Sunday, October 2, 2011

Anseong Winery Tour and Grape Harvest 'Festival'

In order to bid farewell to the month of September, the Harrington's joined a meet-up group, loaded the car (primarily with their bodies, some maps and a handful of snacks) and made a quick jaunt north to Anseong, home of Kenneth Kim's Winery. Legitimately interested in wine-making and beer brewing, Mike was excited to see the inner workings of a Korean winery and Melissa was simply content in knowing she'd get to take in a fair share of complimentary wine throughout the day.

The trip began with a visit to a Grape and Wine history museum that culminated in dixie cup filled with grape vinegar which was surprisingly refreshing (at least, the first sip was). From the museum, our guide and host Ken politely acquiesced to a request to visit the French Catholic Missionary where Anseong's wine tradition began in 1901 according the Official Site of Korea Tourism. The abbey building was a unique combination of traditional Korean design and of course classic European cathedral design. The building today is an interesting contrast to the cement block church which greets visitors to the abbey.



Following these initial aspects of the day of wine, the Harrington's and meet-up crew made their way to a nice lakeside restaurant for a wide variety of traditional Korean dishes and the first samplings of Kenneth Kim's wines. Wines ranged from whites, to ports, to sherry's and other red varieties. There was no holding back on Ken's part and wine glasses remained full through the meal and two vocal performances from meet-up attendees who had professed and hidden talents in the world of music and performance.


With bellies finally filled the crew re-loaded the bus and made their way to the wine 'estates'. As is expected, Korea is not Napa Valley. That out of the way, the winery was ultimately right up the alley of Mike and Melissa with their humble Wyoming upbringing and acceptance of all things done with a dose of redneck thrown in. Highlights, other than the continuation of free-flowing wine included a dark, dank dungeon of a wine cellar, wine in large plastic bottles most generally associated with Culligan-type water systems, heavy-duty brick wall paper covering the small abode and the outrageously massive power line serving as a reminder that while you may be in the countryside, it remains that you are in fact on a small peninsula filled with millions of people who appreciate electricity.

Additional highlights of the hours spent on the estates were live music, grape chowing and grape stomping and walking away with complimentary bottles of wine.




The days events came with a number of opportunities to receive a discount these included 10,000 for joining this meet-up group, 10,000 for early-registration and 20,000 providing your own transport. So it was, the Harrington's each paid 40,000 for a day of touring and drinking, eating and drinking a bit more (but not so much as to be unsafe to drive) while walking away with a 30,000 won bottle of wine each. Overall, looks as the couple made out quite well.

For others thinking of touring, look for a good deal such as this and you should have no regrets. Remember you're in Korea, not California and you should have no regrets. Consider going with a meet-up group as you may luck out and meet a few individuals who are interesting, kind and willing to sell/give you some hops for brewing. You may also meet individuals with whom you disagree and could get on fine without ever meeting again, but you'll never know unless you try it!

1 comment:

Micah and SaraJane said...

Love the photos - Can't wait to share a glass of wine with you in person again someday!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...