June 16: In an effort to exclusively promote Indian wines for exports, APEDA took the initiative, for the first time, by renting the pavilion space at the London Wine Fair (LWF), which took place from June 7 to 9 at Olympia Park and from the comments by the participating producers- Fratelli, Grover Zampa, Sula, Good drop Wine Cellars, KLC (Virgin Hills), Soma Vine Village, Hill Zill, Resvera, Plateaux Vintners and ASAV, it gave the group an opportunity to showcase Indian wines to the visitors, writes Subhash Arora
This was perhaps the 4th time (twice before in London and once in Hong Kong) that the producers joined hands together and participated in the Show that was sponsored by a government authority under the ‘Wines of India’ banner. Earlier, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) used to invite producers to hand over their wines to showcase at various food shows in which APEDA participated but the response was generally lukewarm.
APEDA has nevertheless conducted several workshops and wine tasting events at various international trade fairs for creating awareness about the potential of Indian wines.
This was perhaps the first time that APEDA rented the whole pavilion and offered it as an Indian pavilion exclusively for wines and opened doors to 10 producers to showcase their wines. It was also the first time that fruit wines and meads were included in the repertoire, indicating the government’s recognition of fruit wines as cousins of (grape) wines in an international show.
The event was organised in conjunction with the All India Wine Producers Association (AIWPA) with its President, Jagdish Holkar also in attendance. He said, ‘Indian wines will work very well in Europe, especially in Indian restaurants. This B2B event has been successful and we must participate regularly in such shows to make a dent. We hope to be back in London next year.’
Dr. Sudhanshu, Secretary, APEDA said, ‘Under the umbrella of APEDA we have brought these 10 wine exporters. Our objective was to showcase Indian wines and register India’s identity as a producer of quality wines. Indian wines are already being exported to many countries. England being one of the important importing countries, we have participated in this Show this year. APEDA represents 700+ products for exports, one of which is wine. We have plans for promotion of such products in various markets.’
Although the show has been losing its importance internationally over the years and is shrinking, our participants were very pleased with the attendance at the Indian pavilion. Ashwin Rodrigues, owner of Good Drop Cellars says, ‘the reaction to the B2B show seemed lukewarm, perhaps because there was an entry ticket of £20 for the first time. But the Indian pavilion was rocking with many visitors surprised that India also produces wines. An agency specialising in choreography presented Bollywood dances at regular intervals and attracted people to our pavilion. Indian wines have a great potential and it must be exploited.’
|Courtesy FB Post Jagdish Holkar
Kunal Chugh, Owner of KLC (Vigin Hills) and one of the participants showcasing Indian wines, informs delWine, ‘We have received amazing feedback for our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Two Masters of Wine who tasted them even made a Statement calling them world’s first tropical wines with unusual characteristics!’
The Big three were present with Aditya Sekhri and their National Sales Head Nitin Verma in attendance from Fratelli. Grover Zampa had also sent their National Marketing Manager Rishi Besant. Sula Vineyards, which has admittedly reduced their focus on exports, supported the initiative nevertheless, by arranging the wines to be supplied by their local distributors according to other participants at the Show.
Resvera (Jamun wines) and Hill Zill (‘Arka’ Honey wines) were the producers present in the fruit wine category and were very happy with the extremely positive response.
The Indian High Commission was very supportive of the participation and even organised a reception for the participant with the High Commissioner offering to help the producers in export promotion activities after the Show. In fact, Mr. Sujit Ghosh, the Deputy High Commissioner, took keen interest and asked the AIWPA to make a calendar of activities for the whole year to help them take things forward with assurance of active support.
Indian Wine industry has grown at compound annual growth rate of 14 per cent during 2010 to 2017 making it the fastest growing industry under alcoholic beverage in the country. APEDA’s efforts to focus on wine exports are laudable and one hopes they will work closely now with the Indian wine industry to promote them as a cohesive unit.
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