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Winemaker at Thailand’s biggest winery to leave

Kathrin Puff, the chief winemaker at Thailand’s biggest wine company, Siam Winery, is to leave after over 10 years at the estate and return to Germany as director of winemaking at Kloster Eberbach.

Photo credit: Mattia Sedda

Born in Krefeld in Germany, Puff moved to Bangkok in 2007 to work for Siam Winery, Thailand’s biggest wine producer and a major importer, where it has vineyards in Hua Hin, roughly 150 kilometres south of Bangkok, and Khao Yai to the north of Bangkok.

“After 10 years enjoying the challenge of making Monsoon Valley Wine in Thailand, my husband and I decided to move back to EU to be closer to our families and to grow further in our careers,” Puff told dbHK via email, adding that she will be working as the director of winemaking at German winery Kloster Eberbach, a large producer making wines in the Rheingau and in Hessische Bergstrasse regions.

Making wines in a tropical country like Thailand comes with its perils, with the merciless monsoon season, lack of sunlight due to its close proximity to Equator and the unique ‘two seasons, one crop’ training system, meaning that grapes undergo two vegetation periods – one in the wet season (April to October), and another in the dry season (November to March) – but only the dry season vegetation leads to a crop.

Nonetheless, Colombard and Shiraz have proven to be two of the best performing grape varieties in Thailand’s tropical climate. Its ‘White Shiraz’ is one of Monsoon Valley’s most prized medal-winning wines.

“Monsoon Valley will always hold a special place in my heart. However, the opportunity to work with a well-known and prestigious winery like Kloster Eberbach, will be an enriching challenge and I am looking forward to getting my hands on Riesling and Pinot Noir again,” she added.

Her stint at Siam Winery will come to an end in February, and in April, she will officially assume her new post as director of winemaking at Kloster Eberbach, where her focus will be on Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc.

“Kloster Eberbach holds a long tradition and has made history in Germany with its famous vineyards. The winery is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to guarantee the smoothest and gentlest way of transforming grapes into wine. I have met the team, who have already welcomed me with open arms. Together we will focus on continuing to make high quality wine. I am thrilled to work and grow with the Kloster Eberbach team,” she continued.

At the moment, Monsoon Valley is exported to Hong Kong via Links Concept.

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