banana trees!

Vineyard - GranMonte
How come did you start to produce wine in Thailand?  
Because we’re crazy! Joking. My family and I believe we can produce good wines for Thai people to drink. Simple as that!

Family GranMonte
How did you arrive to the wine World? 
I grew up in the vineyard and found this job fascinating because of the flavours and tastes of wine you can produce from grapes into bottles. It’s a great job too because I get to travel and work around the world!

Nikki Lohitnavy 
I can imagine that it is not easy to produce wine in Thailand. How did you face the difficulties?
Care and diligence is very important especially in climatic conditions like Thailand. My father and I look after our vineyard very closely. Different techniques are used to deal with the two cycles of vines per year just to get one single quality crop.

Vineyard - GranMonte
What support did you have to develop your Project? 
Well, we started everything from scratch; buying empty land and planted the vines. We know a lot of people in the wine industry since the beginning who helped us by supporting us by giving advises and drinking our wines!

Crémant - GranMonte
How do you define your wines?
Express the best characteristics of tropical grapes. Made with care, and most importantly true to its origin. (We are proud to say that our wines are 100% Thai)

Nikki Lohitnavy 
Do you work or help in any other Project? 
Yes we do contract and consulting projects for those who would like to start new vineyards as we specialises in growing wine grapes in the tropics. Personally  I do some consulting ever now and again and also winemaking in other parts of the world ie. France, South Africa, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela etc.

Family GranMonte
What are the wines of the world that you have drawn more attention?
You mean the wines that I like? I am all for tropical wines. Great Syrahs from the tropical area North of Brazil and fantastic sparkling wine from Venezuela.

#wine - GranMonte
If you could add a wish to become true, what would be and why? 
I wish the Thai government would reduce wine tax from 400% to whatever as long as it’s less! Why? Because it’s ridiculous what they are doing, hurting the local producers and not just imported wines. They should promote people to drink local wine which is of international standard instead of harmful homemade spirits! 

Nikki Lohitnavy 
What do you do in your spare time? 
Travel and drink wine!

Nikki Visootha Lohitnavy
Oenologist, Winemaker & Viticulturist

Bachelor of Oenology and Second Class Honours in Viticulture, the University of Adelaide (2005 - 2008)
Tintern Girls Grammar School, Melbourne (2001-2004)
Mater Dei Institute, Bangkok, Thailand (1999-2001)

Work Experience:
February 2008 – present
Oenologist; Director of Vineyard and Winery Operations
GranMonte Vineyard and Wines, Thailand
September-October 2014
Visiting Winemaker
Monte Xanic, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico
March 2014
Wine judge in judging panel as well as Trophy and Best in Show judge
WSA Wine Challenge Singapore 2014
October 2013
Stagiaire & Visiting Winemaker
Domaine Alain Graillot and Equis (Domaine des Lises), Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone Valley, France
September 2013-October 2013
Visiting Winemaker
Domaine Maison, Cheverny, Loire Valley, France
October 2012- November 2012
Visiting Winemaker/ Technical Exchange
Rio Sol, ViniBrasil, Vale do São Francisco, Petrolina, PE, Brazil
September 2012- October 2012
Visiting Winemaker/Technical Exchange
Fazenda Ouro Verde, Miolo Wine Group, Vale do São Francisco, Petrolina, PE, Brazil
November 2011
Invited Speaker and member of organizing committee
III International Symposium of Tropical Wine, Chiang Mai, Thailand
September 2011 – October 2011
Consulting Winemaker
Quinta de Roriz, Douro, Portugal
May 2010
Plenary Speaker
II International Symposium of Tropical Wine, Petrolina, Brazil
September 2010 – October 2010
Visiting Winemaker/Supevisor
Quinta de Roriz, Douro, Portugal
December 2009
Visiting Winemaker
Anwilka, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Klein Constantia, South Africa
September 2009 – November2009
Visiting Winemaker
Chateau Angelus, St-Emilion, Bordeaux (Premier Grand Cru Classe)
La Fleur de Bouard, Laland de Pomerol, St-Emilion, Bordeaux
January 2008 – April 2008
Vintage Winemaker (Awarded the Wolf Blass prize)
Wolf Blass Winery, Barossa, South Australia
April 2007- May 2007
Vintage Winemaker
Brown Brothers Winery, Milawa, Victoria

Summary & Other Achievements:
Daughter of Visooth and Sakuna Lohitnavy, owners of GranMonte Vineyard and Winery.
First Thai, overseas-trained Oenologist with bachelor’s degree in Oenology and Honours degree in Viticulture.
First and only qualified female winemaker in Thailand.
Awarded the ‘ Wolf Blass Foster’s Wine Prize for Excellence in Winemaking’.
Published in the scientific journal, Food Quality and Preference, 2010; 21(7):711-719 ‘Berry sensory attributes correlate with compositional changes under different viticultural management of Semillon (Vitis vinifera L.)’
Published in the scientific journal, Vitis, 2010; 49(2):51-53 ‘Early leaf removal increases flower abscission in Vitis vinifera 'Semillon'’.
Participant of the prestigious En Primeur at Chateau Angelus, Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, since 2009.
Alumni committee of Australia Chamber of Commerce, Thailand.
Participant in the panel tasting of Geographical Indication of Altos Montes region, Serra Gaucha, Brazil.
Judge at the Wine and Spirits Asia competition 2014 in Singapore as a member of the judging panel and was selected to be Trophy and Best in Show judge.
Viticulture and Winemaking Coordinator of the Asian Wine Producer Association formed in 2013.

                                                 Website - GranMonte Asoke Valley

Thank you very much, Nikki Lohitnavy. In vino veritas, longae vitae!))

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