5 Things Worth Toasting About At This Hidden Wine Room In Makati
Makati abounds with wine choices but the latest secret rendezvous is tucked away in the middle of bustling Chino Roces Avenue. Happy Living Philippines recently opened its Tasting Room and has already gathered loyal devotees keen to bask in the charming intimacy of this quiet haven, preferably with their favorite vino on hand.
The Tasting Room reflects the evolution of the company and an increasing confidence in the burgeoning wine market. “Our market is growing exponentially at 20%,” Griffith Go of Happy Living Philippines enthusiastically imparted. A recent International Wine and Spirit Research study validated that the period of growth between 2014 and 2019 will remain strong in the Philippines at +26.5%.
If that is not reason enough to have a glass (or even a bottle), here are 5 cheerful developments worth a toast:
1. A legacy of iconic California wines
“We started with Beringer and California wines have always been our trademark. We want to respect that legacy,” Griffith revealed. Founder Katherine Yao Santos and her family were responsible for bringing in prestigious Napa Valley and Sonoma County wineries, including Beringer, Chateau Montelena, Joseph Phelps, Cakebread Cellars, Freemark Abbey, and Schramsberg in 1994, just when Filipinos were opening their palate to wines. Some of these notable labels can be enjoyed in tasting or glass portions, before deciding on the preferred bottle to linger over.
2. Marrying the old and the new
In 2017, Happy Living increased its wine portfolio to include more old world wines, particularly from France, as well as new world wines. It now carries around 130 labels, comprised of wines that offer quality at reasonable prices. General Manager Julian Gagliardi worked with personal friends, industry contacts, and winery owners to establish personal relationships to get the best quality for Happy Living. Among the wine labels Happy Living now carries are Champagne Duval-Leroy, Chateau Croix de Labrie, and Valdivieso. More Italian, Spanish, New Zealand and Australian wines are expected to be added, joining an already impressive roster of wine brands.
3. Beyond the vines
Griffith was eager to share what to expect from Happy Living in the coming months. “We are increasing our portfolio and our SKUs to include spirits.” A shipment of gins, barrel-aged in Chardonnay oak barrels, and whiskies from a small handcrafted distillery in Petaluma, California just arrived and represent an expansion of their California portfolio.
4. Building for growth
Happy Living moved to its new location recently, complete with a temperature-controlled warehouse capable of storing 120,000 bottles at any given time. “We are bringing in more wines, perhaps 50% more shipments compared to last year and we plan to double that next year. We had to build the infrastructure to accommodate that growth,” Griffith elaborated. Welcome news for oenophiles, as more selections are coming soon to the Tasting Room.
5. Making wine tasting fun
A wine tasting room’s aesthetics can provide the right environment for patrons to relax and unwind over a favorite liquor bottle. Happy Living’s Tasting Room captures that ambiance perfectly in an intimate setting that allows visitors to browse, choose, and enjoy wines at their leisure. With enomatic machines that offer selected wines by the glass and rows of iconic labels for perusal, the Tasting Room is an idyllic sanctuary one can get lost in.
If you are in the vicinity, make sure to drop by the Tasting Room for its Mid-Year Sale ongoing now while supplies last. Grab the opportunity to buy bottles of Chateau St. Jean, Valdivieso, Schramsberg, and more at discounted prices.
Warehouse 16, La Fuerza Compound, 2241 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City, (02) 895-6507, (02) 896-0336, www.happylivingph.com