Bali may not be known as a world-famous wine destination, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a decent glass of vino while you’re here. In recent years, Bali-based winemakers have been upping the game, using a mix of local and imported grapes to create fresh young wines that are both appealing and affordable. And as any tippler in Bali knows, affordable bottles of booze are hard to come by. Here at Ultimate Bali, we’ve spent more than a few afternoons and evenings putting the bottles to the test to bring you our list of top Bali wines that taste great and won’t break the bank.
Relatively new on the scene, Plaga produces fun and flavorful wines for all occasions, using only the finest imported grapes from Chile and Australia. With guidance from their Argentinian winemaker, the grapes are fermented and bottled in their state-of-the-art winery in Bali, which cuts down on costs without compromising on quality. Try their light and refreshing Rose for sunny patio sessions, go for the fruity Chardonnay or crisp Sauvignon Blanc to accompany those seafood feasts on the beach, or relax with a glass of the smooth and sultry Cabernet Sauvignon while chilling out at home or for nights out on the town.
As Bali’s first ever winery, it should come as no surprise that Hatten can be found in almost every restaurant, bar and bottle shop on the island. The wines here are made with a wide range of grape varietals that are grown in Hatten’s own vineyards across the island. When ripe, the grapes are hand harvested and cleaned, and then taken to Hatten’s progressive winery in Sanur that boasts stainless steel vessels, a horizontal press, 56 large wine tanks, fermenters, a bottling room, and a cutting edge laboratory facility. Both the Aga Red and Aga White wines are highly drinkable, and we love that you can buy big boxes of wine at down to earth prices.
The rich volcanic soil and dry climate of northern Bali offer the perfect conditions for growing wine grapes, and grape farmers have been harvesting, big juicy grapes here for over 100 years. Recently, Sababay Winery partnered with local farmers in the region to introduce international standards of viticulture. The result was a dramatic increase in the quality of the grapes and income for the local farmers. Sababay now uses these superb grapes to produce vibrant ‘New Latitude’ wines that are full on flavor and easy on the wallet. As an added bonus, they also offer fully guided tours of their winery in Gianyar, so you can see firsthand the modern methods and organic processes that they use to produce their wines.
Artisan Wines began with a challenge, and that was to grow wine grapes in Australia and then produce the wine in Bali, while still maintaining the rich color, flavor and balance you would expect of an Australian wine. Acclaimed winemaker Craig Newton finally came up with a method of protecting the raw grape juice on its journey to the island, and a new breed of wineries was born. Artisan Wines now offers their Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as a rich and fruity Shiraz that can hold its own next to any other locally produced red wine on the island.