A pair of Thai sisters returned from their studies in Australia earlier and took over the family wine business. Ambitiously, they vowed to challenge the traditional wineries on their own and break out in the highly competitive domestic market.
Image from: Sing Tao Daily
GranMonte is located in a beautiful and tranquil setting near Bangkok. The 40-acre estate is lined with Syrah, Voignier and Chenin Blanc grapes.
The founders of GranMonte, Mr. and Mrs. Wiseau, have a deep knowledge of winegrowing and winemaking. They sent their eldest daughter Nikki to Australia to study oenology at the University of Adelaide, becoming the first and for the time being the only Thai female winemaker to hold a professional winemaking qualification.
With her experience in winemaking in South Africa, Portugal and France, Nikki became her father"s right-hand woman, working hard to run the winery and experimenting with new varieties to improve the quality of the winery's products. In addition to Nikki's role as Director of Winegrowing and Winemaking, Wiseau's youngest daughter, Mimi, is also involved in the winery and is the company's Marketing Director. The family's dedication to the business has resulted in GranMonte's award-winning wines.
Despite being a Buddhist country, Thailand has the highest alcohol consumption in Southeast Asia, according to WHO data, and has very strict brewing restrictions, allegedly to limit the amount of alcohol consumed by the population. Critics argue that the move is intended to protect the big breweries that have long monopolized the market.
The family of Su Xu Ming, the founder of Thailand's largest brewer ThaiBev, is the third richest family in Thailand, with famous brands such as Elephant brand beer.
Mimi complained that she was afraid to post photos of her winery's wines online, much less share reviews, for fear of breaking the rules.
GranMonte lost 30 million baht (about RM4.05 million) during the embargo imposed in response to the outbreak. With Thailand announcing a ban on online wine sales this month, Mimi admits that business is bound to take a new hit.