The best plum wine in Korea, Maesil Wonju 대한민국 최고의 매실주, 매실원주

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Images by Lee Ji Min


Maesil Wonju is the only traditional Korean plum wine solely made with 100% plum. Commonly, most producers artificially adds some sugars for brewing plum wine in Korea. Because plum hasn’t enough sugar for making a proper liqueur.

According to the Liquor Tax Law of Korea, 72% liquor tax rate is laid on liqueur. But 30% liquor tax rate is laid on fruit wine in Korea, so the most plum wine producers blends for making plum wine with undiluted plum juice 60% and fruit wine 40% such as cheap wine or odorless & colorlessness fruit wine. It is much more profitable rather than making liqueur.


The remarkable fact is that Maesil Wonju was brewed by undiluted plum juice 100% for making premium traditional wine, nevertheless high liquor tax rate in Korea. Also, general plum wine in Korea was brewed by green plum was harvested in May. But, Maesil Wonju was brewed by mature yellow plum was harvested in July.

For reference, general green plum has a thick pulp and a weak fragrance, in comparison, yellow plum has a fabulous fragrance and a weak pulp. So, it is very hard that the distribution & storage of yellow plum. Despite these shortcomings, Maesil Wonju was brewed by undiluted plum juice 100% since released, and awarded at the several international concour such as Monde Selection 2012, 2013, 2014 Gold Award; SWSC (San Francisco World Spirits) 2014 Silver Award.






국내 최초 매실 100%로 만든 최상품 매실주, 매실원주. 일반적으로 매실주는 자체 당분만으로 양조가 어려운 과실이기 때문에 인위적으로 당을 첨가해 양조할 수 밖에 없다. 국내 주세법상 리큐르는 72%의 주세율이 부과되는 반면, 과실주는 30%의 주세율이 부과되기에 국내의 타 매실주는 매실주 원액(60%)과 저렴한 와인 또는 사과주 등에 향과 맛을 제거한 과실주(40%)를 혼합하여 제조한다.


그러나 매실원주는 72%나 되는 높은 주세를 감수하면서도 프리미엄 전통주의 품격을 지키기 위해 100% 매실주 원액만을 사용하는 술이다. 또한 국내의 다른 매실주는 5~6월경에 수확되는 청매를 이용하는 반면, 매실원주는 7월에 수확되는 보다 원숙한 황매를 이용해 양조한다.

참고로 청매는 과육이 단단하고 향미가 적은 반면, 황매는 청매에 비해 향미가 뛰어나지만 과실의 외형이 유지되지 않고 유통 및 보관이 어려워 고가로 유통된다. 하지만 매실원주는 100% 매실을 사용하고 있기 때문에 출시 4년만에 국제 콩쿠르에서 다수의 수상을 기록하며 대한민국 최고의 매실주로 평가 받고 있다.





rfasdfdsgTasting note of Maesil Wonju

The only traditional Korean plum wine solely made with 100% plum.

Green plum, Yellow ripen plum. And organic honey cultivated on Jeju Island

How to Make
15% alc./vol. : More than 1 year aged(Green plum 20% +Yellow ripen plum 80%).
20% alc./vol. : More than 3 years aged(Yellow ripen plum 100%)

Type & Feature
Fruit Liqueurs. It’s aroma is a seductive mixture of wild forest and blooming flowers, rounded out with the honeys sweetness.

Matching with Food
Marinate pork, spicy food such as stir-fried Octopus. Sweet Pizza, Ice-cream, Fruit salad

How to Drink
Served chilled. Drink this as a dessert wine. Enjoy on the rocks or mixed with ice-cold soda water.




Contributor, Lee Ji Min
She is a president of the Korean web site Daedonyeojudo()’ which provides information of ‘Real Korean Alcohol’. Also, you can meet some cartoons, way to more delicious, traditional cocktail recipe for all over the world.

이지민 대표는 대한한국의 명주를 전 세계에 소개하는 사이트인 대동여주도를 운영하며  전통주 보급에 앞장서는 첨병으로 활동하고 있다.

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