Grand Vin was founded by Derek Lee, a pioneer in the wine industry in Singapore for more than 20 years. We asked Kate Tan, CEO, Grand Vin Pte Ltd., to firstly tell us his story.
Mr Lee left Seagram and started Grand Vin Pte Ltd in 1996. He launched his operation in Singapore after more than 20 years of service as a wine specialist with prestigious brands like Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Laffite), E. Guigal, and Domaine Leflaive. Mr Lee is succeeded by his management team, who combined, have 50 years of experience behind them in the wine business.
VINEXPO HAS “QUALITY” STAMPED ALL OVER IT, WHICH IS ITS KEY SELLING POINT
With an experienced team at the helm, Grand Vin continues to hold multiple exclusive wine agencies and grow its portfolio with prestigious fine wines. Grand Vin has, in recent years, also acquired new agencies like Te Mata, Amelia Park, Domaine Billaud-Simon, Nittardi and Castello del Terriccio. Grand Vin’s Mission Statement is to be the fine wine merchant of choice in Singapore and rest of Asia with an extensive but exclusive portfolio of fine wine brands.
How are sales progressing, and what product categories are your “sweet spots” at the moment?
Sales have been growing consistently over the years for Grand Vin due to the strength of our portfolio. In recent years, we have seen a marked demand in Burgundies, not just for the renowned names like our crown gem: Domaine de la Romanée Conti. There is also an increase in interest Domaine Faiveley and Domaine Billaud Simon, together with Domaine Leflaive. Asia seems to have built an insatiable appetite for Burgundies!
Australia is this year’s country of honour. How do you work with Australian wines?
We represent Amelia Park in our portfolio and enjoy a wonderful working relationship with Amelia Park. There are many popular wines from Australia but at Grand Vin, we also strive to promote outstanding wines crafted by very passionate winemakers. Jeremy Gordon, a highly-decorated partner of Amelia Park is one such character. Since launching Amelia Park in 2009, Jeremy has won multiple trophies at high caliber wine shows including Australia’s most coveted: Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy. Amelia Park was again awarded 5 Red Stars in the latest edition of James Halliday’s Wine Companion, confirming it as one of the Best Wineries in the Margaret River Region.
What are your key reasons for coming to Vinexpo HK?
Vinexpo HK is a great way to catch up with all our agencies in a span of 3 days. Market reviews, new product updates and product tasting, understanding new industry trends, exchange of new sales strategies, and so on, are only a mere 3-hour plane ride away. It is a very well-executed show in the vibrant city of Hong Kong where stands are well laid out. Vinexpo has “quality” stamped all over it, which is its key selling point.