April 25: The inaugural India Wine Summit and the second delWine Excellence Awards concluded successfully on a wine-drenched note on Sunday, 21 April at the Pullman New Delhi Aerocity. The theme of the Wine Summit was The Game Changer and the event took the audience through three back to back Industry Round Table sessions with illustrious names from the wine producing industry, F&B professionals, wine importers and promoters, according to a Press Release
The one of a kind event was attended by a concoction of hospitality stalwarts, industry veterans, and senior journalists and influencers. Amongst those who graced the occasion were Eleonora Dimitrova (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria), Loic Pasquet, Creator of Liber Pater, Bordeaux’s highest priced boutique wine, Ravi Viswanathan (Singapore-based wine investor and Chairman of Grover Zampa group, Mr. Tristan Beau de Lomenie (General Manager of Pullman & Novotel Hotel), Vishal Kadakia (Founder-The Wine Park), Aman Dhall (Brindco), Sonal Holland (India's most accomplished wine professional), Madhulika Bhattacharya and celebrity chefs like Akshay Malhotra, Sabyasachi Gorai, Sujan Sarkar, Nishant Choubey and Restaurateur extraordinaire AD Singh.
After the introduction by leading food columnist, blogger and author Sourish Bhattacharyya and the welcome address by Subhash Arora, Editor, delWine and President, India Wine Academy, H.E Eleonora Dimitrova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Bulgaria delivered the opening address. She gave a brief history of Bulgaria’s wine producing heritage, stressing on the importance and love of wines the Bulgarians have, as well as detailed statistics ion what makes Bulgarian wines special. The keynote address was delivered by Ravi Viswanathan, Chairman, Grover Zampa Group. His speech was an eye opener in many ways, tackling the state of the wine business in India, the problems faced by Indian wine producers and his hopes and vision of the Indian Wine Industry being at par with China in the next 25 years. H.E. Panos Kalogeropoulos, Ambassador of Greece also joined the luminaries for the valedictory Address. In fact we were very touched that he came back again later and sat through the closing session and to give the Valedictory Address in which he talked about the Greek wines, hospitality and the tourism opportunity in his country and the support available through the Embassy of Greece in Delhi.
The WOW showcase was followed by the DelWine Excellence Awards ceremony, kicking off with the Women of Wine (WOW) awards preceding the other popular categories, and culminating with the Hall of Fame awards for excellence and contribution to wine culture in India and the world. Kaveree Bamzai, noted media personality commenced the evening’s proceedings with The WOW Awards that recognized 10 top women who have made extraordinary contributions to the wine industry, in areas as diverse as wine making, wine sales and marketing, imports, retail and wine education.
This was the first time since 2013 when the Awards were initiated by Subhash Arora that those named in delWine's biennial Women of Wine (WOW) honour list were publicly recognized for their stellar contributions. Uma Chigurupati had come from Hyderabad, Aeisha Sahni from Bangalore whereas Sonal Holland MW, Kiran Patil and Kadambari Kapoor had come from Mumbai to receive their recognition, besides Reva Singh, Madhulika Bhattacharya Dhall and Manisha Parija from Delhi. Rupali Bhatnagar from Mumbai had to cancel due to family problems while Ritu Dalmia was stuck in Rome because of business.
The Leela Palace New Delhi (Chanakyapuri) and Pa Pa Ya (Select Citywalk, Saket) bagged Delhi's Best Wine Destination Award in the five-star and standalone categories respectively. Le Méridien Gurgaon and The Wine Company (Cyber Hub, Gurgaon) went home with the same award, but for the NCR. The Oberoi New Delhi's Rakesh Awaghade and Ravi Batra of Pa Pa Ya got the prestigious Sommelier of the Year Award.
Earlier, Sula, Grover Zampa Vineyards, Fratelli- the Top Three producers had generously opened their Indian collection as did Pullman with its own private label poured their 4 labels. Brindco was the star of the evening serving New World and Old World wines and in the process declared the Best Stand of the evening at the ‘World of Wines Showcase’ arranged on the 3 sides of the Peacock Room. Other importers who participated in this unique event where one could taste some of the Top wines were Prestige, Aspri, Agnetta, Wine Park, Gusto, Hema, VBev and Ace.
Team Pullman did an excellent job in setting up live stations and the dessert stalls were absolutely astounding with free flow of wine right till the end. The organizers had earlier declared that the next edition of delWine Excellence Awards would be held again at Pullman New Delhi Aerocity for the third time on April 30th, a date-change of plus minus one week due to hotel bookings notwithstanding.
It was truly a WOW evening for those who took the trouble to spend an Easter Sunday afternoon and evening at Pullman attending the delWine Summit & Excellence Awards.
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