There is a vineyard near Battambang, the Prasat Banan Winery. It is located south of Battambang, around kilometer marker 10 on Route 155, which is the road that travels along the west bank of the Stung Sangker River.
We had a sampler of four of their products: a rose wine, a brandy, a non-alcoholic grape juice, and a non-alcoholic ginger and honey drink. The sampler cost US $2 a person.
I’ll address the non-alcoholic drinks first. The grape juice tastes…well…like home-made grape juice. It was decent enough, as grape juice goes. The ginger and honey drink was pretty good, as well. Not much more to say about these.
Words that might be used to describe the rose are “strange” and “unusual.” The word “wine” is not necessarily a descriptor that would come to mind. The initial taste is earthy – almost like compost. After that is a tang similar to grape juice, mixed with the taste of alcohol. It ends very wet, not dry. The taste is not unpleasant to the point of spitting it out, but I can’t imagine sitting down to share an entire bottle, or even drinking an entire glass.
I can’t comment much on the brandy, as I am no expert on brandy. I suspect it is not a good example of the style, although I also suspect it’s a better brandy than the rose is a wine.
This is pure speculation, but I doubt that the lady who owns and operates this place is properly trained in wine making, or has hired a no-kidding professional. I think it’s an amateur home wine making operation that started selling it’s hobby.
Nonetheless, visiting this place is a worthwhile endeavor, if only for the novelty.
Who knows…maybe one day the owner will bring in some professionals to transform her operation into something notable for it’s quality. One can always dream.