Philippine Daily Inquirer
Lifestyle Section

Brothers Alex and Clifford Lichaytoo, collectors of premium wines from the best regions in Europe, have branched into the importation and selling of fine wines to devout connoisseurs in the Philippines through their wine shop Bacchus International, Inc.

The Lichaytoo brothers' natural appreciation of fine French wines and other European vintages stems from having spent and inordinate amount of time in the oldest cellars and wineries in such places as Bordeaux and Burgundy regions in France, elsewhere about the Napa Valley in the United States, as well as those in Italy and little known regions whose produce are locally celebrated.

From their frequent visits abroad, they slowly built a choice collection and, as a logical offshoot, wine aficionados hereabouts started to make purchases from them, suggesting the existence of a premium wine market in the Philippines. Taking a decidedly bold foray, Alex and Clifford agreed that the market was viable and with what Alex candidly terms as a "calculated risk," they opened their office in Alexander House on Amorsolo Street.

A year later, they opened their first wine shop at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, initially stocked with Grand Cru from the Bordeaux regions in France. Since then, Bacchus as we know it today, has been ably responding to a growing populace of discriminating drinkers of premium wines here and throughout Asia, as well as those from several continents.


wine showroom

Bacchus' new store recently opened at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel and its well-stocked showroom boasts of a collection of only the finest wines and vintages, with close to 400 wines in their portfolio, on an exclusive basis.

The newest showroom will have a grand opening on March 15. Some 700 wine connoisseurs, celebrities and guests to the by-invitation-only affair, will sample 720 bottles of wine from several Grand Cru vineyards all over the world. Exclusively for this occasion, Bacchus will fly in 150 kg of the best cheeses from France and Italy. Guests will be dancing to the music of Jay Cayuca and his band.






A sampling of Bacchus International Wines' wide selection of fine wines in the store and showroom.


In line with the momentous occasion, the brothers will also launch the Bacchus Foundation. Rare bottles of vintage wines will be auctioned during the wine and cheese event, proceeds of which will be used as seed money for the foundation's various projects. According to Alex, the Bacchus Foundation will work with different charity institutions. Special bottles will also be earmarked at the Bacchus stores and will be called Bacchus Foundation wines, from which a portion of its sales will be donated to charity.

The fastidious care and attention that went into the gradual completion of Alex's and Clifford's exquisite collection continues with Bacchus' importation of its excellent wines: shipping is done strictly through refrigerated containers, stored in refrigerated confines, as in the vans that transport their precious cargoes to 24-hour temperature-regulated shops.

The Bacchus showrooms are likewise staffed by individuals competent and knowledgeable in the nuances and character of fine wine. They assist in developing the market for what the Lichaytoo brothers hope will be "the proper enjoyment of wine." Bacchus has even envisioned weekly wine tasting for the public and can even schedule private training seminars for groups. Bacchus' campaign to satisfy the market has it even stocking its wide array of wines with reasonably ranged wines, such as those within the P300/bottle and upscale.

Bacchus also publishes its own magazine, Bacchus World, to update its patrons of the company's continued refinement of its selections as well as related issues.