Sunday, February 22: After leaving the Nigyawdayan Stupa, I pedal up the main two lane highway along the northeast side of Inle Lake. I don’t have any views of the lake at this point; I’m on my way to the Red Mountain Estate Vineyards & Winery and I enjoy the breeze on this warm day and the views of the mountains and farmland.
I’m not exactly sure where I’m going and it seems quite a long ride out into the middle of nowhere. Finally, I come upon a road veering to the left with a sign for the winery. It looks like I’m going to reach my destination after all!
I can see the winery up on a hill quite a way ahead, and I pedal hard to climb the hill, passing by some homes along the way.
The Red Mountain Estate was started in 2002. The estate was chosen for its special micro-climate, cool nights and sunny days during the fruit cycle. The goal was to produce high quality wines 100% made in Myanmar and supervised by French and Australian experts. The vineyard is planted with red varieties such as Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Carignan, and Malbec. White varieties are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin and Colombard. All vines were imported from France, Spain and Israel, according to a pamphlet from the winery.
I continue up the hill on my bicycle, keeping the winery in sight.
The hill gets quite steep as I approach the winery, and I see some people have left bicycles at the bottom of the hill. I follow suit and lock up my bike beside the others.
After walking up to the winery, I go inside, where it’s quite crowded and noisy. I order a flight of wines and ask for it to be served on the terrace. It’s a lot quieter, though quite hot, outside. It has a lazy and relaxed atmosphere.
I sit and enjoy the view and my wine flight. Since I’m on my own, I take some selfies; they’re from some strange angles. 🙂 Here I enjoy my wine, although I’m a little jealous of the people who are here with friends. Though most of the time I don’t mind traveling alone, there are times like these when I wish I had a friend along.
I do ask the waiter to take a picture of me, so I do get one decent photo. I’m feeling pretty good after drinking the whole flight!
After finishing my flight of wines, I also order a glass of Shiraz-Tempranillo accompanied by toast with cheese; it is simply white bread cut into triangles with sliced cheese cut into triangles. Nothing to write home about, especially after that wonderful pancake I had at Pancake Kingdom.
By this time, I’m feeling pretty relaxed. 🙂 I wander around the vineyard taking some pictures, then walk back down the hill to where I left my bicycle.
I unlock my bicycle, take some parting shots of the winery, and hop back on for the long ride back to town.
I stop at several spots along the way that are particularly bucolic.
When I finally get back to town, I make a stop at Yadana Man Aung Paya, where I find a nice surprise!