I have visited a wine grapes farm in Banon district, Battambang province, to learn about grape growing in Cambodia. Mr. Chan Thai Chhoeung and his wife Mrs. Leng ChanThu, the farm owners, who is the first successful couple in wine grapes cultivation for over ten years on their soil that used to grow other tropic plants.
Walking past the aisles of grape tree hanging with great colored of dark red, light and white wine grapes, you might wanted to find out what are the conditions that wine grapes can grow well in Cambodia?
Mrs. Leng ChanThu, the owner of wine grape farm proud to say that, their farm started since 1997-1998, but during that time they growing wine grapes was only for testing, by planted in a small area of land. During that time, many peoples interested in planting orange fruit, which the competition in the market become challenging. So they decided to grow wine grape to replace their orange tree farm.
The successful of established wine grapes farm on that area which the climate and soil condition used to cultivate of rice and other tropical plants is a very hard work and take risk. However, they spent one year for searching and practice step by step in varieties of grape, until they found the one that can adapt and grow well on their land. They were supported and encouraged by their relatives in France, who provided good spices of wine grapes and planting techniques.
They said that, their farm is extending on three hectare of slope area nearby Sangke river where the ideal place for wine grapes grows, with easy to irrigate of prevent standing water, and full-fledged of sunlight. The wine grape need enough of water pouring to grow and bear fruits for the numerous yield harvesting. Through many years experienced, they selected the great wine grape spices with short time yield, and best in producing wine.
In 2004-2005, to be grape wine producer, they had invested on small equipment to produce grape wine. Experienced different grapes to produce different flavor of grape wine. They planted some wine grape spices and makes three different flavors of grape wine, including Brandy, Roger, and Ripe. Prices of their products is expensive than others in the local market (from 12$-20$ per bottle), but its great flavors of original ingredient from natural plantation.
Their product is very popular by foreign visitors and also local people. It had been shown on national exhibition and others trade show as a special product. Moreover, they also planted vine grapes for eating to sell in local market, and grafted vine tree with the purpose to wide growing vine grapes in others areas of Cambodia.
Pay a visit to Mrs. Chanthu wine grapes farm whenever you have a chance to be in Battambang to experience fresh grape as well as to taste the grape wine made in Cambodia.