Sipping Through Time: A Journey Inside Cheongdo’s Wine Tunnel

Cheongdo Wine Tunnel

Today, we are taking a quick walk through one of the area’s most exciting attractions– the Persimmon Wine Tunnel. The tunnel is an abandoned train tunnel. Trains no longer run their rails. The cool, wet brick walls and neon lights create a party atmosphere. The Cheongdo Wine Tunnel is the perfect place for aging persimmon wine, made by fermenting seedless persimmons… a fruit with a very similar taste to the apricot.

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The Cheongdo Wine Tunnel

Opened in 2006, the Cheongdo Wine Tunnel is the world’s first persimmon wine cellar. Bright orange persimmon trees adorn Cheongdo, and small family farms dot the landscape. Here, persimmons are dried and processed into juice and wine. Just a 45-minute drive west of downtown Daegu, Cheongdo is an ideal day trip spot, especially if you’re journeying through the heart of Daegu or taking a shorter toll road. The town has a reputation for its persimmon wine, various persimmon-based products, and a unique March event I’ll mention later.

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Temperature Controlled Climate

If you’re planning to visit, remember to pack a sweater. Situated within a mountain, the tunnel maintains a cool climate throughout the year, making it a sought-after tourist spot during summer. During the Joseon Dynasty in 1898, they initially constructed the “Namseonghyeon Tunnel.” The transformation into the Cheongdo Wine Tunnel we recognize today happened a century ago, with persimmon growers adding red bricks to the tunnel’s ceiling and fortifying the walls with natural stone.

Inside the Cheongdo Wine Tunnel

The tunnel divides into several areas: an entrance, a seated wine bar, an art gallery, and a neon light display. Access to the first two sections is complimentary, while the latter two have a fee of 2,000 Won each—some advice. If you can read Hangul, you might save 4,000 Won.

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Persimmon Wine

There are several persimmon wine variants available for tasting. Options range from sweet to dry, allowing you to savor a glass of each. They also offer iced wine; while you can’t taste it, you can buy it for 90,000 Won. Due to its production process, ice wine typically fetches a higher price globally. In cold regions, they freeze the grape or persimmon on the vine and then crush it. This method renders it pricier to produce and, hence, to buy. Additionally, its flavor profile is intensely sweet. For those interested, there’s also a cheese plate available for an added 4-9,000 Won.

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Getting to Cheongdo

Reaching Cheongdo is relatively straightforward. Driving is an option, or you could opt for the regular train from Dondaegu Station, which runs every 20-30 minutes. The final train returns after 11 pm. Upon reaching Cheongdo, a 20-minute taxi or city bus can get you to the tunnel. However, ensure you check the bus schedules in advance. Given a choice, I’d recommend parking at the train station and hiring a taxi to the tunnel. Traffic can challenge you as you approach the site, and limited parking spots are available. Taxis, in contrast, are plentiful and can easily navigate the traffic.

Bullfighting in March

Every March, Cheongdo hosts bullfighting events. Contrary to initial thoughts of Spanish-styled festivals, these events feature bulls combating each other, a spectacle that might not appeal to everyone.

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Comments

  1. Cellars Wine Club

    A wonderful place to enjoy a delicious wine. Wine lovers will like this place. Plenty of wines to be tasted and the theme on this place is really great. Persimmon wine tunnel sure know how to handle the kind of product their producing.

  2. Cellars Wine Club

    It’s so amazing! A wine cellar inside a tunnel. A great place to go with your friends for a wine adventure. It’s also a great alternative if you’re tired of your usual grape wines. A must add to your bucket list!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      It’s pretty cool to see something other than grapes being made into wine. I think its an acquired taste, but I love to find new experiences when I travel.

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