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Raising a Glass to a Better Tomorrow

Sababay Winery Producing Remarkable Wines and Improving the Lives of Bali’s Impoverished Farmers
Winemaking is an art and, as any artist knows, art requires knowledge, time and patience in the process of creating a masterpiece.

PT Sababay Industry – the owners and operators of the Sababay Vineyards in Northwest Bali and a modern state-of-art Sababay Winery on Jalan IB Mantra in Gianyar – have a deep respect for the art of winemaking.

The brainchild of the dynamic mother-daughter duo of Mulyati Gozali, President Director, and Evy Gozali, CEO, Sababay Winery is driven by a commitment to constantly improve their vintages and the quality of life of those who farm the grapes that they turn into wine.

Originally creating wines from the endemic grape varietals of Alphonse-Lavalle and Moscato, the women in charge at Sababay have sought out the knowledge of expert wine growers, agriculturalists, and soil scientists to pair the wide range or terroir and microclimates found in Indonesia with grapes that would prosper along the "new latitude" of the tropical equator. Literally "groundbreaking" research sponsored by Sababay revealed that a number of premium wine grapes suitable for winemaking would propagate well in Indonesia, prompting the planting of new varietals on a commercial scale.

Aided by the prodigious “new world” and "new latitude" winemaking skills of Parisian-born Vincent Desplat, Sababay Winery is producing wines that are earning accolades at international wine shows. Working from the modern and immaculately maintained Sababay Winery that sits on Jalan Ida Bagus Mantra, near the Winery’s eponymous seaside port, the product range of wines are increasingly found at hotels, restaurants, cafes and retail outlets in Jakarta, Bali, Lombok, Yogyakarta, and Medan.

Sababay WInes are also making bold entrées at international wine shows. Championed by Sababay’s resident Sommelier, Yohan Handoyo who brings both his wide understanding of wine together with bottles of recent Sababay vintages to international tastings and wine shows. Yohan's suitcases that were used to haul bottles of Sababay Moscato d’Bali, Sababay Pink Blossom, Sababay White Velvet, and Sababay Lusdia to these wine shows come back to Bali devoid of wine but brimming with awards won at the likes of the Singapore Wine and Spirit Show and China Wine and Spirit Show. These competitions among tens of qulaity international wine producers include “blind tastings” undertaken by panels of expert oenophiles who have bestowed awards of Gold, Silver, and Bronze on Sabaay Wines - made proudly from grapes grown on the Island of Bali.

New Latitude Wines

Sababay Wines currently produces the following “New Latitude” vintages:
  • Pink Blossom (Rose)
  • Black Velvet (Red)
  • Reserve Red (Dry Red)
  • White Velvet (White Wine)
  • Ludisia (Sweet Red Wine)
  • Moscato d’Bali (Sweet Sparkling White)

A Winery with a Mission

A legendary Indonesian businesswoman with decades of experience in corporate management and finance, the President Director of Sababay, Mulyati Gozali, is bound and determined to see her company break the chains of poverty that oppress the agricultural people struggling to survive in the outlying regions of Bali. While many perceive the Balinese as an economically prosperous people benefitting from soaring tourism growth, the stark truth of the matter is that many farmers living in remote areas lack even basic human services and live on less than a dollar or so each day.

In these eyes of Mulyati Gozali, this is not acceptable: “... our vision is to be the best professionally managed local winery, the leader in South East Asia, a transfer of winemaking technology dedicated to Indonesia’s own agriculture potentials through direct fair trade business practices and integrated farming”. She stresses that “it is our philosophy to be a custodian of nature.”

Proud of her winery and how she has increased both the quality and the price paid for grapes used in making her wines, the formidable Mrs. Gozali, who is an accountant by training, eagerly shares detailed statistics and graphs showing the plight of Bali’s farmers, the significant difference being made by Sababay Winery's fair trade practices, and what must be done in the future in order for Bali to support those who earn their livelihoods from the Island's soil.

Proof of the efficacy of the Sababay approach to winemaking and the “fair trade” philosophy that governs its interaction with local farmers is undeniable. Farmers who once tried to eke out a living by selling their grapes for Rp. 500 per kilo to passing tourists from the side of Bali’s roads, now enjoy steady demand at prices that are 10 times more from Sababay Wine. The company’s expert winemakers and consulting agriculturalists are also involved in community outreach programs providing training and practical advice on increasing yields, improving crop quality and introducing newly imported varietals that will be purchased for coming vintages. Proven by the statistics shared by Ibu Gozali and the smiles on the faces of local farmers, life is improving for North Bali’s wine growers enjoying higher prices per kilogram of grape on crops that have more than doubled under Sababay’s tutelage.

The grapes cultivated in the Gerogak-Seririt-Banjat corridor of North Bali by Sababay, travel fown the island by special transport to the Company’s high-tech Indonesian winery that occupies a 2-hectare complex in Gianyar on the outskirts of the Island’s capital. Using the latest grape processing equipment imported from France, stainless steel fermentation and storage tanks, sophisticated temperature control, an automated bottling line from Italy, cool storage for finished products, laboratories that supervise quality control and sustainable solid and liquid waste management – all form part of an overall vision to bottle wines in Bali that will be welcome on dining tables around the world.

Flavorsome and refreshing, Sababay Wine is the perfect addition for a relaxing afternoons of conviviality or as the complement to a sumptuous dinner of Asian cuisine. And while all the traditional reasons to enjoy wine remain unchanged with the range of enjoyable wines produced by Sababay Winery, every glass raised is also a toast of goodwill and a propserous tomorrow for the grape farmers of North Bali.

Related Links

Heard on the Grape Vine

Moscato d’Bali

Sababay Winery

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