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Posted: Tuesday, November 24 2009. 13:17

Get Set to Taste the Good Earth

Pune based Good Earth Winery plans to launch a premium range of Cabernet and Shiraz Reserve as a part of the Concerto Collection and a Sauvignon Blanc in the regular range of Raga Collection, reports Subhash Arora who had a chat with the owner last week.

Photos by :: Adil Arora

Good Earth is a virtual winery owned by Girish Mhatre, an IIT Mumbai alumnus who left India in 1971 after finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. Post MS in New York, he stayed back and has been into Direct Marketing in the East Coast. During the last couple of decades he has been traveling to Italy and France, visiting various wine regions and wanting to ‘make wine in India that I can be proud of.’

‘My primary objective thus, was to produce wine in the premium segment focusing more on the international market and not as a mass producer. I believe India can make a great wine,’ he says, sharing his desire to become a cult wine producer.

Business Model

He does not own a winery but has selected two wineries after careful evaluation of equipment, skills and experience in the processing of the varietals he is interested in. His winemaker selects the top quality grapes grown in Dindori, for purchase.

Girish Mhatre loves classical music and believes different wines can express different moods in music. Thus the ‘Cabernet is christened as Basso for the depth and resonance in the wine while Brio is lively and vivacious Shiraz. Sauvignon Blanc will be labelled as Aarohi- the ascending notes of Raga,’ he explains. The labels are attractive and have an aura of music about them.

Wine is an epicurean experience, says Mhatre. Therefore, things like marketing of hampers with cheese and gourmet food items with his wine, food and wine pairing experience are going to be a part of his marketing strategy. In fact, even before the launch many tastings have been organized-like the one at the Bandra Festival organized by the Pune Gourmet Club on November 15.

Good Earth-Sound of Music and Wine

In fact, he had planned a dinner at JW Marriott last Wednesday, where the 3- course dinner with 3 of his wines would have cost Rs. 3000 a plate. Unfortunately, it had to be cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances, but he has many more such events planned 

Brand Pricing Strategy

The price is kept at Rs.1450 for Basso, Rs.1375 for Brio and Rs. 725 for Aarohi. To a naked Indian eye they may appear to be a bit high- Basso is positioned to be the highest priced Indian wine. But Mhatre is unfazed. He says with confidence, ‘we are talking of the high product quality. We are not talking of simply the liquid in the bottle and the care that has gone into it. We guarantee a well stored wine. We will select only those retailers who have a good storage system and logistics will be a priority.’

At those prices, it seems to be a tough ride ahead. But with only about 1000 cases ready to be sold, and a number of rich connoisseurs in Maharashtra eagerly awaiting premium products, it may not be an impossible task. Vintage wines with the expensive Reserve range at almost as high a price is already able to push out 500-600 cases a year. But even they are not dependent on the sale of these wines and have regular range to sustain.

With the Direct Marketing experience behind him, Girish is all set to create a brand and a niche for himself and his premium Good Earth wines that you can get set to taste in a couple of weeks.

Subhash Arora

Comments:

 
 

Chetan Shah Says:

pleae mail me mr.mhatre contacts and oblige

Posted @ December 02, 2009 13:36

 
       

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