booze

Thai wine sisters take aim at booze monopoly

Sisters Mimi and Nikki have battled Thailand’s tropical climate, chased off elephants from their vineyards and won over a sceptical public to their award-winning wine. Now they’re taking on the “unfair” booze laws critics say benefit the kingdom’s billionaire booze monopolies.

Rows of Syrah, Voignier and Chenin Blanc grapes stretch across the 40-acre GranMonte Estate in the foothills of Khao Yai National Park.

The elevated terrain, three hours outside of Bangkok, provides unexpectedly fertile ground for grapes and an escape from city life, complete with a rust-coloured guesthouse that could be pulled straight from a Tuscany tourism advert.

As they snap selfies in between the vines visitors run into Nikki Lohitnavy, 33, who studied oenology in Australia and now steers the science behind each bottle.

She painstakingly experiments with grape varieties to see how they respond to the climate — it takes at least six years to see if a

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