Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Wild grapes put to good use

Wild grapes put to good use

Wild grapes put to good use

Wild grapes have been around in Cambodian forests since time immemorial. The annual climbing plant, which starts flowering mid-May and bears fruit between August and December, is in many areas still so abundant that people cannot make good use of it. The grapes begin to decay soon after they are ripe.

Nou Virak, a former soldier from Kro Kor district, Pursat province, had by chance, the opportunity to learn about wine-making in Thailand.

Back in his home province, he applied his new knowledge and, together with other villagers, he engaged in producing wine from wild grapes on a commercial scale. The villagers collect the wild grapes (local name: Tompeng Baychhou Prey) in the nearby forest, which is part of the Cardamom Mountains.

Apparently wild-grape wine is a unique product, at least for Cambodia.

In a meeting, Virak suggested that it would also be possible to make this kind of wine in other regions.

The Cambodian Organic Agriculture Association (COrAA) staffers Mao Mithona and Chhim Phally shared this idea with organic rice farmers in Preah Vihear province. The farmers reported that wild grapes were also abundant in the forest near their villages. Consequently, COrAA connected them to Virak’s association.

The Pursat Wild Grape Association was soon able to find a partner to finance the expansion of wine-making to Preah Vihear province.

COrAA supports this initiative, as wine-making offers villagers an additional source of income without the need to expand agricultural land.

Instead, it will help them to actively preserve the forests in their areas.

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • IPU slams government claim

    The president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, has refuted a claim by the National Assembly that she “highly appreciated the achievements of Cambodia” in its July national elections with a tweet saying “Of course not!” before adding “No congratulations”. A delegation from