The Thai wine industry began developing in the twentieth century. Grapes were introduced to Thailand when Louis XIV had his ambassador present specimens of White Malaga (Beba) to King Narai. The King had these vines planted in the floating vineyards surrounding the capital, and they flourished.
The grapes were used solely for fruit until well into the twentieth century, when a wine industry started to develop. Monsoon Valley, southwest of Bangkok, seems to be the largest area.[according to whom?] It is commonly thought that fine wine grapes cannot grow in humid tropical lowland climates, but the Thais have figured out how. The grapes are forced by pruning into bearing two crops a year; the fine wines are those that ripen during the (relatively) dry season, while a vin de table is made from the wet season crop. Other vinifera grapes such as Chenin blanc and Shiraz are becoming popular.
- Vitis International Varieties Catalogue http://www.vivc.de/index.php?r=passport%2Fview&id=9703
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