Winery and Ranch on Inle Lake
One of the places we visited around the Inle lake was Red Mountain Estate Vineyards & Winery. One of our local friends recommended us to go to these places. So we put on his recommendation and went.
We got to the ranch by car rented from the monastery. Upon arrival the ranch owners welcomed us very warmly. They settled us in a restaurant and offered us tea and sunflower seeds. They also gave us a price list with horseback trips. When I saw the prices, I almost did not believe my eyes. It was a higher european price category. But since they were local friends with us, so they said they would give a local prices, which was a more affordable. During the horses preparation, started to rain. So we had the opportunity to talk to the owners who told us about how they built the entire ranch. It was seen that the owners really loved the horses. They showed us the stables during the rain. The horse seemed well cared. I was struck by the fact that I saw one of their employees throw a metal stick on a horse, which was trying to get out of the stable to go back into the corral. Luckily he missed. And some other employees were showing off and provoking horses. When the rain fell silent, we mounted our horses and rode to the wine bar. Mandatory equipment was also helmet, which surprised me because here is no problem to ride on the roof of the car or ride a bike in foursome, but probably a safety rule to protect wealthy tourists. During the whole trip, we were accompanied by staff and they supervised us and horses. (we could walk by foot right on: D). The trip, which should last 2h according to the price list lasted only 45min and we went slow as snail. We were not even allowed to move the horse a little faster. But I understand that the staff came with us because our two Myanmar friends had never sat on a horse before. During the whole trip our staff photographed us on the mobile of our Burmese friends. In a way it was a beautiful experience to see the surroundings of the vineyards and hills from the back of a horse. When we arrived at the wine bar, disappointment was apparent on me and my Czech colleague, but the Burmese were enthusiastic about the trip and could not get enough of their horses. Then we dismounted the horses and the staff saddled them and rove them quickly back to the ranch.
We sat down in a wine bar with a beautiful view of the lake and vineyards. The waitress brought us a menu and told us that the wine bar was founded in 2003. The wine was produced in the factory just behind the restaurant, the maturing process lasted 9 months and the wine mature in oak barrels. They also held truly European prices here. The bottle of wine was 8 euros. And one meal was about 3-4 euros. We ordered one bottle of white and one bottle of red and enjoyed the sunset over Inle Lake. Little bit more expensive but really magic place. Truly romance <3.
On the way back we learned why this trip was recommended to us… Our friend worked there seven years ago for two years. It was clear to us right now.
To sum up, both places were beautiful, but the target group were wealthy European tourists and not two volunteers, one from the Czech Republic and one from Slovakia :D.