The Indian consumer base for wines has been growing in recent years. There are early entrants to the category aged 21-25 years. Wine consumption is going regular, not just occasion-based. Wines are being viewed as everyday luxury, not limited only to connoisseurs.
At the Big Banyan Vineyards outside Bengaluru our tour experience and tasting is crafted to be an enjoyable and immersive learning experience for everyone, be it a beginner or a connoisseur.
We host the ‘Harvest Festival’ – a lovely morning of picking ripe grapes, among other activities, while witnessing the beauty of the vineyards at close quarters. Understanding the fascinating process from grape to wine also encourages people to experience our wines.
Lucio Marticardi, our winemaker, is in India thrice a year to oversee the harvesting and blends, meeting the farmers and surveying the crop. We host an event each time he is here, so he can share his knowledge on winemaking.
We work with several premium outlets who promote Indian wines by way of sponsored events. But many hotel and restaurant chains typically have just one or two Indian wine brands on the menu, and the rest imported.
The assumption, that the consumer at a 5-star hotel prefers only imported wines, might not be true. Hotels and fine dines should stock more Indian wines, a mix across all brands that represent a variety of the grapes grown here.
There are lots of wine maker dinners being hosted, but we noticed that people would rather witness the experience at a vineyard first hand.
From data collected for 2019-20, we gather that in outlets that can avail of duty-free purchase of wines, 30% of the wine pickup is imported wines, while Indian wines account for 50% of the total pickup.
Together with other foreign wines, the split between Indian wines and the rest is 50-50 in terms of volume. But it is likely that the varietals offered among duty-free wines are more than that offered in the Indian Wines category.
Early entrants to the wine category tend to prefer wines that are sweeter on the palate, and are an important audience to cater to. Our newest launch, L’Angoor, is a fun, cheeky offering by Big Banyan that is a fruity wine, light and sweet on the palate.
– Aeisha Sahni, Business Head (Wines), Big Banyan Vineyards.