On one of the trips I took with WinK, we stopped at a beautiful wine cellar tunnel in Cheongdo. It tunnel was gorgeous. Lined with empty wine bottles and featuring many brightly lit wine-related exhibits, it has a very unique feel.
The wine cellar opened its doors in 2006, and its claim to fame is being the world's FIRST persimmon wine cellar. Located in the middle of a mountain, it is an impressive 1,000 meters long. It maintains a constant temperature of about 60* Fahrenheit (15* Celsius).
The picture to the left is the entrance to the tunnel, complete with a persimmon sculpture.
The tunnel was originally named Namseonghyeon Tunnel, and it was built in 1898 during the Joseon Dynasty as a railroad tunnel. Its original structure was altered about a hundred years ago when persimmon growers put red bricks in the ceiling, reinforced the tunnel walls with natural stone, and turned the railroad tunnel into a fantastic place to store wine.
|Lighted canopy above the picnic tables that served as a cafe|
in which to enjoy your glass of wine.
The winery exclusively features persimmon wine, which is made through fermenting seedless persimmons. Many cities in Korea have a special regional delicacy, famous mountain, or time-honored tradition, and Cheongdo is no different. This city's pride and joy is the persimmon, or gam, which is why the cellar holds exclusively persimmon wine.
In addition to racks upon racks of wine bottles, the cellar also has exhibitions, wine sampling, and a wine market where you can purchase glasses of wine to enjoy right away. The persimmon was was good, but strangely tart and sweet at the same time. There is also a gift shop that features persimmon goods such as lotion and chocolate made with this interesting fruit.
|They also had these fantastic cardboard cutouts for photo ops.|
Which, of course, I had to take advantage of.
The tunnel itself was beautiful, but the walk to it was also quite scenic. Coming from Wisconsin, for some reasons mountains and the majestic views they afford never cease to amaze me. I can't stop taking pictures of them, even though they are absolutely everywhere and their novelty should have worn off by now! But seriously, check out these pictures and tell me my fascination isn't warranted.