February 2011 - Posts
Experts are of the opinion that a woman’s heightened sense of taste and smell makes her perfect for these wine tasting sessions. Renowned French wine expert Martine Issembert, who conducted a wine session in the city recently, says, “Women in India are more interested in knowing how to pair wine with their daily menus, how to store it, how to serve, how to introduce it to novices, etc. More than concentrating on nuances like the grape varietals, type of barrels, etc. women here seek more practical knowledge.”
Chinmaya Arjun Raja, managing director of the Wine Academy of India that organises these wine appreciation courses, adds, “The response from women has been very encouraging and it’s great to see them coming forward and pursuing their interest in the subject. While some of them want to learn more to write on the subject, others want to entertain. No matter what the reason is, it is a very positive trend.”
Wine appreciation and tasting is catching on in a big way with women in the city. So much so that it’s the women who now look forward to the wine and cheese evenings, where they can discuss in depth about aromas, flavours and notes of the beverage.
More: Deccan Chronicle
The two-day festival starting Saturday has been organised by thewineclu. It will include a wine educator from Nashik to guide guests about the basics of the beverage. Wineries of Sula, York and Zampa will have their educators talk about wine and how it is produced.
On the first day of the festival, the evening will witness York Live festival which will encompass music, fun and food.
Avijit Burman, organiser of the event, said in an Interview, "The whole purpose of our portal is also to educate more people about wine, take wine to the masses to be more precise and make wine a common man's drink."
Burman, a connoisseur of wine, feels there are many misconceptions attached to wine drinking and through this programme they want to break them and help the market grow to at least 10 per cent.
"So through vineyard discovery, we are trying to educate people about wine, which is an agricultural product. Maharashtra has got a lot of agricultural families dependant upon these drinks for their livelihood, so the fact is that if more people visit Nashik and learn about wine, the wineries will get motivated, people will get interested in trying wine as their drink and that will benefit the farmers of Maharashtra," he added.
Burman stresses that the purpose of the festival is not to convert teetotalers into drinkers.
More: The Times of India
Nirvana Biosys Private Limited which collaborated with the 75-year old French
owned wine-making firm based in Mauritius called EC Oxenham & Co to produce
different types of table wines, in the `300-700 range, to compete with Sula.
Nirvana Biosys’ CMD Mahendra Gupta is a chemical engineer by training who
said he has “long experience in fermentation. The fundamental part of winery
business is fermentation of grape juice.” He remarked further, “My experience
was that wines in India, imported or local, are not good as they get partially
oxidised. When that happens products have no value because they taste bad. Even
during refrigeration while shipping, oxidisation takes place. So when you open a
bottle what you sometimes get to drink is concentrated alcohol that is like
Gupta set up a factory in Bawal, Rewari district, Haryana which is a
manufacturing plant and has an R&D lab too. When their application to
Haryana government is cleared, a portion of the first floor of the factory may
be used for wine tourism. “We can start a small shop, and have wine-tasting
sessions for tourists, stopping on their trip on the highway,” adds Nirvana
Biosys’ JMD MK Rastogi.
She, which is, we think, the
only wine in India specifically targetted at, “the tender woman drinker.” It is
a rose, a dessert accompaniment.
A port wine, Mitra 2000, which supposedly has a slight
Zoya, a pair red and white wines for younger clients costing about `300.
Luca label has red and whites from grapes of various varietals
including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Muscat. They also have a
sparkling white wine.
Their newest products are made of local Indian fruits — lychees and mangoes.
It is from Luca’s Nectar of the Tropics range. Their mango wine is still
not in the market because its R&D work is going on. But we saw the label EC
Oxenham & Co use for their product. It is called Le Gold and is being
made in collaboration with a Canadian firm, Puddicombe Estate Winery.
A large freezer room held large tubs of grape juice that had been
imported from Italy. But Rastogi said “We are flexible. In the future, we may we
use local grapes.”
Their current suppliers of lychee pulp are from Muzzafarbad in Bihar. A few
hours later, back in Delhi, we managed to drink a few sips of the lychee wine.
Now we are looking forward to the results of the mango wine experiment. Gupta
remarked, “This is where India has an advantage
because we have hundreds of varieties to choose from. In fact, we produce nearly
half the world’s mangoes. We have focussed on a blend of three types —
Totapari, Alphonsa and Dussehri. One source for mangoes is Mahilabad in
Rastogi added, “But we are not confining ourselves to these.
Making mango wine has proven to be very challenging because of thick pulp. The
filtration process is difficult. In fact, the Agriculture Research Institute has
also been engaged in work on this.” One of the researchers said the mango wine
will resemble the “sparkling white”. However, one bottle of Aneja, the
Canadian brand of mango wine, revealed a product closer to a sunny yellow. Or
was that the bottle reflecting light? The Lychee wine was released in
mid-December while the mango variant is scheduled for a summer release.
More: The Pioneer
Aspri Spirits Pvt. Ltd. has recently introduced one of the most widely sold
German wine brand Black Tower to the Indian market.
Black tower is a leading brand from the Reh Kendermann Group. Reh Kendermann
markets its wines to over 54 countries. It’s main production areas in Germany
are Pfalz, Mosel and Rheinhessen. Here they build on the popular German wines in
the world in their own vineyards or purchase grapes from more than 400 contract
growers, with whom they are connected in long-term partnership.
Mr. Volkmar Stockmann - Area Sales Director Asia-Pacific & South America,
Black Tower said, "Wine drinkers in India have grown more discerning and the
Indian wine consumption market has undergone tremendous growth in the last five
years, hence it's the ideal phase to introduce Black Tower in India. We're very
pleased to be associated with Aspri Spirits, a company that has an in-depth
knowledge of the beverage industry in India. I'm sure our finest quality wines
would be a delight for the wine-lovers in India and it will be widely
Aspri Spirits has introduced the following range of Black Tower Wines in
Black Tower Rivaner is a deliciously smooth white wine full of fresh
fruit flavours of pineapple and ripe mango made from Rivaner grape. Wonderfully
easy to drink, it is equally enjoyable served chilled on its own or with a
variety of food - any time, any occasion. It works well with spicy chicken tacos
or sweet pork and chili stir fry.
Black Tower Riesling a white in nature wine
has a deliciously crisp Riesling, cool fermented ripe fruit flavours aromas and
is made from Riesling grape. This wine is a perfect match with salsa chicken
wraps with mango or lime and ginger pork stir fry.
Black Tower Dornfelder
Pinot Noir is a red wine made from Dornfelder & Pinot Noir grape and its
lively, fresh red berry aromas and supple ripe fruit flavor, makes it the
perfect wine to savour on its own with friends or to accompany seared tuna with
Mediterranean vegetables or pasta in a rich tomato sauce with fresh
Black Tower Wines are priced at Rs. 1295/-onwards and are solely
imported & distributed in India by Aspri Spirits and are available at all
leading Hotels, restaurants and select retail outlets across the country.
Global luxury group LVMH's company Moet Hennessy, in a first-time move, has crushed about 150 tonne of grapes as it looks to come out with locally produced sparkling wines sometime in 2012. Moet Hennessy, makers of the flagship bubbly Moet Chandon and Dom Perignon champagne, is finalizing land acquisition for a greenfield winery to be constructed in the next two years, several industry sources directly familiar with the matter said.
In the interim, the Indian subsidiary has purchased grapes for this year's crushing season and explores the option of contract bottling the wine till the plant gets ready. The wait for "Nashik Chandon" has started even though Moet Hennessy may opt to release its Indian wines only next year after allowing for one year in-bottle fermentation.
"Moet's move to enter India's wine sector is significant as it has a history of investing ahead of the curve in most big wine markets outside France," Alok Chandra, a wine expert and writer, said.
For Moet, this is also an attempt to develop better footprint in the country where heavy import tariffs make international brands prohibitively expensive. A bottle of Moet Chandon Brut is priced at Rs 4,900 at retail in Mumbai.
Moet has already embarked on recruiting mid-level officials, including viticulturists in-charge of sourcing grapes, from other Nashik wineries. Arguably Moet is the biggest name to invest in Nashik. The only other MNC there is Pernod Ricard - and it could price the local wines at a premium to other Indian wine brands like Sula, Grover's and Zampa.
More: The Times of India
Wine producers in Maharashtra have requested the state chief minister for assistance in matters of financing and taxation, at a time when their businesses have suffered due to untimely rains that have destroyed a large part of the grape crop this season.
Representatives of the All India Wine Producers' Association (AIWPA) met with chief minister Prithviraj Chavan recently and discussed with him problems of small and medium-size wineries and grape growers like unpaid loans, high interest rates and crop losses.
Jagdish Holkar, president, AIWPA, said, "The chief minister said that he recently met the union minister for food processing and discussed the issues of wineries and grape growers with him. He also said that the state and central government would look into these matters and together come up with a solution."
The Association is seeking soft loans amounting to Rs90 crore, as well as interest subvention and loan restructuring option. "The wine industry is a holding industry and interest rate of 14%-15% is unaffordable," Mr Holkar said.
Grape growers are additionally burdened as they have not received payments from wineries for the past two years, resulting in their inability to repay loans. "The farmer is at the losing end as wineries still have to pay their dues for the past two years. There are also loan dues that the farmers are finding hard to repay," said Rajesh Jadhav, secretary, AIWPA.
Here is a list of some of the popular wine tasting festivals in India for domestic and international tourists:
1. Sula Fest: February
Whether this 2,000-people fusion of music and wine can take credit for the
others that followed in its wake is hard to ascertain but Sula Fest did break
new, important ground for the wine industry on both sides of the spectrum.
Venue: Sula Vineyards, Gat 36/2, Govardhan Village, off Gangapur-Savargaon Road, Nashik
2. York Live: February
York’s winery is in fact almost on the brink of the Gangapur lake and the
view, gorgeous as it is, gets better at sunset as the winds blow in from the
lakeside, cooling down the vines and the lawns where the event is due to take
The festival unfurls on February 26 at the height of the day -- 12.30 p.m.
Venue: York Winery, Gat no. 15/2, Gangavarhe Village, Gangapur-Savargaon Road, Nashik
Date: 26 February 2011
3. Kala Ghoda Wine Festival: February
one just wrapped up on the weekend finale of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in
February, which showcases and celebrates all things art and culture -- now
Venue: Joss Restaurant, 30, K Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai
Entry Fee: Entry Rs 300
4. Bandra Wine Festival: October
The Bandra Trust organizes the Bandra
Wine Festival in collaboration with the Pune Gourmet Club.
The elements of food and music are present and the trees provide much needed
shade through the noon before the evening.
Venue: D'Monte Park, Perry Road, Bandra, Mumbai
Entry Fee: Rs 500
5. Bombay Presidency Radio Club Wine Festival: November
Club Wine festival, is held annually since 2009 over a weekend in
Venue: Hotel Bombay Presidency, 157, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, South Mumbai
Entry Fee: Rs 500
Date: A weekend in November
6. Pune Wine Festival: December
Held in a pretty Rohi Villa Palace gardens in Koregaon Park and featuring
quite a few lesser-known wine producers, the 2010 edition (its fourth) was
without the three traditional wine power houses (Sula, Indage, Grover) and yet
the number of participants had further risen -- 16 participants and more than
2,500 visitors over two days.
The event is organized by Monsoon Winds in association with the Pune Gourmet
Venue: Rohi Villa Palace Gardens, Lane No 7, North Main Road, Meera Nagar Path, Koregaon Park, Pune
Wine consumption has witnessed a steep increase of at least 35-45% in the local market.
The availability of more than 100 old and new international brands in city stores has provided wine lovers with a wide variety to choose from as a result of which there has been a shift in drinking habits, with the preference tilting towards the finer stuff.
In the past six months, while Nine Hills has been able to register a 35% growth, Jacob Creek has marked its presence with a 50% increase.
Cashing on the health benefits and realizing the need to nurture a trend of drinking wine, manufacturers have introduced various brands prepared from exotic and healthy fruits like lychee, mango and grapes. Initially, there was a lack of awareness of these health benefits but the scenario is gradually changing in India. Joint managing director of wine company Nirvana Biosys MK Rustagi said, 'Wine has a long history of use as an early form of medication.'
The collaborators of Nirvana Biosys have already produced exotic lychee wine that would soon be introduced in domestic as well as international market, followed by mango wine in the coming summer.
A young entrepreneur, Navjot Singh, said Indian and Indian-made foreign wine brands were becoming popular among city youths. 'To nurture a trend of drinking wine, vineyards are going all out by organizing plantation visits, informative facility tours combined with tasting sessions.
More: The Times of India
India's private airport operators want the government to double the duty-free
allowance for incoming international passengers and encourage them to buy from Indian duty-free shops.
a list of suggestions sent to the Finance Ministry, the Association of
Private Airport Operators (APAO) -- comprising airport operators of
Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi say: "With
steep depreciation of rupees, there is a need to increase the allowance
to Rs 50,000 from Rs 25,000. Also, duty-free import of liquor may be
allowed up to three litres for liquor and additional two litres for
wine," the suggestion sent by APAO said.
More: Economic Times
At the In-Store Asia 2011, Shubhranshu Singh, head - customer marketing,
Diageo, made an interesting presentation on the wine and spirits retail
scenario in India and the shopper marketing opportunity for brands.
- The over-the-counter shops represent 80-90 per cent of the total alcohol
beverage market in India where the man at the counter is the only point
- 70 per cent of the walk-in stores
that have come up in the recent past are located in Bengaluru, Mumbai,
Delhi and Gurgaon. These are increasing gradually, and are situated
mostly in high profile residential areas.
- The problems that this category faces include no planogramming or category grouping.
- For brand promotions, event-led and value-added promotions work better than pure price reductions.
- A customer who wants to buy a bottle of Scotch whiskey for a friend, but
doesn't drink it seeks and trusts the retailer's expert advice on what
to buy. He will invariably go back to the same store, thus establishing a
- If the customer is educated about a product, his buying behaviour can change.
- The wine and spirits retail stores are today cluttered and cramped with numerous brands and messages.
The way to improve?
When it comes to in-store effectiveness there are three imperatives -
right range, clear merchandising, and efficient promotions.
"What a brand wants," shared Singh, "is impactful visibility, right
range, shopper engagement, higher pick-up and selection rate, high
average bill value and one stop shopping, where consumers can pick up
snacks, mixers, soft drinks and drink equipment as well." The liquor retail is evolving steadily and shoppers are switiching
preferences much faster, miniaturisation is a requirement where you must
learn to adapt your brand to a small size store.