May 2010 - Posts
Instead of opting to battle with
the rest of the wine-producing world on crowded supermarket shelves, USL
to uses the curry house circuit, like Kingfisher beer, and leverage the
The move, say wine industry watchers comes at an interesting
time when Indage, which also tried exporting to curry houses, has gone
Grover has also gone subdued, while the other good new ones, like
York are still too small to export, leaving Sula as the main competitor
To start with, Mr Rekhi believes that the UK market will
to 10,000 cases a year – the French market, he believes will be about
that volume. USL has already tied up with importers, and will be
entire range of varietals to importers, for bottling under the
‘Ritu’ brand name. USL has a Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and
Voignier. In India, says Mr Rekhi, USL sold some 600,000 bottles last
plans to double that.
The name is `Ritu'
USL has just kicked off its plans to introduce Indian wines
under the brand name “Ritu” to UK and France, targeting the Indian
Ritu, says Vijay Rekhi, MD and president of UB
Group’s USL, was chosen as it sounds Indian, and sounds a bit like Four
Seasons, USL’s domestic wine brand. Four Seasons was considered too much
an entrenched European brand name to differentiate itself as
‘Indian’ wine. Unlike the domestic market, selling wine to France
and UK requires a completely different orientation.
More: Economic Times
Girish Mhatre, founder of
Good Earth Winery, a small-sized wine manufacturer and exporter based in
There is an urgent need to
bring about development in the domestic wine industry in order to make
it more competitive in the global market.
Despite growing interest
in wine on part of consumers, installed production capacity far exceeds
demand, by a factor of three at least. Clearly, overcapacity
is endemic and most producers are panicking.
Rosy forecasts are
inevitable in India given the twin lures of low baseline and large
population. It is easy to base forecasts on early factory shipments,
most of which go into stuffing the channel, rather than on actual
Made by fermenting boiled rice and water, standard Makgeolli has a light, sweet taste, a chalky texture and an alcohol content of only around six per cent. But it's packing a significant punch in terms of export growth, with overseas sales jumping 52 per cent year-on-year in 2008 and a further 13 per cent to top $2 million in the first half of this year, led by rising appetite for the beverage in neighbouring Japan, according to government data.
After seeing its share of South Korea's nearly $8 billion annual alcohol market slide to under 4 per cent in recent decades, the drink has also been reborn at home, thanks to a growing number of brewers such as Applease Korea Brewery Co. Ltd. who is trying to make inroads in the Indian market.
Makgeolli is not known in the Indian market and no importer, given the high duties, would be able to push the product. Although the domestic Makgeolli market has grown 50 per cent internationally it is slowly making its mark.
Asiana Airlines, the country's No.two carrier, has started to serve it on some international routes and it's even made the menus at five-star hotels, where it's typically sold at 15,000 won ($13) a bottle, 10 times the cost of some popular varieties.
More importantly, it's finding traction with a new generation. At Dduktak, a Makgeolli- themed bar in Seoul's busy Konkuk University district, patrons huddle over colourful cocktails that blend the wine into milkshakelike concoctions with everything from espresso beans to lemongrass.
However, there are inherent problems with attempts to broaden the export market: the tax environment is unfavourable; refrigeration expensive and even in canned form the drink has a maximum shelf life of a couple of months.
The agriculture ministry is toying with plans to support the industry, including providing breweries with subsidised rice and funding over the next five years to promote exports and upgrade production facilities.
Even without government help, its backers believe Makgeolli will continue to flourish. “It might not be that important globally yet, but it's a drink that can tell the story of Korea, that has a bit of the country's sadness and happiness," they say.
HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, 4-6 November 2010, 3rd edition
Success of the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair is generating its own momentum but organiser Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)recognises that the pool of trade buyers is enlarging year by year. HKTDC is using all its worldwide resources and marketing expertise developed over four decades to reach these buyers, through advertising campaigns, direct mail and other tools.
The Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair is the key to the rapidly growing Asian market.
- Hong Kong is the first major economy in the world to impose no duty and no sales tax on wine.
- Hong Kong is the logical distribution point for the Chinese mainland market, which is forecast to reach US$870 million within the next decade.
- The Chinese mainland and Hong Kong account for more than 60% of the Asian wine market. As one market they are expected to become the world’s eighth largest market for wine.
- Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland wine investors account for some 40% of investment wines stored in the United Kingdom, some 100 million cases of wine.
“This is my second year participating in the fair. There is an expansion
in the variety of wine products on display with new exhibitors from
countries like India and Korea. I've found some good Italian products as
well as Korean and Hungarian wines. I cannot find a better fair
elsewhere in the region.”
Gianander Dua, Director, Hops
After a reduced VAT and capital subsidy, the state is planning a fresh Rs 150-crore package to help wineries come out of the current crisis, triggered by an excess inventory.
The dilemma for the Ashok Chavan government, however, is that it doesn’t want to be seen helping troubled wineries, and so the package is being planned to look as a relief to grape-growing farmers.
The government now wants to be doubly cautious because its recent decision – to allow foodgrains for wines and encouraging fruit-based wine – has received severe flak from the Opposition and the common man alike. The government, however, is yet to take a decision on winemakers’ another demand to allow conversion of unsold wine stock into brandy.
This, incidentally, is a second major tax concession given to wineries Maharashtra. In October last, ahead of the state assembly elections, the Congress-NCP government reduced VAT on wines to 4% from 25%. It’s no coincidence that many political bigwigs in Maharashtra have large stakes in wineries and grape cultivation.
The state has over 3,000 acres under grape cultivation with 10% rise every year. Maharashtra has been a single-larges contributor to the Rs 300-crore winery industry in the country. To further encourage this sunrise sector, the state, a couple of years ago, had announced a slew of concessions, which included, zero excise, no stamp duty and registration and land a c ncessional rate.
A 10 per cent cut in taxes on beer and wine proposed in the fifth annual budget of Kerala for 2010-11 by Minister for finance of the state Dr T.M. Thomas Isaac on March 5, has left the beer traders and consumers in high spirits, literally.
As a result, the breweries all over the country plan to rush to Kerala to launch their brands of beer and dominate the market in a hope that the sale of beer are likely to shoot up. Undoubtedly, the firm that is likely to be greatly benefitted by this is Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries. Brands such as Kingfisher Strong, Kingfisher Lager, Zingaro, Sand Piper, London Pilsner Strong, Kalyani Strong are already favourites among consumers of Kerala.
A spokesperson of Beverage Corporation reported that of the 8.36 lakh cases of beer that were sold last month, 6.6 lakh cases were of United Breweries. In the year 2009, 171.17 lakh of liquor cases were sold out at the outlets of Beverage Corporation alone.
About 43 per cent of this was beer alone. The move, meanwhile, has not gone down well with some anti-liquor squads, mostly headed by the ecclesiastical authorities and some NGOs who have opposed the state government’s move as it would promote alcohol consumption among the youngsters.
Earlier, a soccer tournament, which was sponsored by United Breweries, was organised by a prominent political party of Kerala in memory of one of their iconic leaders. Surprisingly, free admission tickets for the final match were being doled out on purchase of two bottles of Kingfisher Strong by all the pubs of the town, who promoted this offer at the entrance of their shops.
The incident evoked strong resentment within the organising committee, for the tournament was held in the memory of a great leader who was himself a teetotaler. Speculations are flying thick and fast that the reduction of tax on beer and wine was a gesture of gratitude to the main sponsor of the tournament.
Besides reducing the tax on beer and wine, the government reportedly plans to launch a cola blended with 5 per cent alcohol in bottles labeled ‘low alcohol beverage’ in the market. Incidentally, a law may be amended in this regard in the current session of the assembly.
It is felt that the government has yielded to the pressures from Bacardi-Martini, a Delhi-based company, which has been seeking permission to launch their products in the Kerala market since 2007. Though, earlier their request was turned down earlier by the state official on the ground that it may attract more people towards alcohol and it is against the policy of the government.
The Excise Minister of the state, meanwhile, is denying the report about the scheme for launching alcohol-mixedbeverage in the state market. However, the state government is granting permission for setting up more shops for IMFL and toddy. It has, apparently, asked excise officials to submit the report on the scope and feasibility of additional liquor shops in the state. The officials have already submitted the reports to the government and the liquor policy, as presented in the new budget, is in accordance with it.
Also, the state government has decided to increase the bar licence fee for all threestar hotels in the state to Rs 28 lakh from its previous Rs 22 lakh. A sanction for more than 100 beverage shops and bars is on the anvil before their term in office is over. There are about 655 bars in the state and 45 more will start functioning by the end of this financial year.
About Rs 150 crore is filling the coffers of the state treasury in the name of bar licence fee. Additionally, the turnover tax and sales tax from these shops add to the state revenue. From a single bar alone the state government gets Rs 35 lakh from sales tax per annum. The total income from all bars is estimated to be around Rs 450 crore. The overall income from 328 shops and 16 warehouses of Beverage Corporation and 40 shops of Consumer Fed is enormous.
Last weekend saw the largest wine event ever in Bangalore after several postponements at the very stylish, brand new venue in the Palace Grounds in Bangalore, known as ‘White Petals’ with a large air-conditioned hall and beautifully landscaped lawns. Maureen Kerleau, our Bangalore Correspondent writes.
|The Festival was at the initiative of the Karnataka Wine Board, sponsored largely by the Karnataka Tourist Board. Apparently, no major private companies were willing to take the risk in sponsoring this ‘high-risk’ event, neither were unfortunately the major Indian wine companies whose absence was a real disappointment to all visitors.|
It was a Festival in the true sense. Quite a few Indian wines actually participated, a last minute decision for some. The new brand Seasons drew a huge crowd, Nine Hills were displaying their wines, including the award-winning rosé along with a small selection of their import portfolio. Big Banyan was trying hard to keep things under control. On Saturday, they were seen constantly bringing in fresh stocks throughout the day to keep pace with the avidly tasting public.
The eye-catching labels of Indus Wines who are distributed by Aspri were attracting a lot of attention. They were also showcasing their range of imported wines. Kinvah had a huge team and Naka Wines were also very much present with the whole family lending a hand on the stand.
When contacted by delWine, Kapil Grover of Grover Vineyards admitted not participating but said ‘there are too many of such events and we have to be selective with our budgets.’ Rajeev Samant was perplexed and said, ‘Frankly never heard of it.’ One may recollect that Karnataka had reciprocated to Maharashtra over a year and a half and imposed additional out-of-state excise duties, making them less competitive. Closer to home, Abhay Kewadkar, the Business Head of UB wines talked to delWine on phone from Australia and it appears that due to the clash of dates, they had to regret participation.
Another interesting range of imported wines was being shown by the local importer Wine Baron, which included the South African Makumba range.
One newcomer was Heritage Winery, not displaying the wines which have not yet been marketed or even produced, but were advertising the winery and brand; apparently they will retail their wines at under 100 Rs per bottle! The entry of Rs.100 a person entitled him to be able to taste only a glass of wine at Rs.100 or even more! But these prices were quite reasonable and affordable.
Like in every professional wine show the best glass manufacturers, Riedel, Spiegelau and Chef and Sommelier range with the unusual ‘Mikasa’ wine glasses were also doing a lot of business. Belgian chocolates, French cheese from Cheese Importer Daniel Dubloscard ‘La Fromagerie’ and the locally made, delicious Mozzarella, made by Monks who have learnt the trade in Italy. All of the participants, without exception, were overwhelmed by the success, with over 10,000 visitors descending on the 2-day festival.
Maureen Kerleau organised a series of seminars with a variety of very interesting speakers, including Bangalore’s very own Alok Chandra. Venki of Indian Wine fame was over from Chicago and gave an interesting talk on how he has to deal with the difficult task of marketing Indian wines in the US. A brand new, young winemaker from the Krishna Valley in Northern Karnataka, Dr. Basavaraj amazed us with a detailed account of all of the health benefits of wine and there was also a very down to earth session on the taste of wine.
This was the serious part, but what also drew the crowds was the fun part of the Festival – the DJ’s were working full-blast, there were ongoing quizzes on wine, dance competitions, beautifully choreographed Fashion Shows, a live African Jazz Band and not to forget the ‘grape-stomping’. It was a completely mixed crowd, from young, keen wine drinkers and local vineyard owners to more curious mature visitors who as one gentleman put it ‘We are not yet into wine, but would like to know how to start’.
It was hugely encouraging for all that took part. The Wine Board, especially the Managing Director, Dr. Krishna gave their full cooperation by leaving the local government wine depot open on both days to facilitate collection by the participating wine companies, which was, believe me a real achievement and a big step in the right direction.
The Festival was organised by a small, local, event management company ‘Cosmic Meltdown Crew’ with young guys and girls leaping around with walkie-talkies and getting on top of every tiny detail.
Let’s just hope that the success of this event will lead to more flexibility in the local wine policy on a long term basis – but I am personally convinced that it will. But there are few really interesting winegrowers in the State who all have MBA backgrounds or similar experience from the US and have an amazingly realistic attitude towards winemaking. The established and big players will certainly have to watch out over the next few years. If they succeed they will be producing 'niche', high quality wines with a direct marketing approach and what is more organic
Winds of Change are certainly blowing over Karnataka!
Curtsey: Maureen Kerleau and http://www.indianwineacademy.com
Setting the tone for the New Year, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, a part of the Remy Cointreau Group, has announced a year-long partnership with The Wine Society of India.
Piper-Heidsieck is a world-renowned crisp and radiant champagne that has been at the centre stage of parties for generations and it’s now set to bring an extra sparkle to exclusive gatherings in India. Talking about Piper-Heidsieck's association with The Wine Society of India, Rukn Luthra, Managing Director -Indian Sub-Continent, Remy Cointreau said, "Piper-Heidsieck is a unique brand in our portfolio that is all about celebrating life with gusto. Our association with The Wine Society of India provides the perfect platform for our brand.”
The Piper-Heidsieck extravaganza has transcended generations while upholding its reputation as a reference amongst classic champagnes. “The audacious, contemporary, elegant and playful Piper-Heidsieck completes the magic in every gathering”, says the company.
Piper-Heidsieck will be the highlight of various events at The Wine Society of India this year. Following with this, Heidsieck will be featured in other events.
There will be a series of eight wine tastings and one winemaker dinners in five star hotels across India for Visa's best customers (Visa Signature or Infinite cards) in the subcontinent. Piper-Heidsieck will be the champagne poured for this group of VIP's and opinion formers.
The brand is also to be featured in the 12th Four Seasons Wine Discoveries shipment as a Connoisseur selection at a special offer of 10per cent below MRP
Piper-Heidsieck as a champagne of choice is to be also tasted in the Riedel champagne flutes
A special feature booklet on champagne is to be sponsored by Piper-Heidsieck for all members of The Wine Society.
“Piper-Heidsieck represents the pinnacle of quality as far as champagne is concerned; poise, elegance, breeding and wonderful balance - everything you need a glass for a celebration", said David Banford, Director, The Wine Society of India.
Adding more to this, Steven Spurrier, Chairman, The Wine Society of India said, "The Piper-Heidsieck Champagnes are regular Trophy Winners at the Decanter World Wine Awards and for me, as Chairman, these Trophies are well-deserved. We are excited and hopeful to build a long term association with Piper Heidsieck in India.”
Acclaimed for over 220 years of heritage and passion, Piper-Heidsieck is said to be a celebration of life’s fervour and bold spirit. Its founder, Florens Louis Heidsieck produced its first cuvee in 1785.
Taking reign within the House of Piper- Heidsieck is its chief winemaker Regis Camus, who has constantly raised the bar of consistency to bring prominence to the range of trophy and medal-winning Piper-Heidsieck champagnes.
Camus and his team refer to a guideline of “House criteria”, established over time enriched with their own experiences. Regis was awarded “Winemaker of the Year” Trophy award in 2004, 2007 and 2008 at the International Wine Challenge and under his purview, Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut was bestowed the “nv Champagne of the Year Trophy” in 2006, further reinforcing creed to the stable.
In 1988, Piper-Heidsieck became part of the Remy Cointreau Group. Infused with technology to help the oenological teams to preserve the excellence of Piper-Heidsieck champagnes, the company has further developed the brand’s personality and guarantee of consistency. Ever since, it has gained a growing following that has made it renowned as one of the top three Champagne brands in the world.
The Wine Society of India has aims and mission objectives which fall into 3 separate but inter-related categories. Firstly, to inform and educate those in this country about the world of wine. WSI provides this through a developing range of online and offline programmes, including home-study wine courses, a helpline to answer wine-related queries, newsletters, access to edited portions of Decanter Magazine, a global vineyard visit programme, restaurant partnerships, wine storage systems and supply of wine accessories.
Secondly, wine events - both informal wine appreciation events and more formal sit-down winemaker dinners.
And finally, through the Four Seasons Wine Discoveries programme. Four times a year, the Board of Wine Advisors, Steven Spurrier, Chairman, taste hundreds of wines throughout the vineyards of the world, including India, to discover the best possible quality wines at the lowest possible price. These wines are then offered for sale to members through partner retailers and shipped for home delivery in temperaturecontrolled conditions.