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Delhi Wine Club
Four Seasons crosses One Lakh Mark

Posted: Friday, 05 April 2013 15:25

Four Seasons crosses 100,000 Mark

April 05: UB-owned Four Seasons Winery located in Roti village, Baramati District, crossed the sales of a hundred thousand cases of premium and semi-premium wine, a feat achieved so far by only two companies - the now almost defunct Indage Vintners and the leading producer Sula, thus maintaining the clear second position ahead of Grover Zampa, writes Subhash Arora

Click For Large ViewThe total sale is made up mostly of the cheaper Zinzi and the premium range of Four Seasons. Confirming that they had crossed the mark of one lakh cases, Abhay Kewadkar, the business head and chief winemaker of Four Seasons refused to give the break up. He says ‘we cannot disclose volume break up by brand or by segment as per our corporate policy’. He did confirm that the share of the low-priced sub-Rs.150 wine that they started producing and selling only in the last quarter was insignificant. ‘Definitely less than that,’ he said vociferously when I suggested the number of 10,000. 

Therein lies the tale of the Indian domestic wine industry which has been growing in numbers, but much faster in the low-ended segment, especially the fortified ‘Port” segment which is not even recognised as wine by the European Union.  Following the footsteps of Indage Vintners which was known for its dozens of confusing labels to conquer different price points, the Indian producers are trying to capture the lower end of the spectrum. Sula was next to follow the line of thinking of Indage in order to corner the market segments vacated by it. Adding a list of low end labels like Samara and Dia, they have entered the 'Port' business because of the expanding market. Grover also added to their low-ended portfolio last year after bringing in Santé (Zinzi is a competitor for this label) several years ago.

Though the new label priced at Rs.140 is supposed to be sold in Maharashtra only according to Kewadkar, it would be curious to see how much of a role this low-end wine would play in the future plans during the next few years. Quashing the rumours by some people that this low-ended wine was as much as 40,000 cases, Abhay vehemently denies it. ‘And we are definitely not calling it 'Port,’ he adds. Portugal had Port registered as a GI in November 2011 and the country is in the process of initiating legal proceedings against all ‘Port’ producers.

Four Seasons has achieved the number two slot in volumes but only in the ‘premium’ and ‘semi-premium’ wine segment - generally considered over Rs. 150 a bottle-market. The real growth and the story unveiling fast, is in the low-end ‘Port’ and in general fortified wines where players like Heritage (Karnataka), Vinícola, Tonia, Golconda are way ahead of Four Seasons in sales-so is the Nashik Port from Sula, all of them being in the 6 digit numbers. The biggest wine consuming segment due to cheap prices and no wine laws, is expanding the fastest.

Grover Zampa closed 2012-13 at a total of 60-65,000 cases of all wines, Kapil Grover, co-owner of Grover Zampa, informs delWine. The initial estimates and targets for the year had varied from 80,000-110,000 cases in the total portfolio including the Zampa labels and the wines produced in the Nashik winery of the new entity. The company claims to have the infrastructure finally in place with the appointment of Sumedh S. Mandla - ex FWM and Aspri, as the CEO of Grover Zampa and the hopes and aspirations are very high. ‘There is no reason why we won’t double the sales during 2013-14 (April- March) this year,’ Kapil informs delWine.

That will put Grover neck to neck with Four Seasons. For Abhay Kewadkar, who is like the Formula 1 driver racing for different cars and having ‘driven’ for ‘Indage’ and then ‘Grover’ it will be an interesting challenge to stay ahead in his present  car- ‘Four Seasons’.

Subhash Arora

Tags: Zinzi, Four Seasons, Port, Indage Vintners, Sula, Golconda, Grover Zampa, Nashik, Aspri



Siyamalan Says:

Little curious about the ownership/holdings of four seasons winery :)

Posted @ April 15, 2013 16:29


Rifaquat Mirza Says:

Congratulations to that man Abhay Kewadkar !All the oenological discussions apart, case milestones are case milestones. And if I know him well no one drives better on wet weather tyres or negotiates the chicanes of the wine industry better than him.

Posted @ April 12, 2013 15:07


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