Cheongdo, in Gyeongsanbukdo is well known for its bull fighting, dalmaji burning and annual tug of war. It is a renowned garden city popular for its fresh farm produce such as peaches and persimmons. It is for the latter that most visitors venture from all over the peninsula to sample some of Cheongdo’s famous persimmons… in wine form at the Cheongdo wine tunnel.
Cheongdo Wine Tunnel (청도 와인터널)
Cheongdo’s excess of fresh persimmons (producing 25million tons annually) led to the development of gam (‘gam/감’ is Korean for ‘persimmon’) wine. The tunnel was established in 1904 before it was repurposed to the wine tunnel in 2006. Cheongdo wine tunnel features light installations and exhibitions from locally based artists and schools. While the tunnel is especially beautiful in autumn when local orchards are brimming with bright orange fruit, it can be enjoyed all year round as inside it remains between 13 and 15 degrees throughout the year.
Visitors can sample a dry or sweet glass of gam wine for just 3,000-4,00원 (add a cheese plate for 5,000원). Differing from western style wine, gam wine has a tart taste but isn’t entirely unpleasant if consumed slowly with a plate of cheese and chocolate. The makers of the wine boast that it offers health benefits in preventing disease. Persimmons are considered somewhat of a hangover cure in Korea the wine apparently won’t inflict any kind of hangover.
In addition to gam wine, there are a range of persimmon products to try including chocolate, vinegar, makgoelli, sweets, dried/half dried fruits, and bread.
Take a train or bus to Dong Daegu. Switch to another train travelling through Cheongdo station (en route to Busan or Pohang). Trains depart every 20~30 min from 6am till 11pm and take 20 mins.
Buses from Cheongdo station depart for the tunnel 10 times a day: 07:00, 07:50, 09:40, 11:20, 13:20, 14:50, 16:00, 18:00, 19:20, 20:20 (take a bus bound for Songgeum-ri 송금리).
Entry fee: 2,000원 per person- free for the first 200m.
Opening hours: Weekdays & National Holidays 09:30-20:00
For more information on Cheongdo and its attractions visit here.