Hometown of Tibetan highland barley wine: Chamchen Village

Publish Time: 2021-08-02 Author: From: China Tibet Online

Highland barley wine is an indispensable drink for Tibetans, and it is also top grade for celebrating festivals and entertaining guests. If you want to experience the Tibetan highland barley wine culture, you must go to Chamchen Village! This is Tibet’s “hometown of wine”, located in the Chongye River Valley, on the south bank of the middle reaches of the Yarlung Tsangpo River.

Highland barley wine is slightly yellow in color and sweet and sour. According to Tibetan customs, when guests come, the bold and enthusiastic host will pick up the jug and pour the wine to present to the guests. Singing wine songs is a major feature in Chamchen villagers’ drinking habits. When toasting guests on festivals, you must first hold the glass and sing the wine song. The lyrics are mostly improvisations, and the content is all words of praise and blessing. When singing a wine song, the body must dance to the rhythm, but the wine in the glass must never be spilled. Sometimes, the guests also sing wine songs in return, singing to one another, and the atmosphere is very lively.

Since the selected highland barley, temperature, and other factors are different each time when brewing highland barley wine, the taste of the highland barley wine tastes slightly different each time it is brewed. “Even if someone has been brewing highland barley wine all their lives, there may be times when the brewing is unsuccessful. Therefore, if you encounter good highland barley wine, you must drink a few more glasses,” the head of Chamchen village, Gado, said, while poured a glass of highland barley wine to the guests and sang a local wine song.

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