Traveling for experience, part 2 – into the unknown

The journey continues…

After three months in Australia, and visiting numerous cellar doors, and tasting lots of wines, it is difficult to summarize everything in one text. All the wines are the same, but at the same time so different. It is a life long experience hard to forget.

…But not as planned

“Life happens wile you are busy making other plans” how my wife likes to say, we had to skip our trip to New Zealand and tasting some Sauvignon blancs. Travelling took us to South East Asia, and funnily enough it is where my story actually takes an amazingly interesting twist and makes me so proud to take this journey. This part of the world has a long tradition of making rice wine but in the last 20 something years it became also a place where they grow grapes for “normal” wine.

Cambodia wine?

After visiting Phnom Penh in Cambodia for a week,  I came across an information that in the whole country there is just one person who wanted to do something different and grows grapes and produces wine. Yes, you read correctly, in Cambodia!

Few hours of a scenic train ride later I was in the city of Battambang. In the south west of the capital is a place that defies our understanding of possible. Mocked from all the farmers, people living in the area and traditions Mr. Chang Traychheoung decided not to grow oranges any more, but to plant grapes. Shiraz was the only one that survived after some trial and error process, and now they have produced something completely new for them. 2018 was the only year so far to produce enough grapes for wine, but he does have enough to produce some grape juice and some brandy. The Wine is extremely acidic, too much of jam notes, a lot of cinnamon, sour cherries and overall unbalanced. There is still a lot to learn and improve  and this wine is not going to conquer the world, but I personally believe that is not the point here. To be able to try something that is not supposed to grow in those extreme conditions is the star of the show. The fight to defeat all the odds and to make something as first and only one in the whole country is something to have respect for.

But the next step of our journey would give even more surprises….

Marko Zdunić