I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Chris a few times and I have no doubt you will be seeing a lot more of him and PengWine in the near future!
What’s your story?
I am from a small town in the USA. I’m one of the 2 owners and founder of a boutique wine, PengWine in the Maipo Valley of Chile.
I am a chef by trade and for many years I travelled the world as a private chef and studied wine appreciation and wine making in Australia.
I love food, wine and experiencing new cultures. I live the ‘life’!
What excites you most about your industry?
Wine has been shared for millennia. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of wine labels out there. What other industry can say that?
What I find exciting is that it’s not only about the complexity of wine; it’s more about the complexity and individuality of people.
The incredible history, the uniqueness of each wine experience, and the camaraderie of sharing a glass or a bottle is always new and another moment worth celebrating.
What’s your connection to Asia?
My wife was offered a job in Singapore in 2008. Relocating to Singapore was one of the best decisions we ever made and it’s been a fantastic place to create a head office for my company and to raise our family.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is a great place to set up a company and to find support from a strong business focussed community. The transparency and agility of the trade platforms are constantly evolving to assist with business success.
Right now I’m most excited about doing business in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam is vibrant and the business landscape is changing quickly and daily.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Make the effort to spend time enjoying nature and solitude. And cook with unwavering passion. I find both of these to be therapeutic and balancing, they keep me grounded and in the present.
Who inspires you?
My beautiful wife, she is an incredibly talented business woman and a wonderful mother. I truly don’t know how she does it.
My daughters who absorb and learn more than I ever thought possible. I learn as much from them as I do anyone else.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Stem Cell technology has matured to the point that any part of the body can be grown to exactly match any DNA. The Holy Grail has been found. What will the impact be?
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
To be clear, I don’t believe in regret. But if I were to do things differently, I would have brought a strong support team into my business much sooner. Initially I was not comfortable enough to ask for help and now I have learned the value of having a team of support!
How do you unwind?
I find that I must exert physical energy at least 3 times a week. I like to play tennis, golf, jog, gym, and paddle board.
Of course a nice glass or two of wine everyday helps too J
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Sentosa: I have been living on Sentosa for 4 years and I love it! Spending the weekends with my family and going for walks on the island are how I chillax.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Seven habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. I would call this the Business Bible. If you are an Entrepreneur then you have very likely, already read this book. And if you have not yet read it, I highly recommend you do so.
Shameless plug for your business:
PengWine is a wine with an added experience. Via our PengWine Academy we create a long lasting relationship to influence how wine is perceived, consumed and appreciated. Did I mention it’s only available for purchase at www.PengWine.com and at fine dining establishments in Singapore?
How can people connect with you?
Please reach out to me at [email protected] if you have any questions.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing has started, built, bought and sold half a dozen businesses in a range of industries across two continents. He is the owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 11 countries and he is also the CEO of Entrevo Asia, a company that runs 40 week Growth Accelerator programs.
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