THE FLYING WINEMAKER
Combining wine enjoyment, education, lifestyle and fun, the two-level The Flying Winemaker flagship store features a wine gallery over 300 wine labels from all over the world and a second-level fully functional WineLab hosting innovative wine tasting and blending classes.
We understood from our client Eddie McDougall – The Flying Winemaker himself – his launch venue that shares the namesake should offer an enjoyable, vibrant, and welcoming setting unlike most wine retail stores that only focus on high-volume sales. The Flying Winemaker does not want to be merely a retail store. Eddie hosts unique wine classes regularly and desires for a home for what he calls the Wine Lab. When one hears about wine-drinking, traditionally we thought of dinner banquets, gallery openings, or upper class pass-time as opposed to beer-drinking for the bourgeois and working class. To Eddie, wine could be enjoyed in everyday living, in a glass without long stem or even a plastic cup, as he coined the “Plastic Cup Movement”. Being an Australian-Chinese with multinational backgrounds he also offers recommendations on international wine-pairing with Asian cuisines. His business vision is clear, casual, sharing, fun, and meant to define enjoyable and relaxed lifestyle without pretense.
The location of The Flying Winemaker is in the heart of Central District at the intersection of D’AguilarStreet and Wyndham Street. The two-storey premise defines the street corner, with clear fixed glass windows that meant for customers to see out as much as passer-bys to see in. Besides time and budget constraints, efficient use of space is a critical concern for any business operating in CentralDistrict where retail leasing cost is among highest in the world. Overlapping visual merchandisingconcepts, retail and class activities, and wine products, we optimized space-planning and implement multi-functional millworks within the 80 sm space, including sliding blackboards which are the doors in front of wine refrigerators; a rotating blackboard that could be used as a partition during special events, and a World-Map backlit wine tasting table that is used for teaching as well as themed display.
Material-wise, we specified dark whisky oak wood, copper sheeting, and hexagonal mosaic tiles that attempt to bring out the nostalgia process as winemaking is a traditional know-how passed from generations to generations. We custom-designed a wine chandelier with bottoms of bottles sliced off, using the ones that were consumed during brain-storming sessions with Eddie. We had the fit-out contractor to manually remove white tiles and insert black ones to create the store name and wine bottle mosaics on the floors. Whether walking through the ground floor retail or the second floor Wine Lab entrances, we hope the customers and students would share the joy of learning and wine-drinking.