6 tasting experiences across Apac


Where? In the Asoke Valley of Khao Yai national park, about 200km northeast of Bangkok.

What’s special? Another attractive dimension to Thailand is the scenery of its hinterland. The elevated ranges of Khao Yai have seen wineries open, to the delight of both Thai and international visitors. GranMonte, under the watch of the Lohitnavy family and Australian-trained winemaker Nikki, is seen as pioneering fine Thai wines. Vineyard and winery tours showing the various stages of operations, from growing grapes to fermentation and bottling, take about 90 minutes. Wine-tasting, pairing, and viticulture classes can be arranged in a private section of the estate’s 120-seat VinCotto restaurant. Facilities also include a wine library, garden terrace and guest house.

The fine print Packaged tours including lunch or dinner start from 950 baht (about US$27) per person to 1,070 baht.

Wirra Wirra
Where? In the renowned wine region of McLaren Vale, about 35km south of Adelaide.

What’s special? Among the ranks of South Australia’s finest wineries, Wirra Wirra recently renovated its historic ironstone buildings and opened a provedore-style café showcasing regional produce.

The venue offers eight tasting packages, ranging from a basic tour and tasting to a day of bell ringing, blending, lunching and catapulting – interspersed with a red or two. Additional site facilities include a state-of-the-art meeting room, set within the cellars, and gardens for outdoor events.

The fine print Prices range from A$20 (US$15) to A$300 per person.


The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo
Where? In the heart of Roppongi, one of the Japanese capital’s entertainment hubs.

What’s special? Among the variety of Japanese whiskies to sample is Suntory’s Yamazaki Single Malt, named 2015 World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

In addition to the tasting, delegates get the creative juices flowing in a whisky-based cocktails class taught by the hotel’s award-winning mixologists.

The fine print The experience is only offered to guests staying at the hotel.

Kavalan Distillery, Taiwan
Where? In Yuanshan, Yilan, about an hour south of Taipei.

What’s special? Taiwan’s only family-owned whisky distillery, Kavalan is home to renowned master blender, Ian Chang, and specialist, Dr Jim Swan. Lasting just over an hour, the tour begins with a short film, followed by a walk through the mash hour, still house and maturation warehouse, and ending on a tasting experience in the Spirit Castle. Group dining is also available at the Mr Brown Café.

The fine print English and Putonghua-speaking guides available; maximum 15 people per blending session; bottles priced at NT$1,500 (about US$47) each.


Capital Spirits Baijiu Bar & Distillery, Beijing
Where? Located in Beijing’s Dongzhimen neighborhood, the bar and distillery are a 10 minute walk from one another.

What’s special? Billed as the world’s first baijiu bar, Capital Spirits is set within a hutong in a restored shop house, designed by Greek architect Anna Pipilis.

The fine print The Distillery has a capacity for 60 people in the bar and 30 in the Roof View Room.


The St Regis Macao
Where? The hotel is located on Macau’s Cotai Strip. Tastings take place in Decanter, a private space within The St Regis Bar.

What’s special? Guest experience manager and spirit expert Ben Bost takes groups through a selection of Cognacs, from recent vintages to a limited edition 1904 Private Reserve. The label was bottled exclusively for The St Regis Macao by famous French Cognac house Cognac Croizet.

After the tasting, delegates enjoy a personalised dinner menu by the team of chefs at  hotel’s The Manor restaurant.

The fine print Due to the cost of each 1904 bottle, tastings are designed for groups of 3-15 pax. The experience is being offered until December 2017.

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