Indian wine is beginning to gain a foothold in international market through trade fairs. This year, the 22nd ProWein held at Dusseldorf, Germany, saw four Indian companies attract international attention. Sula Vineyards, Grover Zampa, Agave India and Meher Distilleries from India were among the companies to showcase their products to an international audience.
“This has been a very big show for us since it is one of the biggest wine shows held in the year,” said Cecilia Oldne, VP, global brand ambassador and head – international business, Sula Vineyards.
ProWein is one of the biggest international fairs and attracts more than 52,000 international trade visitors of which 47% are international professionals.
Around 30 countries participate in the fair, with the interest of visitors focused largely on wines from Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Austria. However, this time, India has left its mark as well. No less varied was the line-up from the 420 spirits exhibitors from 30 countries. Around 40% of trade visitors placed orders right at the fair itself and some 44% said they planned to do so after the event.
This year, there has been an increasing interest in Champagne (20%), and sparkling wines (19%) as well as spirits (21%). Although the Indian participation has been small this time, industry watchers hoped that wines from India will find favour in international markets.
Indian wine is beginning to generate interest and people are recognising the fact that India can make good wines, Oldne said. Nashik is also being recognised as a major wine producing region in India, she said. “As one of the youngest wine producing nations in the world, this is a major achievement for us,” she added. Sula showcased some 10 labels at the show, including the new sparkling Sula Brut, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Dindori Shiraz. For Oldne, this is an opportunity to tap new markets.
“Among the favourites were our Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Dindori Shiraz. We saw a record number of visitors at our booth. It was never a dull moment, and was encouraging to see the genuine curiosity in wines from India,” she said.
Sula held an event after ProWein at Netherlands —another fast growing market for the company where it launched Riesling and Brut Rose this month. The company’s importer in Italy also showcased Sula at the prestigious VinItaly last week. “There was a great response to our wines there as well,” she said.
Next week, Oldne is off to the Middle East to meet up with importers. “Our wines are listed at Burj Kalifa and at the Armani Hotel, among other exclusive places,” she said.
Sula plans to participate in wine events across the world regularly. “We took part in Vinexpo Tokyo last year and will be participating in the Mid-Atlantic Wine Festival in Delaware with our Master Winemaker Kerry Damskey in May,” Oldne said.
For Grover Zampa as well, a trade fair of this nature helps the company explore newer markets. Grover Zampa exports to some 20 countries and is targeting 20-25% growth in its exports this year. “Importers from Germany and Europe have shown interest in our wines, helping us to expand to newer regions,” Sumedh Singh Mandla, CEO, Grover Zampa said.
“We had some fruitful meetings with importers from various countries. It is a great platform to be visible and we will be happy to exhibit at Prowein next year,” he added.
Last year, Grover had added eight new countries to its export list and plans to add a few more this year. France remains its biggest export market worldwide. Grover Zampa Vineyards had recently launched the Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection of white and red wines. The product was launched at Wimbledon and received rave reviews from wine critics.The Vijay Amritraj Collection wines are priced at Rs 1,200 and are distributed in India and key international markets like the UK, the US and Europe. The product has done well in the UK.
Apart from winemakers, other players from India continued to keep Indian spirits high at the fair. Goa-based Agave India had several firsts to its credit. The company has started India’s first official micro-distillery. It is also the first alco-bev company in India to make high-quality Margarita blends, Agave Spirits and Orange Liqueurs using original production methods and materials. Dahanu-based Meher Distilleries that makes premium whiskeys, vodka, gin and rum, was also a part of the Indian line-up.