Thach Vibol was 3-year-old when he and his family moved to France. They lived in the region of Rhône Valley in the Southeast France, a place where there are many vineyards throughout the region. Inspired by the creativity by the young Cambodians of today’s generation, Vibol dreamt of producing wine from his own grape farm. When he returned to Cambodia in the early 2000s to continued his father’s local cosmetic and perfume business, he made plans to see his dreams made into reality.
Thach decided to strike out on his own in June 2012 and found the French Wine Collection to help import wines from France. Now the Managing Director of the French Wine Collection in Phnom Penh, Vibol feels he is making a difference in the wine market in Cambodia. “I want to help wine producers in the region where I used to live, by seeking new Asia market for them,” Vibol explained. “In France, the market is too narrow because there are many wine companies are running these days.” Vibol continued to select quality wines but found that many local Cambodian wine lovers enjoy their wine mostly from the Bordeaux region.
Early in the business, Vibol found that the Cambodian market was already saturated with beer and whisky. Wine found its popularity and gained more sales since 2016, but Vibol saw more customers select their bottles for quality and “healthier” wines, rather than prices. In Cambodia, Vibol claims the most popular wines are from Château Pavis and Clos Fourlet.
Throughout his successful career, Thach continued to accomplish his dream. In 2017, he bought a 5-hectare vineyard in Languedoc, France. Collaborating with wine producers, Vibol attempted to make his own wine from his vineyard, the results became a wine called La Tour de Monfort. The wine has now distributed to every country on the globe with a signature decorated bottle of Cambodian and French flags. “I am proud when this wine comes from the idea of Khmer young generation,” Vibol claimed. “I want the world to know Cambodia, and I want to inspire young Cambodian entrepreneur to pursue bigger dreams.” Vibol still continues to attract more Cambodian investors to invest in this industry in France, as well as French investors to Cambodia.
The French Wine Collection is located at 6F, on Sothearos Blvd.