June 2009 - Posts
Considering that many New World wine countries have tried the wine train experiment — even cautious Canada — either as a seasonal or permanent attraction, isn’t it time to consider it in India too? That would be an option that I can see many urban dwellers taking to.
is not far from Mumbai and the route is scenic. There are trains galore already
running between the two places. A day trip to and fro with wine and
wine-related food on board and a dekko of the vineyards (maybe a couple of
wineries) would be ideal!
That would bring tourism to the area,
popularise a growing industry in Maharashtra (viticulture) and also offer yet
another international style travel option right here in India. In fact, even
Karnataka can consider it! The stumbling block is glaringly obvious: how can
liquor be allowed to be served (legally) on board trains? Well designate the
train as a hotel, whatever. The idea deserves at least a thought!
More: Economic Times
Caught napping by a consumer crisis after a series of record years, the French wine trade is lusting after the potentially huge markets of China and India as an outlet for Old World wine sales.
But this may not prevent a restructuring of the cozy grand
family-oriented traditional wine industry with its myriad of chateaux
still on show at the opening day of the twice-a-year Vinexpo world wine and spirits industry fair. There were many examples present at the Vinexpo fair, where the number
of visitors was noticeably lower than in 2007, such as the Alienors
grouping of 12 female wine growers.
While European winemakers are eager to export their wares to
China, where sales are still small but growing fast, Chinese capital
appears keener on buying into Bordeaux.
"No. no, I do not give discounts for big volume, I produce for quality
not for volume," a potential female Chinese buyer was told, while
drinks were poured for the assembled visitors. "And no, I cannot give
you exclusivity for all of the mainland."
Many of the local dynasties have had foreign infusions, be it in
blood or capital, as the Rothschild families or the Suntory group can
Simon Bradford, export director at traders Ballade & Meneret said
the crisis will cut Bordeaux prices down to a level that will make them
attractive to more consumers, but might also be the final, impassable
obstacle for houses with shaky finances.
More: Yahoo News
Cumbum Valley Winery Ltd., Anamalaipatti, Tamil Nadu
Cumbum Valley Winery Ltd. is Rs
9.5 crore project. But this project was not an overnight
manifestation and has had a gestation period of nearly 13 years. A
major manufacturer of printers’ ink, R Raghu, the chairman of the
winery, was attracted by the colourful bunches and the taste of the
fruits, and so he bought a small plot at the far end of the valley. He
first saw grapevine in the early 1990s and had watched a BBC programme
on wine production. He then made up his mind to start a winery in the
valley. He also wanted to help the grape cultivators who found it hard
to market their crops.
This winery in Anamalaipatti near Cumbum will start producing wine either late August or early September 2009.
There were the usual road blocks and
hassles but he overcame them all to launch the industry. He was
confident that there would be no need now for the cultivators to bury
their fruits, or look for marketing facilities as his winery purchased
all of their produce. He was also thankful to District Collector P
Muthuveeran for his cooperation and assistance. Permission for
the winery was granted a year ago and it would change the industrial
profile of the district, said Muthuveeran. He was told that the wines
produced here would be on par in quality with other wines available in
The Cumbum valley wine would be marketed through TASMAC
outlets, he added. Padma Ravichandran, the general manager of the winery, described it as a dream project.
More: Express Buzz
Chateau Indage from Indage Vintners Ltd. introduces ‘South Bay’, one of its finest wine collections inspired by the wines of Australia with similar style of easy drinking, up front fruit flavors and soft tannins. South Bay provides an ideal mix of steady and long ripening of grapes during the harvest season.
South Bay is available in two varietals- Shiraz and Chenin Blanc. South Bay Shiraz is a garnet red colored wine which has aromas of spicy fruit of mulberry and raisins. The palate offers a hint of oak with firm, well matured tannins. The finish is warm and long lasting making it as an ideal accompaniment to most meat dishes or on its own as an aperitif.
South Bay Chenin Blanc is a straw colored white wine with a greenish tint. The wine offers intense aromas of citrus and pineapple on the nose and the palate offers aromas of ripe tropical fruits with a hint of oak which adds to the complexity of the wine. South Bay Chenin Blanc is well paired with cheese, light vegetarian meals or seafood.
According to Ranjit Chougule, Managing director, Indage Vintners Ltd, “South Bay is amongst the finest several wines we plan to introduce this year. It is being introduced in two popular varietals and will generate a lot of demand from wine drinkers.”
Priced at Rs. 396 all inclusive, South Bay is available at all leading outlets and hotels.
About Indage Vintners Limited:
Indage Vintners Limited (IVL), established in 1982, is India’ oldest & largest multinational wine company with over 100 international awards and medals. Within India, it produces more than 1.5million (9 liter) cases of wine from 4 state of the art wineries and has complete backward integration from nurseries, biotech to its own estate vineyards of more than 2,000 acres. The Company controls more than 70% market share of wines produced in India utilizing a product portfolio of more than 40 brands in every price point and product type in the Indian wine industry which has given the company recognition of more than 70 International awards of quality from IWSC, Decanter and IWC. Globally, IVL owns a 3.5 million case winery called Thachi Wines in South Australia that produces a large range of Australian and New Zealand wine brands such as Red Sky, Broken Earth and South Bay. IVL’s Australia operations are based out of Vinecrest, a boutique estate winery in the famous Barossa region of South Australia. IVL also owns and operates, under Indage UK Ltd, a fully integrated wine supply chain management business which is an importer, bottling plant with a capacity of 3.5 million cases and a distributor to more than 4000 outlets in the UK. Globally, IVL employs more than 750 people and operates in more than 58 countries with a consolidated turnover of $100 million
In India, IVL is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and is part of the Indage Group that has
interest in Restaurants & Leisure, Construction & Retail.
Kulpreet Yadav gives a round up of fruit wines in Kasauli:
I would strongly recommend fruit wine, made by a local brewery
called Sutter House (now called Waterfall Wines), available everywhere.
It comes in riotous colors and flavors like peach, strawberry, apricot,
grapes, rhododendron and apple. The best part is the price. A bottle of
750 milliliters ranges from 130-300 rupees only.
"Why so cheap?", I asked the local guy at the "daily needs" shop,
who sold me some fantastic square shaped homemade Chicken salami the
previous evening. "Sir, it is all due to this tax exemption", he began
hesitatingly. Stutter house began four years ago with a tax holiday
window (part of the HP Government’s drive to boost investment in the
state) and last year when the holiday was coming to an end, the company
just overnight changed the name to Waterfall and got another tax
holiday for five years.
"Smart!", I exclaimed and bought two bottles -- peach for 150 rupees
and rhododendron for 200 rupees. Rhododendron, made out of wild red
alpine flowers found in the higher reaches of the Himalayas, was
cunningly mysterious (refraining me from conclusively declaring from
the flavor wheel). It ranged from being fruit intensive to something
like cocktailed with sweet Chinese vinegar. However, the peach wine was
sportingly sweet for an unaccustomed Indian palate.
Wine from North East India...
Two wineries are being set up in mountainous
Mizoram to produce wine from premium quality grapes and passion fruits
grown locally. "We are all ready to produce between 700,000
to 800,000 litres of high quality wine annually,' says Mizoram's
horticulture department director Samuel Rosanglura.
With Mizoram's climatic condition suitable
for growing the high quality Lubrusca variety of grapes that promise
good returns, more and more farmers are setting up vineyards.
'The two wineries are being set up by a
society formed by grape growers and the government is providing them
with logistical support,' Rosanglura said.
The product is set to hit the market in two months under the brand name
of Zawlaidi, meaning love potion in the Mizo language. A bottle of 650
ml of Zawlaidi will be priced at Rs.150. 'To make the wine competitive and conform to
international standards, experts from Shaw Wallace will train and guide
the winemakers,' Rosanglura said.
Four Seasons Wines Ltd (FSWL), a subsidiary of
United Spirits Ltd (USL), part of the UB Group, has launched a
collection of Four Seasons Varietal wines across the country. Four
Seasons wines are made at Baramati in Maharashtra.
new range will offer best Indian wines in five wine varietals -
Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Blush. These wines have been tasted and lauded
by wine experts like Steven Spurrier (wine expert &
consultant editor of Decanter Magazine), Jacques Puisais (French wine
expert & author, V P & Co-Founder - The Institute of Taste,
France) and Bruno Li Paumard (French wine expert & master
In India, the Four Seasons wine range is priced at around
Rs 450-500, and Four Seasons wines will leverage the
distribution strength of USL and are now available across wine retail
outlets, restaurants and lounges in all metros and mini-metros in India.
More: FnB News
Paul Bailey, the chief wine-maker at Vallee de Vin (producers of the new homegrown wine brand, Zampa), is a veteran from Australia, whose passion for wine-making has led him to Nasik, where he now lives. He has studied oenology at Adelaide University in South Australia and worked at the famed Barossa Valley, Mildura and Sydney, for 10 years, before he moved to Orlando Winery, makers of Jacobs Creek. He began consulting with Vallee de Vin in 2006, before joining the company as chief wine-maker in 2008.
"A Rose, which is an easy wine to drink, could be a good place to start
for a wine virgin," says Paul Bailey, Chief Wine Maker, Vallee De Vin
(producers of the homegrown brand, Zampa). "It's a wine made of red
berry fruits and is just 12.5% alcoholic, which makes it an all-day
wine," he says.
The most common mistake novices in India make is to opt for an imported
wine rather give a wine made in India, a chance. "There are some
imported wines I wouldn't even clean my drains with," he laughs. "And
then there are some absolutely incredible wines that come out of this
country. It's not about whether a wine is imported, it's about do you
like it or not."
Bailey suggests that first-timers could also try any sparkling wine,
which tends to be lighter. But do keep these three thumb rules in mind
before you sip:
- Always drink wine at the correct temperature, somewhere between 15ÂºC and 18ÂºC.
sure you drink the wine in a wine glass. It's not just about
presentation, but also about being able to see the colour of the wine
- Take in the aroma before you sip.
- For women, 2 glasses are ideal. For a man, 4 glasses at a time are enough.
Bailey dispels the myth that a beginner needs to try a sweet wine to
enjoy it. "It has to be light, not sweet. A sweet wine is usually a
dessert-style wine, which is best consumed after being poured on ice
cream." Bailey advises you to trust your imagination and experiment
with your wine. "You are bound to come across one that you will love
soon enough. It's all about the experience," he smiles.
Amfora Wine and Foods Pvt Ltd has introduced Oz Wine Bars in India. The
company will sell the machines to premium restaurants and hotels in the
country. The imported wine machines act as preservation systems for
uncorked wines for a period of 21 days. The company is supplying the
first machine to Lodhi Garden Restaurant in Delhi by mid July 2009. Isheeta
Gupta, General Manager, Amfora Wine & Foods states, “The product
will help our partners to double their wine sales in the first year
itself. The restaurants and bars already using the machines have seen
wine sales jump by 500 to 900 per cent.”
More: Hospitality Biz
While wine production in France is declining, it is increasing in other countries that are known wine producers, such as Australia, Spain, Italy and the US. Once considered inferior to French vintages, wines from these countries routinely take home prizes in competitions. And there are new players coming to the field: Argentina and Chile, and even China and India.
France has been slow to acknowledge the changing landscape and slow to react. Marketing has not traditionally been a French forte, and it must not have seemed necessary in industries in which France has been historically predominant, such as wine and high fashion. Indeed, for many years, French output in these areas spoke for itself, becoming world-famous and sought-after virtually without any marketing efforts. The reputation French wines enjoyed around the world was largely unchallenged.
But now, with globalization a reality, French winemakers are starting to realize that that world is changing, and that not only do they not have a corner on the market, that they may not have much of a market at all if they don’t get out there and hustle, as gauche as it must seem. Competition has brought prices down, and more people are consuming wines, both inexpensive table wines and more costly wines as well. Besides not being marketed as aggressively as wines from other countries, wines from France suffer from other disadvantages where the average and less sophisticated consumer is concerned.
South African liquor exporters are betting big on the growing imported wine market in India and have lined up 30-40 new labels for launch in the next three years. Wine exports from South Africa to India grew by 44 per cent in 2008 calendar at 3,500 cases. Wine sales have been increasing at 25-30 per cent annually in India.
“Middle-class Indians are more accustomed to new-world style wines, which can be seen as a market opportunity for South African exporters. Investment in India should be seen as a long-term strategy,” said Michaela Stander, market manager – Asia, WOSA. However, high import taxes in the country pose a challenge for South African wine exporters, she added. Arun Kumar, director of Aspri Spirits, which imports the South African Nederburg wine brand said, “South Africa’s new-world wines are fast building into a reputation of world class quality wines.” Cricket has also helped create awareness about South African wines among Indians who went to watch the IPL.
More: Images Food
Chennai’s wine enthusiasts may have been slow starters, but they seem to be making up for lost time as wine culture has become serious business here. Agreeing with us of course, are some of theworld’s most renowned winemakers, who were in the city recently to say, ‘Cheers, Chennai!’
Leonardo Frescobaldi, Marchesi de Frescobaldi vineyards in Tuscany: Experiencing wine is very different from your Friday night kind of drinks like gin and tonic, and Scotch that get you high and happy in a trice. One should never drink wine to get high. Happy, though, is another matter.
Allegrini, Fumane di Valpolicella, Italy: Since Indian food is rich in flavour and is a medley of spices and condiments, it is important to pair it with mild and crisp wines that don’t overpower the food. I find that white wine goes wonderfully with the Indian palette. A rose wine would also be a good choice. There is a huge potential for wines in India. I have travelled across the country and find the culture and heritage rich and vibrant.
More: The Times of India
Finewinesnmore (FWM) has diversified its portfolio from premium
international food, beverage marketing and distribution with the
introduction of a luxury travel offering 'Italy by Élan'. The travel
product is primarily designed for the Indian market and is a Joint
Venture between FWM and Tastes of Italy, an exclusive destination
The trips will have a special focus on the region's food and wine
culture. The Joint Venture aims to target the families and honeymooners
in the country. Besides Italy, the Joint Venture plans to extend the
offering to France, Spain, South Africa and Argentina for the Indian
Tastes of Italy, which currently operates in the US and European
markets, has expanded with Italy by Élan. William Goodacre, Director,
Tastes of Italy finds potential in the Indian market for the product.
He said, “India is one of the strongest emerging economies of the
world. There is a significant class of people in the country who admire
high quality wines, food products and travel extensively. Besides,
FWM's expertise in the Indian market and personal rapport with their
customers will strongly help to create awareness about the offering.
With FWM, we aim to pioneer a new travel experience for this country.”
More: Travel Biz Monitor
Chandigarh UT excise and taxation department has come out with a novel concept of introducing ‘free tasting
sessions’, at the city’s liquor stores. At these tasting counters,
the consumers could avail the opportunity to taste different brands of high-end
whiskeys.UT additional excise and taxation commissioner
Manjit Brar confirmed that the concept of tasting sessions had been given a
go-ahead by the department.
“We have received and approved as
many as 12 applications from the city’s liquor stores to start tasting
sessions. This would provide an excellent opportunity to major liquor companies
to showcase new wine and whiskey brands,” insisted Brar.
”A number of leading liquor outlets in sectors 7, 9, 22, 27 and 44
have evinced interest in opening tasting counters in their respective stores to
attract liquor consumers,” official said. He added, “The concept of
these tasting sessions has already been accepted and lapped up by wine-lovers in
western countries. It has fast been catching up in big cities in India like
More: The Times of India
Japanese alcobev giant Asahi Breweries, Sappori Breweries and India's entrepreneur-investor Ravi Jain
figure among interested suitors for a major stake buy in the Chougule
family-controlled Indage Vintners (IVL).
A deal with
IVL would give top Japanese brewer Asahi, or possibly Sapporo, control over a
reasonably significant distribution presence in the Indian market, which can be
employed for pushing their beer, spirits and wine brands.
Sources said the Rs 300-crore
Indage was looking at offloading a substantial stake — what is on the
table is at least equal stake with shared management rights — as a
deleveraging option to partially retire debts arising out of acquisitions in the
UK and Australia over the past two years. It is estimated that Indage’s
cumulative debt is around Rs 350 crore. A query regarding Indage’s debt
position did not elicit a response from the company’s spokesperson.
wine consumption, across price segments, is estimated at over 1.5 million cases
(of 9 litre each). This contrasts with spirits sales estimated at over 200
million cases and that of beer at 175 million cases. “The domestic wine
consumption remained flat or reported minor degrowth last year, as offtake
weakened, forcing wineries to scale back their expansion plans. But the growth
should be back, given the low base of consumption in the country,” said
Alok Chandra, a Bangalore-based wine writer and expert.
More: Economic Times