AWP formulates partnership to elevate ‘wine and dining’ experience for tourists


In celebration of its 50th year of tourism, Bhutan has launched a new initiative aimed at significantly enhancing the guest experience within the Kingdom.

The exciting partnership brings a curated selection of highly sought-after wines from renowned chateaus across Europe, alongside offerings from America, Australia, and New Zealand, to Bhutan.

This will provide visitors with unique and sophisticated beverage options to complement the country’s rich cultural and culinary heritage.

The initiative is a collaboration between the Army Welfare Project (AWP) and Wine Portal, a leading global wine sourcing and distribution company. The agreement allows Wine Portal to supply AWP with a range of premium wines for distribution throughout Bhutan.

The announcement coincided with the birthday of Her Majesty Gyaltsuen on 4 June, marking an auspicious occasion for this new venture.

A ceremony marked the official signing of the partnership. Through this partnership, guests can now savor these exquisite wines, along with others, expertly paired with Bhutanese cuisine, offering an elevated dining experience at the country’s top restaurants, hotels, and resorts. The collaboration extends beyond simply providing these high-quality wines.

Wine-tasting and appreciation events, educational sessions, and workshops led by esteemed sommeliers, experts, and vintners will soon be offered.

These events will provide guests with the opportunity to learn about the history, production methods, and characteristics of various wines, enriching their Bhutanese experience.

The new AWP-Wine Portal partnership reflects Bhutan’s dedication to providing world-class hospitality and crafting unforgettable experiences for its visitors. This commitment is further solidified by the planned opening of a new wine academy.

The academy will serve to cultivate understanding and appreciation for fine wines among connoisseurs, tourism professionals, and hospitality staff within the kingdom.

By integrating these exceptional wines into its hospitality infrastructure, Bhutan aims to attract a new wave of discerning travelers and wine enthusiasts, solidifying its reputation as a premier travel destination.

Reflecting Bhutan’s strong commitment to sustainability, approximately 85 percent of the wines included in the partnership feature a sustainability focus.

These selections encompass labels that are organic, biodynamic, female-owned, or vegan. The provenance of the wines is meticulously managed and guaranteed, with temperature-controlled storage implemented throughout the entire supply chain.

Rinchen Yoezer, Managing Director of AWP, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership stating, “We are proud to partner with Wine Portal to bring a selection of the world’s very best wines to the Kingdom of Bhutan.

“Travelers to Bhutan expect to enjoy some of the world’s most exclusive and interesting wines during their stays, and it is our goal to make the wines on offer as much of a showstopper as the country itself. This agreement brings these legendary wines to Bhutan for the first time.”

SooHoo Khoon Peng, Chairman and Founder of Wine Portal, added, “The wines that we are bringing to the Kingdom of Bhutan include some of the most storied labels in Europe, representing generations of grape husbandry and wine fermentation knowledge.

The introduction of these wines aligns with the Himalayan Kingdom’s strategy of promoting high-value, low-volume tourism to ensure the preservation of its cultural and environmental heritage.

It also represents another step in Bhutan’s development as a social and economic hub, with South Asian and Southeast Asian markets continuing to lead global growth indices.

The Gelephu Mindfulness City Special Administrative Region (SAR), under development in the southern region of the Kingdom, will accelerate this process by fostering deeper engagement between Bhutan and regional and international markets.

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