February 2010 - Posts
Building on its booming sales, Sula is planning to expand its capacity further by entering the tier II cities and for this purpose it is planning to raise funds through private equity, according to media reports.
Nashik Vintners Pvt. Ltd., owner of the Sula wines will raise the private equity capital through the issue of new shares, says Rajeev Samant the founder CEO.
“Talks are on and a decision will be taken soon,” said Rajeev Samant, managing director. The equity divested will amount to a minority stake, he said according to Live Mint.
The company currently owns about 20% of the market share with the last year’s revenue of Rs.560 million. The total Indian wine market is estimated at Rs 2.5-4 billion. Its Sula brand is priced at Rs 450 and above, with the super premium wine Dindori selling as high as Rs.800 a bottled. The low end Samara brand does not use the Sula name on the label starts at only Rs 150 a bottle.
The strategy propped up the top line from Rs. 507 million in 2007-08 to Rs. 540 million last year but the profits before taxes dropped from Rs 90 million to Rs.18.5 million in 2008-09.
After a flat year 2009-2010 in which the volume sales growth was only around 10%, the company is expecting a growth of 45% this year with the target of 280,000 cases well within the reach of the company. Sula also plans to expand through acquisitions which ‘will be on the cards two years from now,’ according to Rajeev.
Whereas the sale of its premium brands was rather flat last fiscal year, the low end Samara introduced over a year ago helped the company increase the volumes and became the largest producer last year, overtaking the erstwhile leader Indage Vintners.
“We now plan to penetrate tier II cities with Samara,” said Samant who, indulging in some rhetoric, reportedly plans to open around 700 wine-tasting clubs across the country in places such as Punjab, Bihar and Assam. “These are places where people have no access to our wines.” delWine Could not reach Rajeev for his confirmation.
Nashik, 20th February, 2010: Sula Vineyards marked its tenth anniversary with SULAFEST 2010, a daylong celebration of music, food and wine at Sula’s own estate vineyards.
From noon till midnight on February 20th, Sulafest partygoers enjoyed a carnival atmosphere of music, food, wine and fleamarket shopping in the chilled environs of the winery’s beautiful open-air, Greek-style amphitheater.
Sulafest 2010 as promised was bigger and better than ever before, with an awesome band line-up that featured headlining act Jalebee Cartel - India’s most successful live electronic dance music act. Also featured this year was Shkabang, fronted by Anushka Manchanda – a talented bunch of like-minded musicians that belted out an eclectic blend of electronica, rock and pop. Something Relevant, the highly energetic and original band known for making their live act unpredictable and loads of fun, Ankur Tewari, whose music is embedded with an acoustic sound and feel and has a legion of followers for his live performances and Teddy Boy Kill, a band from Delhi, known for music that touches on diverse styles within the electronic genre, were the other bands that performed.
Spicing up this great musical line-up were eclectic food stalls, that included kebabs, pastas & pizzas freshly made at Sula’s very own vineyard restaurants, washed down with a wide array of local and imported wines.
SULAFEST 2010 also featured the ‘Sulafest Bazaar’ - art and craft shops, clothing, eco-friendly gifts, and other food stalls. Tanmay Bhat along with Kunal Rao, Rohan Joshi, Ashish Shakya kept the audience in splits with their brilliant stand- up comedy act! Other activities on-site included a live acoustic act, Tarot card reader, relaxing foot massages at a beautiful lounge set up by BBC Good Homes, jewellery stalls, tattoo and nail artists, a caricature artist and hair braiders!
The occasion was also graced by Mrs. Ashita and Mr.Henry Tham, RJ Tarana, Mr.Himanshu Roy (Joint Commissioner of Police- Mumbai), Tara Kaushal (Editor, BBC Good Homes), Anupama Bhalla- Publisher WWM Pvt. Ltd and model Svetlana Casper amongst others.
SULAFEST 2010 was quite simply one of the best days out that one could imagine – great music, food, wine and loads of fun, all in the enchanting setting of India’s finest vineyard!
Australian Wine Buzz
Australian Trade Commission continues to be active in promoting Australian wines in India. The Commision has been, "Introducing Australian wines in to the Indian Market by participating major wine tasting shows, and sending wine tasting teams to various top end hotels. The focus is on all major cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, etc." shares Michael Carter (On picture)
Up is the way to go
And why not, when India has a great potential market... Carter feels, "Currently India imports very small amount of wine (1/2 million cases last year). Out of that only 24% are Australian wines." He feels strongly that a major growth is on the horizon.
The imported wine market in India is expected to reach 225,000 cases in 2009-10, up from 180,000 cases in 2008-09. This represents an increase of 25% in volume of imported wines consumed.
The food service sector, comprising of hotels and restaurants, is worth approx. US$5 billion and accounts for around 70% of wine sales in India The balance of wine sales occurs through the burgeoning organised modern retail formats stocking wines and spirits which will grow the imported wines and spirits sector significantly.
Australia already has established itself as the no. 2 player in the Indian market with a 24% marketshare.
The Australian Trade commission is work across around 50 Australian wine labels to support their business growth across India particularly in the major wine markets of New Delhi & Mumbai where the commission has been executing Australian wine regional tastings to increase reach and awareness with the wine trade & hospitality sector
Australian wines already have a 24% share in the Indian market for imported wines. And going by the Australian Trade Commission's vision it is going to get even better. What is the strength behind Australia's success in the Indian wine market?
Carter is quick to explain this one:
1. Austalia is very big country with different climate conditions and isolation. This gives competitve advantage to the wineries, and it is possible to produce different kinds of wines.
2. Also, the Austalian market is small so wineries are exploring outside markets aggressively. India being a huge market, the efforts are showing results.
For more details on availability and importing Australian wines to India, please contact: UTSAV-AustraliaIndia@austrade.gov.au
For more details about Australian wines please visit http://www.wineaustralia.com/australia/
for indianwine.com Venki
The Delhi Wine Club has recently launched its Mumbai Chapter called Terroir One. This marks the trend of clubs being run by wine connoisseurs not linked to a winery or a commercial interest in Mumbai. The event was held at J W Marriott hotel with mouth watering barbeques and best of wines from FineWinesnMore portfolio.
In his welcome speech, Subhash Arora, Chairman of Terroir One and the founder of the Delhi Wine Club stated that he had already helped and would be happy to see many more similar clubs set up in India to get like-minded people interested in wine and good lifestyle together. He also stated that this club would primarily target and run by women as they have been the propellants of wine culture throughout the world. Being focused, sincere and creating awareness while having fun drinking wine was his objective while setting up the Delhi Wine Club in the early 2002 and would continue in Mumbai.
Wine clubs have been growing in India over the past few years and the normal question asked is whether it is worth joining a club. Asked about the competitive advantage of Terroir One, Bindu Malhotra, the President of the new club said ‘Our objective is to fuse together the rich and wonderful world of wine with relaxing and fun events. We believe it is a lifestyle product that goes well with food, art, spas and music and we promote learning at your own pace while enjoying the experience’.
France is keen to settle the dispute with India over import duty on wines and spirits which could be sorted out through discussions without approaching the WTO. Speaking at a CII function, the visiting Foreign Trade Minister of France Anne Marie Idrac said, “We hope very much that the discussions under process will go on and that solutions can be found without having to (approach) the WTO.”
The European Union (EU) had recently threatened to drag India to the WTO if taxes on wines and spirits imported from Europe are not slashed. “We are sure that arrangements can be found between Indian producers and Europeans, especially French producers,” she said. In 2007 India had slashed the additional customs duty it charged on imported spirits, up to 150per cent of value of imports in some cases, but simultaneously hiked the basic customs duties to 150per cent from 100per cent. Prior to this, the European Commission had dragged India to WTO in 2007 seeking redress of its grievances which included what it called denial of ‘national treatment’ to liquor imported from Europe.
Under the national treatment rules, imported products have to be treated on par with domestic items. The WTO consultation process on the issue was suspended following New Delhi action on duty front in 2007. EU is not completely satisfied because of the increase in basic duty. Moreover, major consuming states of imported wines such as Goa, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra also impose special fee on these items. In 2007 EU exports of spirits to India amounted to about 57 million Euros, while EU exports of wine totalled about 11 million Euros.
Replying on a question about the conclusion of India-EU free trade agreement, Ms Idrac said the ongoing discussions are “hard”. “I must say that this time the discussions are a little hard...France is pushing very much but it seems to be difficult to obtain a good level of reciprocity,” she added.
Sula Vineyards is marking its tenth anniversary with SULAFEST 2010, a daylong celebration of music, food and wine at Sula’s own estate vineyards.
From noon till midnight on February 20th, Sulafest partygoers can enjoy a carnival atmosphere of music, food, wine and fleamarket shopping in the chilled environs of the winery’s beautiful open-air, Greek-style amphitheater.
Sulafest 2010 promises to be bigger and better than ever before, with an awesome band line-up featuring headlining act Jalebee Cartel - India’s most successful live electronic dance music act. Catch them at Sulafest 2010 before they leave for an extensive tour of Europe this summer!
Also featured this year is Shkabang, fronted by Anushka Manchanda – a talented bunch of like-minded musicians belting out an eclectic blend of electronica, rock and pop. Something Relevant, the highly energetic and original band known for making their live act unpredictable and loads of fun, Ankur Tewari, whose music is embedded with an acoustic sound and feel and has a legion of followers for his live performances and Teddy Boy Kill, a band from Delhi, known for music that touches on diverse styles within the electronic genre, are the other bands performing at the fest this year.
Spicing up this great musical line-up will be eclectic food stalls, including kebabs and pastas & pizzas freshly made at Sula’s very own vineyard restaurants, to be washed down with a wide array of local and imported wines.
SULAFEST 2010 will also feature the ‘Sulafest Bazaar’ - art and craft shops, clothing, eco-friendly gifts, and other food stalls. Other activities on-site will include a live acoustic act, Tarot card reader, relaxing foot massages, jewellery stalls, tattoo and nail artists, a caricature artist, hair braiders, stand-up comedian, and more!
SULAFEST 2010 is quite simply one of the best days out that you could imagine – great music, food, wine and loads of fun, all in the enchanting setting of India’s finest vineyard!
Tickets available from 28th Jan 2010 at:
Mumbai : Sante, Rhythm House, Little Italy (Juhu), Godrej Nature’s Basket, The Bagel Shop (Bandra), Haiko Supermarket (Powai)
Pune : Little Italy
Nashik : Sula Vineyards, Café Express, Foodmart, Planet M
For more info dial :+91 9004608547/ 022 67211900 or log onto www.sulawines.com
Indulge in grapes and wine at Hopcom’s grape mela which offers over ten varieties of grapes. The mela, on till March 31, has varieties like Sharath, Thomson seedless, Bangalore Blue, Tasa Ganesh, Sonaka, Krishna Sharath, Sharath seedless, Plain, Crimson, Indian Black Globe and Indian Red Globe. The grapes are from parts of North Karnataka, Kolar and in and around Bangalore.
The mela is on at 237 outlets across the city, 39 special counters and 15 mobile counters. Mango and grape juices are also available at most of these places.
At the Hudson Circle counter, five locally grown wines will be on display till February 20.
According to MD Hopcoms V Krishna, Karnataka is the country’s second-largest producer of grapes after Maharashtra. Worldwide, India ranks 11, with Italy at numero uno position.
More: The Times of India
Sula Vineyards is marking its tenth anniversary with SULAFEST 2010, a
daylong celebration of music, food and wine at Sula's own estate
vineyards. From noon till midnight on February 20th, Sulafest
partygoers can enjoy a carnival atmosphere of music, food, wine and
fleamarket shopping in the chilled environs of the winery's beautiful
open-air, Greek-style amphitheater.
Sulafest 2010 promises to be bigger
and better than ever before, with an awesome band line-up featuring
headlining act Jalebee Cartel - India's most successful live electronic
dance music act. Catch them at Sulafest 2010 before they leave for an
extensive tour of Europe this summer!
Spicing up this great musical line-up will be eclectic food stalls,
including kebabs and pastas & pizzas freshly made at Sula's very
own vineyard restaurants, to be washed down with a wide array of local
and imported wines. SULAFEST 2010 will also feature the 'Sulafest
Bazaar' - art and craft shops, clothing, eco-friendly gifts, and other
food stalls. Other activities on-site will include a live acoustic act,
Tarot card reader, relaxing foot massages, jewellery stalls, tattoo and
nail artists, a caricature artist, hair braiders, stand-up comedian,
Tickets available at: www.bookmyshow.com
Mumbai : Sante, Rhythm House, Little Italy (Juhu), Godrej Nature's
Basket, Mocha, The Bagel Shop (Bandra), Haiko Pune : Little Italy,
Mocha Nashik : Sula Vineyards, CafÃ© Express, Foodmart, Planet M For
more info dial :+91 9004608547/ 022 67211900
Sopexa had conducted the first-ever road show in India in October from 23-28, 2009 in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai respectively on behalf of the Bordeaux Wine School (co-financed by the European Union).
The objective was to recruit potential candidates for the Bordeaux Wine Accreditation Course in France.
Sanjay Menon, a well known wine importer in India who ranked in the Decanter power list 2009 and Rahul Dua restaurant manager at the Taj Hotel Bengaluru have been selected as candidates to attend a week long accreditation course. Upon successful completion, they will become the first official Bordeaux Wine educators in India, and will be eligible to conduct training session for Bordeaux wines.
More: Hospitality Biz India
Loic Dennulin, director of Sopexa India, confirmed that French wine
holds a 45% market share of imported wines by volume in India and
Bordeaux is very active.
He said some wineries such as Aimery Sieur D'arques and Tableaux wines,
present at the Taste Conference, have developed wines "specifically
targeted at the Chinese and Indian consumer." The wines have less
tannin and are sweeter.
The grape glut that the farmers of Maharashtra and Karnataka suffered last year due to recession and over production may not be a headache this year due to the Downy Mildew hitting hard most of the growing areas suffering heavy un-seasonal rains last November and wiping off a significant portion, writes Subhash Arora.
Coupled with the increasing sales starting August last year, most wineries have registered higher sales with Sula clocking up even more than 40% in the North, making Rajiv Samant, owner of Sula very optimistic about this year’s sales to be around 275,000 cases as compared to about 190,000 for last year.
Almost every producer present at the Taste- Expo in Mumbai expressed the view that the fall in grapes available for crush will be 10-30% lower due to the crop destruction, making the grape prices go up to similar levels as in the crushing season of 2008-though the current strategy of vintners emptying their tanks first may imply less crushing for another year.
It is now an open secret that the wine lying in the tanks for 2 years and past its prime for most of the small wineries will become undrinkable if the tanks are not emptied this season. Some wineries have indicated to delWine that they have excess wine that they are willing to sell in bulk at around Rs.80-100 a bulk liter, lower than the ruling bulk wine price last year.
Big Banyan, ND Winery and Chateau d’Ori are a few of the wineries which are in the process of emptying their tanks or getting rid of their bottled wine from the earlier season. However, Ranjit Dhuru, the CEO of d’Ori was optimist that the quality of grapes has not been affected due to rains, though the quantity would be around 15-20% lower. This assessment was echoed by Kiran Patil of Vintage Wines who have been growing consistently at around 20% but for the last year.
Abhay Kewadkar, Head of the wine division at UB says that the maximum damage was done to the eating grape varieties-up to 40% since they traditionally prune early and when the rain came, it damaged the crops. The mildew caused a drop of about 15% in Baramati, ‘but we shall continue to pay our farmers at the contracted rates, no matter what happened,’ he affirms.
Grover Vineyard which had suffered an unprecedented setback in 2008 bringing the sales down to around 55,000 cases is targeting sales of a million bottles, says Kapil Grover. With the problems hopefully behind them and the need to capture the market lost to Sula, they are expected to be aggressive in their sales. A recent positive rating by Robert Parker is expected to boost their market share, but they would perhaps need some more time to regain the lost ground and take advantage of the gap left by Indage.
The X Factor continues to be Indage which has had crumbling sales last year but reportedly are gearing up for a comeback. Apparently, they have done some financial restructuring last month that would enable them to make a comeback to the market, increasing the demand for grapes. The only problem is that the last two years have been horrifying for their contracted farmers-as well as the employees, distributors and all their stakeholders. They would need more than the charismatic charm of their chairman Sham Chougule to get the grapes and business back to normal- meaning the grape demand could still be in a slump.
Propelled by the recession and the pressure from imported wines, several wineries have come up with lower priced wines while the others have been forced to follow the legend left by Indage of ‘one-for-one’ offer. Whereas, Grover continues with Madera, Four Seasons with its much promoted Zinzi; Sula seems to be following the Indage model, introducing more and more of the low end wines to increase the top line and fill in the vacuum left by the former number one seller. This may not be good for their bottom line in the short term- their profits came down to Rs.18.5 million in 2009 from Rs.90 million in 2008 despite the sales going up in value by 6% to around Rs. 540 million last year. But the strategy might help the farmers in the short term due to the extra grapes crushed for their higher volume.
With the crushing just started or around the corner, the wine media will be sniffing more than just what’s in the glass during the next couple of months!
A wine tavern is one where wine can only be consumed, while
a wine boutique can only sell wine, you can’t consume it on the spot. To
open either of these, the government levies a licence fee of Rs 5,000 per annum.
The annual licence fee to serve alcoholic beverages costs Rs 7
Six months after the Karnataka government’s policy to
readily issue licences to open wine taverns and wine boutiques — an
attempt to boost the wine industry — 20 wine taverns have opened across
the city. Another 20 are expected to open in the next 30-40 days.
Of the 20 upcoming wine taverns,
the UB Group’s wines division is helping around 15 establishments.
“We are also in talks with many establishments for exclusive retailing of
our brands,” Kewadkar said. USL will open a wine boutique at UB City in
the next two to three weeks.
Tech Park, Esteem Mall and Garuda Mall are some places where wine taverns have
opened. Restaurants such as Toscano in UB City, Forum Value Mall in Whitefield,
and Daddy’s Deli in Indiranagar 12th Main have got wine tavern licences.
Casa Piccola restaurant is said to be in the process of applying for a
More: The Times of India
Lubrasca grapes grow well in Mizoram
The Northeastern state of Mizoram produces the premium variety of
Lubrusca grapes. Wine made from the fruit is said to be of high quality
and commercially viable.
Mizoram has vineyards in 3000 acres!
Some 1,000 farmers in Mizoram grow an
estimated 6,000 quintals of grapes annually in small to medium
plantations spread over about 3,000 acres.The alcohol content in the grape wine is 9% which is very high, said the researchers today in Aizawl
Hnahlan village aims to become largest grape producing village in India :-)
Hnahlan village, near the Indo-Myanmar border, noted for its extensive
grape cultivation, is now striving to become the largest grape
producing village in India. Around 80 per cent of the villagers are
engaged in grape-cultivation, after foresaking the primitive shifting
cultivation 10 years ago and are now reaping the 'fruits of their
labour', sources said.
State Policy in support of Mizoram's wine revolution
The enthusiasm of the grape farmers has been
fuelled by the amendment of the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition (MLTP)
Act. The Act had earlier prevented them from large-scale
commercialisation of their products and wine-making from grapes. The
green foliages and fruits of the grape gardens would be ready for
harvest by the later part of July, the sources added.
More: Morung Express
Surplus supply of wine last year induced Indian wineries to introduce the low-priced wine bottles. Their success story has ensured that the low-priced wine will continue in 2010
estimated two crore litres of wine lying with wineries across Maharashtra, the
country’s leading producer, it’s no surprise that sentiment among
wine makers is subdued despite increased sales over the past couple of months.
Turning adversity into an opportunity, some wine brands launched low or
affordably-priced products, and expectations are that the positive sales trend
will continue this year also. More low-priced offerings are expected to hit the
market as wineries try to empty their tanks.
Rajeev Samant, founder
CEO, Sula Vineyards, regarded as the country’s leading wine brand, said
the company will produce 2.5 million litres of wine this year. “We had
around 2 million litres in our tanks from last year, but in the past quarter we
have had very good sales. So, we expect to be able to produce 2.5 million litres
wine this year,” Mr Samant said. Referring to the lower-priced range that
they launched in September 2008, at the start of the downturn, Mr Samant said
these have done so well that they might even sign on more acreage, adding,
“We won’t give up this segment where we have products priced from Rs
165 for a 750-ml bottle."
More: Economic Times
Dharti Desai has launched her W3 club (Women Wine and Wit) in Lucknow on Monday, 1st February 2010 in a page 3 gathering at Genesis Club on the city's outskirts.
W3 was launched in Mumbai in December 2010. And Lucknow's W3 is second to be launched in India. Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh in North India. So far, Lucknow has had select few wine promotion events. It comes as an honour that the W3 has been launched in Lucknow even before Delhi and Bangalore, where W3 will be launched in February and April respectively.
The launch event was also attended by Nikki Palun, marketing and trade manager, Asia-Pacific, De Bortoli wines, Australia.
Among other, the launch event was attended by Lucknowites Nisheeth Kapoor, Deepak Rastogi, Gaurav Prakash, Bhavna and Virendra Singh, Rupesh rai, Shyam Gopal and Kiron Chopra.