Located on Dhamazedi Road in the space where Monument Books used to be, The Warehouse held a grand opening on Saturday May 6th with crowds spilling out into the yard where a band played live music and guests enjoyed a barbeque. The Warehouse story started in 1996 in Vietnam, and has now operations also in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Their first Myanmar venture began in October 2012.Country Manager François Bureau spoke with My Magical Myanmar in the temperature-controlled showroom on Dhamazedi Road where shelves are packed floor to ceiling with wine bottles from all over the world. Flags denoting countries of origin hang at the end of the shelves and there is a glass case with price tags of more than one million Kyat.
Bureau spent years earning his master’s degree in all aspects of the wine business at home in France. After his marriage and some years in France’s wine industry, he and his wife moved to Vietnam.It was April 2015 when Bureau re-established The Warehouse in Myanmar. A common misconception that Myanmar is not a wine-drinking country is in fact wrong- in Pyin Oo Lwin, Chin State and other cooler parts of the country, fruit wines such as plum and pineapple wines have been produced for centuries.
But it wasn’t until Aythaya Vineyard quickly followed by Red Mountain Winery that grape wine as we know it was produced in Myanmar growing the local interest in the drink. Now with a quickly growing tourism industry, and healthy Burmese repat population coming back from overseas, the market is showing growing local wine interest — with more wine than ever is being consumed.
“Most of our customers today are hotels hosting tourists so the more tourists Myanmar receives, the more wine we can sell,” Bureau said. “Step by step, more locals are coming to drink wine and a lot of repats are coming to spread the interest too.”The Warehouse refrigerated transportation methods in order to maintain the high quality of the wine. “Our containers are refrigerated so the wine leaves the winery at 16 degrees and arrives in the shop at 16 degrees.”Bureau says The Warehouse intends to expand outside Yangon. “There will be more offices and showrooms around the country as the country’s economy expands.The biggest reward for me is that it’s working and business is good. We started from scratch and now our activities are booming.”The Warehouse stocks 200 wines from every major wine-growing area in the world. In the showroom, at 150 Dhamazedi Road, the staff are trained to give guidance and to help customers choose the right bottle. The Warehouse is opendaily from 9am to 9pm.