Visiting Kon Jong hamlet, Ngoc Reo commune (Dak Ha district), one cannot forget the scent of sticky rice wine fermented with leaves, a specialty crafted by the Xo Dang ethnic community here.

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During the "Creative Entrepreneurship for Women" contest organized by the Provincial Women's Union in 2022, I was introduced to the sticky rice wine from Kon Jong hamlet, Ngoc Reo commune. On that occasion, the sticky rice wine fermented with leaves made by Ms. Y Hoa from Kon Jong hamlet received high praise from the judges.

To delve deeper into the world of sticky rice wine, I recently visited Kon Jong hamlet, Ngoc Reo commune. Arriving at Ms. Hoa's house around noon, I found her busy preparing to brew wine, with firewood, yeast, banana leaves, and other ingredients laid out.

Despite her busy hands, Ms. Hoa took the time to chat: "Please bear with me, I'm busy preparing nearly a dozen batches of wine for a customer's order. Time is tight, so I have to multitask to process and ferment the wine promptly. If the fermentation time is too short, the wine won't develop its full flavor, affecting its quality."


Ms. Y Hoa Introduces the Traditional Process of Making Sticky Rice Wine with Leaves.

It is known that since Ngoc Reo commune started developing tourism at Dak Loi stream, many tourist groups have come to visit. From then on, the local residents have gradually reaped the benefits, especially in services related to local specialties. Ms. Y Hoa's sticky rice wine fermented with leaves is one such product.

Ms. Y Hoa shares: "I used to solely focus on farming to make a living. However, after witnessing the local tourism development, I decided to introduce the authentic products of the Xo Dang people to everyone. This was the opportunity for me to further immerse myself in the world of sticky rice wine."

For the Xo Dang ethnic people here, the aroma of ghè rice wine has been an integral part of their cultural life. Born and raised on this land, Ms. Y Hoa understands the process of making ghè rice wine very well. She often participates in fermenting wine with her fellow villagers for traditional festivals, weddings, and other celebrations. The aromatic ghè wine she makes always receives high praise from the villagers and visitors alike.

The completed jars of sticky rice wine with leaves.

Ms. Y Hoa shares: "The processing and sale of sticky rice wine fermented with leaves is a promising venture. The processing process can utilize local resources and labor, creating employment opportunities locally. The materials for making sticky rice wine can be grown, cared for, and harvested locally, and the leaves for fermentation can be sourced from the mountains. The products I make are actively delivered to customers upon request. At the same time, sticky rice wine fermented with leaves always receives objective, positive feedback from customers. Not only in terms of nutritional value but also in terms of flavor and food safety."

Currently, Ms. Y Hoa plans to further expand the scale of production of sticky rice wine fermented with leaves to meet customer demand. At the same time, she actively connects her product with local tourism development activities. Through this, she aims to promote her product to consumers widely, bringing the traditional flavor of Xo Dang sticky rice wine to a larger audience.


Ms. Y Hoa Cooking Purple Sticky Rice for Wine Fermentation

Savoring the flavor of sticky rice wine fermented with leaves, I seem to feel the "explosion" of a series of flavors. There's bitterness, intense spiciness, a subtle bitterness, and a lingering sweetness, gradually permeating from the tip of the tongue to the throat. It can be said that with the special processes and rustic ingredients, Ms. Y Hoa has created deeply flavorful sticky rice wine with the essence of mountainous aromas, leaving those who taste it unable to forget, enchanted until the last drop.

Reference: Kon Tum Newspaper