Where wine and gugak meet

by .
Korea Tourism Organization

Local Wines of Yeongdong

Situated amid the rugged terrain of Sobaek Mountain Range and Chupungnyeong Mountain Pass, Yeongdong experiences plenty of sunshine and a large difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures, which ensures extra sweetness in their grapes. Thanks to these geographical features, grapes are abundant in Yeongdong, accounting for more than 12 percent of the nation’s grape production. Wine Korea is a representative winery of Yeongdong and its wine brand is called Chateau Mani, in which “Chateau” means “castle” in French but is more commonly known as a winery with its own wine production and storage facilities in the Bordeaux region of France and “Mani” takes its name from Manisan, a mountain located in the western part of Yeongdong-gun.

Wine Korea consists of a bar, tasting room, wine cellar, and foot spa facility on the first floor, a wine gallery on the second floor and an oak storeroom at the basement level. The wine bar and the tasting room display not only wines produced by the winery, but also a great variety of products made with grapes as their main ingredients. You can sample around four different types of wines and also try the wine foot spa experience, which will warm your body up as you soak your feet in the toasty vat of wine. The foot spa takes around 20 to 25 minutes for a fee of 5,000 won. At Wine Korea, visitors can look around the wine bar, tasting room, wine gallery, oak storeroom, and other facilities either individually or by applying for the guided wine tour, through which they can get more detailed information on wine.

The many private wineries in Yeongdong besides Wine Korea are also worth a visit. Located adjacent to Wine Korea is Country Wine, a time-honored winery that has been cultivating grapes for three generations as a family-run business. The winery makes sanmeoru (wild grape) wine and hard liquor with a more than 45 percent alcohol proof. The winery is equipped with various cellars, including a fermentation cellar, a low-temperature ripening cellar and a wine sampling cellar, as well as a wine bar designed for wine sampling by group visitors, and a liquor shop.

Address: 662, Yeongdonghwanggan-ro, Yeongdong-eup, Yeongdong-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do
Operating hours: 10:00-17:00
(Guided tours are available Tuesday through Friday. Saturdays are reserved for wine train package tours only. The winery is closed on Sundays, Mondays and holidays.)
Admission: Free
Homepage: www.winekr.co.kr (Korean only)
1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Grape Chocolate Making Experience

In addition to the region’s wine, the grape-producing center of Yeongdong offers another way to enjoy its savory grapes. The grapes can also be used to make a special kind of chocolate, filled with grapes, dried persimmons and walnuts inside a chocolate coating. This delicacy packs an aromatic grape fragrance and a crunchy fruit texture. There is a chocolate making experience program at the Business Incubator Center located within Youngdong University. The experience program offers participants a chance to create their own chocolates by melting colorful chocolate bars made with various agricultural products, such as grapes, and pouring the melted chocolate into plastic molds to make chocolates of different colors and shapes. The program fee is 10,000 won and it takes around 40 to 50 minutes. Reservations must be made a few days prior to visiting.

Address: 310, Daehangno, Yeongdong-eup, Yeongdong-gun, Chungcheongbuk-go
Operating hours: 09:00-18:00
Experience fee: 10,000 won
Homepage: www.ydchoco.co.kr (Korean only)
1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Winter delicacy: Yeongdong's Dried Persimmons

In addition to its large grape cultivation, Yeongdong also produces a great amount of dried persimmons. About 7 percent of the nation’s dried persimmon production and nearly 70 percent of the production in Chungcheongbuk-do comes from Yeongdong. Dried persimmons, called gotgam in Korean, are a representative dried fruit of Korea. It takes quite a long time to dry fresh persimmons, so it is truly a ‘slow food,’ made over a long time with a farmer’s earnest heart.

The annual Yeongdong Dried Persimmons Festival is held every December in downtown Yeongdong. The festival hosts diverse persimmon-themed programs and provides an opportunity to sample this wonderful delicacy, which is made by harvesting persimmons in fall and drying them for months, as well as a range of delectable dishes made using persimmons.

Address: Yeongdong Traditional Market, 13-1, Yeongsan-ro 1-gil, Yeongdong-eup, Yeongdong-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do
Operating hours: 10:00-19:00
Fees: Free
Homepage: gam.yd21.go.kr (Korean only)
1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Encountering Traditional Korean Music, Gugak

Yeongdong, considered to be the home of Korean classical music, or gugak, is the birthplace of the celebrated Joseon-era musician, Park Yeon (pen name Nangye), who made a great contribution in compiling traditional Korean music and making various musical instruments. In the small town of Simcheon-myeon, visitors can find the house of Park Yeon’s birth, Nangye Korean Classical Music Museum, Nangye Korean Classical Instruments Production Village, and Nangye Korean Traditional Music Experience Center. The area offers a wide range of information on Park Yeon and gugak, in addition to providing an opportunity to experience varied traditional musical instruments. At the museum, the exhibits on display are divided into string, wind, and percussion instruments. The museum features the life and accomplishments of Park Yeon, the making of musical instruments, dioramas of ritual music played using classical instruments, and more.

Across from Nangye Korean Classical Music Museum is Nangye Korean Traditional Music Experience Center, where visitors can experience an array of traditional musical instruments and enjoy gugak performances. The experience hall on the first floor of the building allows visitors to listen to the different sounds of various instruments. The center hosts regular gugak performances, which take place every Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Nangye Korean Classical Music Museum:
9, Gugak-ro, Simcheon-myeon, Yeongdong-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do

Nangye Korean Traditional Music Experience Center:
18, Gugak-ro, Simcheon-myeon, Yeongdong-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do

Nangye Korean Traditional Music Experience Zone:
5, Gugak-ro, Simcheon-myeon, Yeongdong-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do
Operating hours: 09:00-18:00
Nangye Korean Classical Instruments Production Village : www.nangyekukak.or.kr (Korean only)
1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Eight Scenic Views of Yangsan Mountain Along Geumgang River

In Korea, there is an old practice of selecting eight scenic views of an area and calling them ‘palgyeong (pal meaning eight in Korean, gyeong meaning scene)’, and Yangsan-myeon in Yeongdong-gun, is no exception, with its picturesque scenery of the meandering Geumgang River and graceful surrounding mountain terrain. The eight famous spots collectively referred to as the Yangsan Palgyeong are Yeongguksa Temple - Yeongdong, Gangseondae Pavilion, Bibongsan Mountain, Bonghwangdae Rock, Hambyeokjeong Pavilion, Yeouijeong Pavilion, Japungseodang Village School, and Yongam Rock.

Among the eight spots, Gangseondae Pavilion is the most well-known attraction. Crossing the Bonggokgyo Bridge, which is just a short walking distance away from Songho National Tourist Site, famous for its pine tree forest, one can see a small pavilion nestled among several pine trees stretching out on a high precipice of the riverside. This pavilion is Gangseondae, and is the scene of various legends such as fairies coming down to bathe and play in the river nearby or a Taoist wizard visiting the pavilion and returning home riding on a cloud. Walking along the river in the direction of Geumsan, the Yeouijeong Pavilion is situated within the pine forest of Songho National Tourist Site. Further along the river is the Yeongdong Bidangang Forest Village, which is well-known for offering plenty of hands-on activities. Cross a bridge after entering the village to find Bonghwangdae Rock and Hambyeokjeong Pavilion.

Korea Tourism Organization website

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