“Burma’s e-Visa service opens as country hopes to attract 5m tourists a year by 2015” The Telegraph reported the other day. It has not been that easy in the past. Four years ago, I had trouble getting a visa in London but was given one over the counter in Sri Lanka!
I flew to Yangon from Colombo via Kuala Lumpur with Malaysian Airlines.I found drinkable wine from Myanmar in a rather posh restaurant in Yangon and was amazed to hear about a vineyard and winery in the north of the country. I flew to the northern Shan State and from Lake Inle, famous for its fisherman who row flat-ended canoes with one leg while using both hands to fish, and got a ramshackle taxi to take me to the Aythaya Vineyard near Taunggyi, Myanmar’s first, at an altitude of 1200 m.
The vineyard and winery is the creation in 1998 of Bert Morsbach who originally came from Germany. Cuttings of Muscat, Dornfelder, Sauvignon Blanc, Chennin Blanc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo, imported from Europe, were planted. The first vintage was in 2004. Today, Sparkling Rosé, White, Red and sweet wines and Grappa are produced and marketed.
I toured the vineyards, saw the winery and tasted through the range. Whites had a German slant and were pleasant and drinkable. The Grappa from Muscat was excellent.