ISSUE #59 – French wine of pedigree has long been favoured by serious connoisseurs and collectors in Singapore but Vincent Morello and Eric Joubert were convinced that there was also growing space for good-value and good-quality wine from smaller vineyards.
Like them, they felt that people were often daunted by the smorgasbord of choice from France, which has more than 20, 000 wineries and a labelling system that confuses many.
The French Cellar is pioneering the wine subscription ecommerce model into Asia with the aim to bring to our members the best wines that France has to offer and at great value.
The French Cellar members discover two exquisite wines every month at home, exclusively through our platform, thanks to a special and personal relationship between our sommelier, Nicolas Rebut, and French winemakers.
Wine expert sommelier Nicolas Rebut selects the wines that The French Cellar will provide to its customers, which guarantees wines will be of a very good quality.
Indeed, after years of delighting three star Michelin restaurant customers, Nicolas Rebut now makes use of his knowledge to craft a unique selection of French wines, along with wine tasting notes and pairing advice. Based in France, he explores vineyards and tastes thousands of wine samples each year and selects only the best wines from renowned estates and undiscovered appellations.
A GROWING MARKET IN ASIA
The French wine market in Asia shows tremendous potential, with a total value of about €3 billion per year. The share of French wine exports to Asia has strongly grown with no signs of slowing.
As the first company in the market to introduce the concept of curated French wine subscriptions, The French Cellar is well positioned to tap into this growing market in Asia.
For instance, the wine market in China shows great potential. It is a market in which French wine, more than anywhere else, essentially means wine from Bordeaux. The French Cellar aims to convince Chinese drinkers that there is a whole world of less expensive, very enjoyable French wine from unexplored terroirs waiting to be savoured.
Founded in Singapore in 2013, The French Cellar has received funds from two strategic investors: Kyosei Ventures and ESW Manage.
Kyosei Ventures, an investment holdings company and partner of SPH, was founded by Jackie Lee, a seasoned serial entrepreneur. Mr Lee is Chairman of The French Cellar. Private equity firm ESW Manage was founded by Wong Yat Foo who has more than 15 years of experience in regional and cross-border capital market transactions including M&As, initial public offering and private equity investment. Mr Wong was the CEO and chairman of Mentor Media Ltd, which went public in 1999 and sold for SGD168 million.
The French Cellar is not only an online platform (TheFrenchCellar.asia) but also a myriad of public tasting events and wine appreciation workshops for companies. We are convinced that our subscription model of curated wines is the solution to the challenge millions of wines lovers face in choosing their wines in Asia. Launched in 2015 in China, our immediate markets of interest include Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Article by Vincent Morello, CEO & Co-Founder, The French Cellar
Article published in the FOCUS Magazine “The Enterprising Spirit” – Issue #1 2016
PHOTO: Nicolas Rebut, The French Cellar sommelier