A new agency specialising in Indian wines – appropriately called ‘Wines in India’ – has been launched in the UK with the hope it can shine a concerted light on what is a growing and increasingly dynamic wine scene. Sumita Sarma takes a look behind the scenes and highlights the six top ranking Indian wine producers that have been brought together as part of this new exclusive range.
Wines in India has selected six producers to try and help them breakthrough into the UK wine market and show what Indian wine can now offer – they include: Charosa Vineyards, Good Drop Wine, Fratelli, Reveilo, York and Vallonné Vineyards.
The vineyards in India are mostly located around the Nashik belt although more regions have emerged, given the diversity of climates and landscapes in this vast country. Now for the first time there is an opportunity for UK buyers to really see what these vineyards are able to produce and offer thanks to the new agency – Wines in India – that has been set up to help bring them and promote them in the UK.
The wines have been selected by India’s only Master of Wine, Sonal Holland, in partnership with three directors – Mayank Gupta, Chris Holland and Nilesh Kamble.
Chris Holland, director of the new business explains what they hope to achieve with Wines in India: “We are extremely excited to launch Wines in India, the culmination of several months researching the UK market and exploring India’s wine regions. We believe there is significant potential for an Indian wine specialist here, given that the UK trade is particularly open-minded to emerging territories coupled with the British love affair with Indian cuisine.”
In order to increase awareness, there are plans to hold live and online interviews, tastings as well as webinars through 67 Pall Mall.
Wines in India are also one of the sponsors of the London Wine Fair and there are plans to add online masterclasses with a digital pavilion showcasing 19 wines from the six estates, samples of which will be made available to visitors in advance. Details of these will be announced closer to time.
“It is unfortunate that our timing coincided with the lockdown, but we have managed to turn around and tune into social media and make use of online engagement, through tastings and talks on Instagram and connect with the trade as well as reach out to consumers. We are a young team, we are flexible and being creative is definitely important for our agenda. The ultimate aim is to showcase to the UK market, what India has achieved in a short time,” he adds.
Wines in India is starting to make inroads into the UK wine market, with its most significant listing, to date, being for Vallonné Cabernet Sauvignon which has been taken on by Waitrose. This is potentially a particularly important step as it gives a major retail presence for premium Indian wines in the UK and a chance for them to stand on a par with wines from the rest of the world.
Their future plans also include adding restaurant listings, as hospitality opens up. Within on-trade, the focus will be on fine dining Indian restaurants as well as wine bars that specialise in alternate and emerging regions.
The overall mission is to dispel any misconceptions the trade and consumer may have about Indian wines by ensuring the focus is on elegant, world class offerings. Whist India is still a relatively young wine-producing country, the innovations in the last 10-15 years has brought it on a par with the international beverage market and the potential to grow the category here is significant. There are currently some 17,000 restaurants in the UK, very few of which list Indian wines, due to lack of availability and quality.
The launch of Wines in India also brings a new angle to adding more diversity to wines and where they are made. With Indian wines now achieving top-notch recognition in medalling competitions, the launch of Wines in India is an important step to celebrate and highlight the diverse talent and creations of the global wine industry.
Wines in India – spotlight on six producers
Charosa: which specialises in international varieties, including Viognier, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Its winemaker is Ashok Patil, who has 15 years’ experience making wine in India, and has completed vintages in New Zealand, South Australia and France.
Good Drop Wine Cellars: which specialises in sparkling wine, and was founded by Barossa Valley winemaker, Ashwin Rodrigues.
Reveilo, a boutique estate with an Italian winemaker specialising in Italian varieties including Sangiovese, Nero D’Avola and Grillo.
Vallonné Vineyards: a minimal intervention winery and producer of India’s first Provencal-style rosé, and first Indian Malbec.
Fratelli: a joint venture between two sets of brothers – the Italian Secci’s and the Sekhri and Mohite-Patil brothers from India.
York: a nine-acre estate specialising in international varietals including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc, with a combination of New World winemaking practices with French influence.
- For further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow Wines in India on social media on @winesinindia and at www.winesinindia.com.