Boutique winery, guesthouse, and restaurant all in one
Thailand certainly doesn’t yet have a wine pedigree to rival Napa Valley or the Bordeaux region, but the charming Silverlake Vineyard, located about 20 minutes south of Pattaya City, certainly offers visitors a pleasant day in the country— with 480 acres of picturesque landscape centered around a large natural lake that does tend to turn a bit silvery in the setting sun.
Daily shuttle bus tours take guests on a trip around the vineyard’s main scenic points, including giant windmills, colourful flower gardens, row after row of maturing grapevines, and finally to the winery itself where the fermentation and barrel-aging takes place. If you purchase the B250 tour you also get to sample two glasses of wine, whereas the B100 tour only offers a grape juice tasting (which kids and Chinese tourists seem to love).
The origins of the winery date back to 2002 when Surachai Tangjaitrong and his wife Supansa Nuangpirom (a former movie starlet) envisioned a place where lovers of good wine and great music could find both in a beautifully cultivated outdoor setting. Their first vintage was ready in 2006 and currently the winery produces about 10,000 bottles a year, available through the vineyard shop. During my visit I sample the 2014 Silverlake Chenin Blanc, a crisp, pale white with a fruity aroma, as well as the 2013 Silverlake Shiraz. Unlike some of the vineyard’s blends, this red is made from 100 percent grapes grown on the property. It’s smooth, with a nice ruby colour and a hint of spiciness.
The final stop on the tour is a visit to the Villago shop, styled to resemble a Tuscan village square, complete with courtyard fountain. Here you can shop for vineyard souvenirs—everything from grape juice to grape tarts—or stop for a quick snack and/or a frothy cappuccino. There’s also a nice outdoor deck overlooking the rows of grapevines that stretch out from the base of the surrounding green hillsides.
Should you want to prolong your stay even more, the Silverlake Wine and Grill Restaurant and Pizza Café, located directly across the main road, serves up classic Italian fare—including delicious wood-fire oven cooked pizzas—as well as Thai specialties and a selection of sizzling steaks. Seating consists of 90 in the high-ceilinged indoor area, and 40+ on the outdoor terrace. There’s also a sizeable wine
list—Thai and international—and on the advice of restaurant manager Attapong Wachum I settle in for a late afternoon meal starting with the Smoked salmon green salad with quail egg (B290), paired with a glass of the Silverlake Chenin Blanc. I follow this with the signature Silverlake pizza (B490), topped with smoked salmon, juicy shrimps, and diced crab meat, and pair it with a glass of the Shiraz I tried earlier—a satisfying combo!
NOTE: if you want to make more than just a day of it, book a cozy cottage at the charming and quirky Movie House Bed & Breakfast, where each room pays homage to Thai cinema, showcasing retro movie posters and other paraphernalia on the walls.
31/62 Moo 7, Na Jomtien, Pattaya
Tel: 02 261 6565
Open daily: 9am-6pm (7pm, Sat-Sun)