November 2009 - Posts
Kolkata based Gusto Imports Private Limited has launched a selection of
Portugese, premium quality wines in India to be marketed under the brand name
Gusto. With the launch Gusto has started its operations as a fine wine
importer and distributor by offering a bouquet of six different quality
wines catering to wine lovers across varied socio economic groups.
We have selected the range in a way so that everyone can get what he
likes." says Kadambari Kapoor, founder & director ,Gusto Imports
The Gusto wine range includes quality red,
white and rose wines that come under Lancers White, Lancers Rose, Twin
Vines , Periquita, Lancers Brut and Moscatel de Setbul. To
cater to a wide target audience the wines come in convenient packaging
of 750 ml bottles while Lancers white and Rose and Periquita are also
available in mini bottles of 200 ml and 375 ml respectively. The price
range for Gusto wines starts at Rs 266 for 200ml and goes up to Rs
999/- for 750 ml bottles.
Experience the Portugese...
"We have always talked about the French grapes and its exquisiteness
while Portugese wine history is also as old as the French. But as the
Portugese wines are made from indigenous grapes grown in Portugal , it
has never been marketed that way. The taste and the feel goes very much
with Indian palette.We have brought these wines as it is under Gusto."
The brand has presently launched the range in
Kolkata market where it is available in a major wine retail store in
South Kolkata and in the speciality store of Spencer's Hyper at South
City mall. Within next two months the brand will be available in Mumbai
market followed by Delhi and Bangalore.
My Indian Californian winemaker and philanthropist friend Avtar
Singh Sandhu has often voiced his ire against tasting notes, wine
competitions, rating wines on a point system and every time I have
agreed to his viewpoint. If we, the citizens of the world cannot agree
on things as varied as the colour of our house curtains to the
government we want in power, how can we then so unintelligently lay our
trust in the tasting commentary of someone we don't even know.
person, whose notes we may be reading on the back of a wine label were
generally written thousands of miles away, several time zones away, by
someone who grew up in a different cultural mix and may perhaps has no
idea of the traditions and trends in other parts of the world. More so,
the wine note is for a wine that was tasted at the winery when it was
made, so little relevant when we drink it a few years down in another
jet-setting destination. Given so many variables and possible points of
anomalies, how can we rely so heavily on indifferent, stranger tasting
I will tell you how and why -- because we don't trust
ourselves. There, I said it. Isn't that sad though? For most other
things in our life we decide for ourselves but with wines we drink what
reads well or is rated well.
When people ask me how they can
learn about wines, I only have one answer: by trying more of them.
Tommaso Cavalli is an Italian winemaker visiting India to launch his boutique wines at Delhi's Shangri-La hotel.He is son of fashion designer Roberto Cavalli. Cavalli senior also contributes a
design pattern from one of his annual creations on the wine bottles for
each vintage. “The 2006 vintage carries the butterfly pattern from one
of Papa’s creations of 2006. It was a dress worn by Cindy Crawford,” Tommaso
recalls, holding up the bottle.
With the help of a wine expert friend,
he set up an eight hectare vineyard at the estate. His second vineyard
is located 30km from the estate, in Florence. “Papa was confident I
could manage a wine label even though I never had any formal training
in wine-making,” he explains. “I supply the wine for most of Papa’s
fashion parties. And he visits restaurants that serve my wine."
More: Indian Express
What is the present status of
The board was formed in February this year as a
society under the Societies Registrations Act and since then a governing council
comprising representatives of all stakeholders has been formed. Grape growers,
wine producers and hospitality industry are represented on the board. The IGPB
has its own office in Pune and is in the process of hiring basic staff to man
What has been done on the
business aspects of wine industry?
The board arranged a
one-day seminar with stakeholders seeking their views and interaction on the
issues faced. A vision document is being prepared and will form the basis of
operative strategy of the board. We expect to finalise the document soon.
What are the goals of the
There is an urgent need to collect reliable statistics
about the wine-making capacity. With that as the beginning point, we can work
back and find the volume of grapes needed to produce that much wine and also
assess the requirement of acreage under wine grape plantations. Also urgent is
the defining of standards for different wine varieties. If we call a wine
Cabernet' we must define how much of the juice used to make it should be of
Cabernet variety of grapes. If this is defined, not only will the Indian wines
rise in credibility, but the farmers will also get an idea as to which variety
Are there any initiatives
on the research front?
The board has been working with
Pune-based National Research Centre for Grapes for developing Indian varieties
of wine grapes. This will eventually create a different strength for the Indian
wine industry while reducing its dependence on the foreign root stock.
More: The Times of India
Nasik's Terroir India Pvt Ltd (TIPL) has launched a new range of wines, 'Mumbaai Dreamz' in collaboration with Aspri Spirits Pvt Ltd (ASPL).
range will consist of three wines in the red, white and rosé varietals. TIPL has reduced its profit margins to make
the wines affordable while maintaining the quality of the produce. The
product will be launched in Mumbai and Pune market first and will be
rolled out in the other markets in a phased manner. In Mumbai, the
wines will be priced at Rs 295. The company is also considering
exporting the wines.
Each wine is a blend of the international
and Indian grape varietals. It has entered into this segment to drive
volume sales for the wines in India. Mandla said, “We have showcased
the wines to the restaurants and the retail segment and have already
received listings. We are presently releasing few hundred cases of
wines in the market and expect to sell about 5,000 cases by the end of
this financial year.”
More: Hospitality Biz India
Shillong hosted a two-day long sixth wine festival showcasing wine made from locally available sohiong (black cherry), ginger,
mulberry fruit, strawberry, litchi, pineapple, passion fruit,
blackberry, plum, banana and even jackfruit. All wines were free of chemical presrvatives.
The public was seen enjoying flavors derived from the fruit wine
along with music in the background to keep the wine lovers pleased.
"Local wines have their own unique taste; the wine that we buy from
the market is very different from the wine that the locals make here,
which tastes very nice. I somehow prefer to taste the local wine," said
M Bobby Dey, a visitor at the festival.
Tanya Garnham, a wine taster from Canada, who attended the festival,
said that the wine was very different from that made in Canada.
"Wine is defined as anything that is made from grapes and the
difference is that ours is made with grapes and the local wine like
this would be technically called fruit wine. Whereas when you are
calling something wine, it has got to be made with grapes. So that is
the main difference between us and the local wine made here," said
The two-day festival provided an opportunity for the local wine
makers not only to showcase their brewing skills in wine making, but
also to open market linkages.
Nasik's Mercury Winery is the first Indian wine producer to foray into China
market. Plans are afoot to launch in the US market by the end of
November 2009. In the future there are plans to foray into Canada, the
MWPL has plans to expand its presence in the domestic market too. It
will launch its portfolio of wines in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal,
Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu by end of November 2009.
Mercury Winery Pvt Ltd (MWPL), a leading wine producer
of Nasik valley, Maharastra, has said
that the company has entered into the Italian market as part of its
expansion plan for sales and distributions of its wines.
The company launched two varietals Shiraz and Sauvignon that will be
available at the Indian restaurants in Italy. Besides, the company has
rolled out wine varietals in China.
“Sparkling wine is a seasonal product and is targeted at events,
celebrations and weddings segment. However, during the last six months,
as the basic wines were not selling in the market, we did not want to
flood the market with a new varietal,” Mr. Viral Pancholia, Director,
More: Hospitality Biz
Can Indage come back? The Chougule family recently pledged almost 98
percent of its 25.42 percent stake in the firm, proving it doesn’t
think the show is over. On June 10, Indage announced its board had
approved a plan to raise Rs. 2 billion ($42 million) via a rights
issue. However, there has been no progress on that. A week later, it
announced that four investors will own a 40.28 percent stake for Rs.
90.6 crore in the company if they decide to convert their 10.3 million
preferential warrants into equity shares.
How did Indage Vintners, India’s first wine-making company in 1982,
with more than 40 brands across the market’s price spectrum, get to
this stage? The short answer: Badly timed global acquisitions.
The comeback looks real...
Venki Venkatraman, Indage importer in the US, says after a seven month
dry spell, Indage is slowly starting to send him wine once again. The company signed a big deal to bottle Foster’s beer in January, which
is bearing fruit now. Indage’s share price is also holding constant.
Spencer’s Retail Limited, one of India’s largest food first multi-format retailers, recently launched a wide range of wine and liquors at its 45000 sq. ft. hyper store in Inorbit Mall, Malad, Mumbai. The wine & liquor shop-in-shop is spread on 400 sq. ft (approx) and boasts of finest brands of both Indian and imported merchandise.
The inauguration was followed by a wine tasting / cocktail and food pairing sessions by renowned sommeliers Clive Castellino and Sovna Puri.
Speaking at the launch, Mohit Kampani, Vice President, Merchandising, Food & FMCG, Spencer’s Retail Ltd. said “We are delighted to have launched the widest range of some of the best wine and liquor brands in our store. We have 15 stores nationally offering wine and spirits, and plan to enhance the offerings to key markets like Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Delhi in the near future.”
The shop-in-shop offers the widest repertoire of wine and spirits from around the world, available within the convenience of retail outlet. Select wines, handpicked liqueurs and the best collection of rum, beer and whisky await the esteemed patronage of the Spencer’s consumers. Some of the best brands available in the shop-in-shop are Malts – Glenmorangie La Santa, Talisker, Cardhu, Ardbeg, Glenlivet, Dalmore Cigar Malt; Blended Scotches – JW Black Label,
Chivas Regal, Ballantines, White and Mackay 13; Imported Vodka – Absolut (Blue and Flavours), Pinky, Stolichnaya, Ciroc, Belvedere, Chopin; Liqueurs – Sambucca Vaccari, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Tia Maria, Kahlua; Wines – Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot, Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay Reserve, Sula, Astrica, Torrontes, Green Point Shiraz, Cloudy Bay Chardonnay, Casa Lapostelle Merlot, Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne, Dom Perignon Cuvee Champagne, Jacobs Creek Range, Nine Hills range of Wines and a wide range of Zampa wines and Imported beer – Stella, Becks, Corona, Heineken, Leffe, Hoe Garden. Says Mohit Kampani, seventy per cent of our wines are imported and 40 per cent of spirits are international.
Indian Liquor industry with an estimated market value of INR 340 bn is growing at 12-15% over the two years and is poised for heady growth. The industry is estimated to have sold 115 mm cases (one case has 12 bottles of 750 ml each) of Indian made foreign liquor last year. The sector is expected to maintain its CAGR of 15% while the premium segment Wine and Vodka is expected to grow at a higher rate. There are 325 distilleries in India, with an installed capacity of about 3.58 billion litres of liquor. However, production rate is about 40% of total licensed capacity as total requirement of liquor stands at 1.3 billion liters.
“The liquor market in India has traditionally been driven by brown spirits and beer but wine and liqueur, especially imported ones are gradually gaining momentum with a direct target group of 20 – 25 million affluent, globally exposed, well-educated and brand conscious Indians. As more people are traveling abroad and developing taste for good wine and liqueur they expect the same availability when they come back. Given our brand proposition of “Taste-the-World that embodies the best varieties and quality of products from across the world, we believe we will be successful in providing the international flavour to our customers,” added Mohit
Enter the place at Reims where the history of France met the history of champagne. Take a walk in the Marquetterie gardens where books were written, from where Joffre directed a number of famous battles and where Taittinger devised an astonishing wine.
Taittinger Champagne distributes a wide range of prestigious wines and spirits in France. Whether produced in France or in the world’s largest wine-producing regions, every wine distributed by Taittinger Champagne is rigorously selected and regularly reviewed upon the arrival of each new vintage. The same is true for spirits and port: Taittinger Champagne distributes only prestigious marques, recognised for their refinement and quality. Taittinger Champagne Export Director, Ambroise Bobtcheff gives his views about the Indian market and its significance for his company’s products. Excerpts:
On Taittinger‘s plans for Indian market, Ambroise opines, “India is very important for us because we very much believe in the spirit of the market. The economy of India is showing extremely good progress. Even this year the growth rate seems to be very positive above 6 or 7 per cent which is still an exception in the world. Even though the champagne market in India is still small it is very important to be present from right beginning.” “The first strategy we made this year was to change the bottles, we have done that one year ago and we have decided to go ahead with the distribution company called Torres wines, the Spanish wine company, which has done an amazing job in distribution of Taittinger wine in China.”
“They have been responsible for our success in Asia so far. We are one of top ten champagne brands in China thanks to them and even though Indian market is very different, we are counting on them they have good strategy for us. We are now very good partner to the blub. Venture which they have created with local partner, we are represented by a company called Prestige Wines in India. And the strategy is basically to gradually be present in big cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Goa, Kolkata, etc, to focus in the beginning on top of trade, big hotels and to accomplish as much as possible on education and strategy obviously of investments in terms of marketing, exposure of the brand etc.
On number of Cases being sold Right now it’s the beginning, feels Ambroise. The company sells approximately 290 cases. “But we are confident that this will grow quickly even though I will say that priority for us is not volume for the moment but it’s really finding the right base and consolidate and really create something unique. We need to educate the advertiser the name champagne what does it mean and more so around the name Taittinger.
The company really plans to be present as much as possible in the taste chains besides being part of the taste teams organized by CIVC. Represented by Rajiv Singhal, CIVC is extremely active who is helping main champagne brands. “We are always responding positively. We wanted to be present in those taste teams, reveals Ambroise. What we are trying to do is to organise events with some of the top hotels, at top locations. So we are working on this basically. We are also working on some special contracts with some of the best venues.
Focus on major cities
Right now it is really about Mumbai and Delhi. Right now it is really about big names like Taj Group, The Oberoi, and The Marriot in Mumbai. Speaking about Delhi it’s also about The Imperial. These are really the places where we can start presenting our champagne, feels Ambroise.
Talking about the production and performance year-on-year growth, Ambroise informs that on an average every year Taittinger produces 5 million bottles. But the capacity of our own vineyards is about lowest produced is approximately 6 -7 million. So right now we are at level 5 – 5.5 million bottles.
Asked about the effect of the current recession, Ambroise explains, “We have had a bit of a slow-down especially in the beginning of the year because many markets had a bad Christmas business. Many customers have been spending less. We have the situation of inventory cleaning in the first months. Right now what we feel is that first the situation is different in different countries of the world. The two countries where growth is exceptionally present like India, China, Middle East, and for the rest we are starting to see, after these first difficult months, the first signs of recovery. But I am still confident because it’s true that its difficult times we are doing campaigns to make our champagne more visible but also we try as much as possible to prevent our brand image which prices etc.
Major markets for Taittinger
The biggest market for Taittinger is Great Britain followed by Germany and the United States. Speaking about his first visit to India, Ambroise says, “I made my first visit to India in November last year. I found that the market and the country actually are incredible and it was totally amazing challenge for us to export champagne to your great country. But I am confident that Indians are actually very keen on discovering new products. I know that Indians are very sophisticated, they are very sensitive to the glamour of champagne, to the luxury and I believe there are many millions of Indians who have the wealth of discovering champagne. So I believe very soon India will be one of the first champagne drinking countries in Asia.
Taittinger has 260 hectares under cultivation. Few wines are kept in fresh oak barrels to give vanilla flavour. The wine is kept for a week in stainless steel for first fermentation and 5-6 months for the second level fermentation. The Comte de champagne is kept in cellars between 8-10 years. The Cellar at the Abbey has 3 million bottles in stock and 4 km long. The company also has another new cellar which is 10 km long. The sales volume is 5 million bottles a year. The bottles are aged for around 3 years. 80 per cent of the sale comes from Brut Reserve.
Taittinger had a distribution tie up with Sula wines which is now imported by Prestige Group and distributed by Torres Wines. According to Ambroise, at present, India holds much more potential than China for Taittinger
About Saint Nicaise Abbey’s History
The cellars of Taittinger originate from the Gallo-Roman period and dug out in the IV Century, these chalk pits have in turn been used for the extraction of chalk blocks and later as a refuge for persecuted Christians before, 900 years later, becoming the crypt for Saint Nicaise Abbey.
Construction of a new basilica on the site of the former Saint Nicaise church began in 1211. The original chalk pits were then supplemented with a network of galleries connecting cellars, crypts and vaults for storing the champagne wines in which the Benedictines traded. The Basilica later became a place of pilgrimage, its illustrious visitors including in 1717, Russian Czar Peter the Great, who was intrigued by the mystery of the “shaking pillar”, a curiosity of one of the piers in the nave.
The cellars hollowed out by monks in the XIII century now houses Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Cuvee, the shape of whose bottle is based on that of bottles used by the monks and that were hidden prior to the Revolution. The millions of bottles stored at this heritage site patiently wait for its full maturity.
Destroyed at the time of the French Revolution, only the Abbey’s crypt remains till date. The intact vaults each year play host to over 75,000 visitors who gaze in wonder at these vestiges of one of the finest expressions of the champagne regions gothic style.
economy of Bordeaux depends on its wines, 40% of which are exported. Asia
currently accounts for 10% of the market and China, naturally, is the fastest
growing. Bordeaux has six wine families
and 60 wine appellations based on geography.
I’m to attend a day-long Bordeaux
Wine Masterclass at Mumbai’s JW Marriott in an hour and I’m going to
be giving an exam at the end of it. I nervously practice pronouncing Bordeaux
— Bord-oh , NOT Bord-you — as I dress up for the occasion.
This is obviously not going to be like one of those evening wine
tasting events featuring pagethree celebrities. Six weeks ago, I received an
email from Sopexa of France — a quasi-government organisation that
promotes French products in India and around the world — inviting me to
apply for the course.
More: Economic Times
Grape Processing Board (IGPB) along with ten Indian wine producers are participating in the second edition of the 3-day Hong Kong International
Wine and Spirits Fair.
Vinod Kotwal, Director, Ministry of Food Processing Industries,
Government of India, and CEO of the IGPB, said that the Board had decided to participate after HKTDC
agreed to give them a consolidated stand at a special price and they
gave the offer to all the producers at a very special price.
Indage, Grover, Four Seasons, Deccan Plateau, Vintage, Chateau d’Ori,
Chateau d’Banyan, Renaissance and Empire Wines are the ten wineries
that are taking part in the show.
This is the second time that India has taken part as a country at a wine show. Four years ago, Indian Wine Academy had organized an Indian stand in Wine for Asia that included Sula and Indage as the exhibitors.
More: Food Biz Daily
Atul Kochhar, who holds a Michelin star for London's Benares, and Alex Carr
Taylor, an award-winning British winemaker, have spent the past couple of
years developing wines specifically for Asian food. They are now about to
launch them on the trade.
"The challenge for years has been to try to match the food to the wine,
but I felt a better philosophy was to match the wine to the food,"
explains Kochhar, who believes he has cracked the conundrum.
So do his competitors. Taylor & Shroff wines (Nainaz Shroff is Carr
Taylor's Mumbai-based partner) are already listed in half a dozen Indian
restaurants across the country, including Imli, sister to London's noted
Tamarind. And Kochhar, whose own signature wines are sold at his own
restaurants in London and Southampton, is planning a wholesale assault on
the trade in the New Year
The two product ranges, however, could not be more different. Kochhar has
tweaked classic sauvignon blanc and merlot made in the Duras to make a more
robust white and red which he feels can complement complex curries and stand
up to the spices which conspire to overwhelm many finer and more delicate
wines. The Taylor & Shroff creations, on the other hand, are barely
recognisable as wine as we know it. Sure, there is a "red" and a "white"
in the range, alongside the more exotic designations of cherry, apricot and
ginger, but all five are sweet, fortified and designed to be drunk over ice.