June 16, 2017

"We are the pioneers in wine making in India and have a strong focus on quality. We control space in the super premium segment or the reserved or yeast wine segment - we control more than 40% market share and have won 82 international awards in the last three years and our wines are available in around 30 countries," says Sumedh Singh Mandla, CEO, Grover Zampa Vineyards, while adding that the Nandi Hills area is one of the most suited to grow grapes in India. "When we began our journey in the late 1980s, we checked different states in India, imported 33 varieties of grapes from France and planted vines in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh; we got the best results in Nandi Hills. We produce wines in Nasik and Bangalore but the high altitude and the complexity in the soil in the latter are more conducive for us to produce quality wines."

"Presently, we are promoting our wine tours and tastings more in the digital space as the platform is easier for us to reach a larger audience. Recently we unveiled Insignia, our signature limited edition wine that was sold only in the winery at Rs. 5000 per bottle solely by invitation."

Grover Zampa has also started grape stomping sessions in the winery whenever they receive a large group of visitors. "Grape stomping became a good attraction for people. We also cover the vineyard tour as part of the session. We have been receiving MICE groups. FITs come in a group size of 20-25 pax and we also did an event for 250 people. Corporates hold their meetings for a couple of hours before going on to wine tasting, food and grape stomping. We are constantly experimenting with new grapes and as it celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, it plans to introduce a celebration wine in the sparkling category," he reveals.

Wine in India
Sumedh believes that wine as an industry in the country needs more hand holding by the state and central government as it is still not taken very seriously. "We work with Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and the Karnataka Wine Board. We also regularly take part in travel shows across the world such as ProWein in Dusseldorf and trade fairs in Hong Kong."

" With changing drinking patterns and wine being a new subject for many, education on wine is important. Acceptability of India as a quality wine producer is happening slowly. It is a positive sign and we need to work more to increase the awareness, " he concluded.


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