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Posted: Wednesday, 03 July 2019 10:45

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DelWine Awards pays Tribute to Indian 'Women of Wine'

July 03: DelWine Excellence Awards 2019 was recently administered on 21st April 2019 at Pullman, Aerocity, New Delhi with special recognition for the Top Ten Indian Women of Wine, and a proud moment for every wine aspirant of the alcobev industry to be invited here and vouch for the matchless experience writes Sheetal Kadam who came from Mumbai to attend the second edition

The second delWine Excellence Awards presented by the Indian Wine Academy with Pullman New Delhi as a hospitality partner, included a wine conference for the first time in India with an apt theme “The Game Changer.” It was one- of- a kind set up that was liked by the onlookers and buffs alike.

After the Meet and Greet with the guest in the afternoon, the Indian Wine Summit was inaugurated for the first time. On a very positive note on“The Power and Potential of the Indian Wine Market” by an associate and co-founder of the Awards, Sourish Bhattacharya provided an introduction to the maiden event.

Cavaliere Subhash Arora, President of Indian Wine Academy & Founder of Delwine Excellence Awards addressed and welcome his fans and audience to the Wine Summit. It was moving to see the summed up evident wine journey of this Indian wine man. He initiated his career by promoting wine as a lifestyle, healthy culture in the Indian market about 20 years back.

Today, he aims at bringing together the wine Industry professionals under one roof to interact and share their views on Indian wine industry and understand the challenges and shortcomings in the way of accelerating growth of the industry and also try to find newer ways to promote wines, both Imported and indigenous.

The Awards                    

The opening Address was given by H.E. Ms. Eleonora Dimitrova, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in India.  Mr Panos Kalogeropoulos, Ambassador of Greece to India also gave a speech at this event. Addressing the audience to inculcate the drinking habit of good wine, learn to compare or choose better wines was his advice.

Ravi Viswanathan, Singapore-based wine investor, Chairman Grover Zampa Vineyards revealed various ways of being creative and proactive in wine business:  future trends of Indian wine business were put across well.

Industry round table discussions on various interesting topics like, “On a Roller Coaster: Opportunities and Impediments for International Wines”. Consumer preferences and choices are day by day changing, people expect newer experiences, and Indian wine market is getting more complex, dynamic and demanding. There was added scope for imported wines in Indian market.

“Industry-Government Interface: Regulatory Challenges for the Indian Wine Sector” though the market trend of wine business in India is changing. The biggest challenge is the brick-wall taxation policy in the country that hinders the growth of wine business in India. Through such discussions possibly the wine producers, traders and promoters shout in the ears of bureaucrats.

“The State of Wine Training: Are We Still Talent Crunched?” Applicability and importance of WSET courses in India was the point of discussion here. According to the panellists WSET is undoubtedly a renowned course but for Indian context we really need an intensive indigenous course pertaining to Indian wine industry, was the general refrain.

Lucky draw was an intertwist between the relay of these events.

DelWine Top Ten WOW Awards 2019

The delWine Top Ten Awards for Indian Women of Wine (WOW) was devised by Subhash Arora in 2013 to encourage women to enter the wine world and be recognised and appreciated by the rest of the wine world. What a thought! And a grand way of felicitating the work of promoting wines by women winemakers, sommelier, marketers, importers, retailers and educationists.

The delWine Top Ten Indian Women of Wine (WOW) Awards 2019 recipients were:

Rupali Bhatnagar-Associate Vice-President and Chief Winemaker at Sula Vineyards. Since 2008 she has been specialising in winemaking of sparkling wines. She successfully created India's first Sparkling Shiraz last year.

Uma Chigurupati is a wine entrepreneur. Ten years ago, she started KRSMA Estates at Hampi hills in Karnataka out of sheer passion for wines today it is India’s leading boutique wineries.

Chef Ritu Dalmia is well-known for gastronomic mutation, food and wine pairing. She has earned incomparable fame for herself, today has become an awards-winning Chef, greatly passionate of food & wine.

Madhulika Bhattacharyya, beautiful and bold in her actions, a PR professional and a Radio Jockey, she owns premier wine and liquor store La Cave in Delhi and has recently started a new one in Bangalore. Since 2015, it’s been Delhi’s canny wine store selling liquor as well.

Sonal Holland MW, India’s first and only Master of Wine is a role model for many of us in the wine and hospitality industry. She is wine educator too at Sonal Holland Wine Academy where she offers WSET wine and spirit courses for a decade now.

Kadambari Kapoor focused on formless wine industry in Kolkata, over a decade, with her company Gusto Importing quality wines to India from handpicked grand crus and terroirs of well branded wine regions.

Manish Parija initially worked with Chateau Indage but later on joined an importing agency FinewinesnMore. Today she is heading Sales and Marketing team in major Northern states as the Deputy General Manager- North in Fratelli Wines, the third largest producer and now an importer too.

Kiran Patil handles sales and marketing of her family owned winery Reveilo, engaged in building and growing the brand with tremendous focus and hard work. She aims at making “Reveilo” one of the premium wine brands in the Indian market.

Aeisha Sahni, Head of Wine Business -Big Banyan Wines, a division of John Distilleries in Bangalore has been associated with the wine business for over 8 years. She specialises in sales, marketing and brand building.

Reva K. Singh the publisher owner of Sommelier India aims to educate her readers about wine, creating wine awareness amongst Indian consumers. She was a founder member of The Wine Society of India, and a member of Board of Wine Advisors.

Pleasant surroundings

Contemporary design of the decor was eye-catching. The huge convention hall could smartly accommodate more than a dozen wine and chocolate and cheese stands, with the colossal sitting capacity for the large number of audience to move around, mingle with friends and colleagues while enjoying the wine tastings.

Wine stands of indigenous wines like Sula, Grover Zampa and Fratelli, were seen alongside major importers like Vbev, Aspri, Wine Park, Gusto, Ace, Prestige and Agnetta,  and Retailers like La cave who showcased their premium imported wine brands. An interesting sight was the Pullman Stand which has its own labelled Pullman red, white and sparkling wines at the hotel.

The wines were paired with traditional Indian starters, it was an amazing match and an excellent experience for all of us to taste the wines across the world with the local food as well Continental and Chinese gourmet cuisine. This exclusive multi-cuisine wine dinner was arranged for the invitees as a warm gesture and the Chefs of Pullman did a superb job with the whole F & B team behind it with body and soul.

Third edition will be held in April 2019. Come back on 30th April 2020 at Pullman New Delhi, Aerocity for yet another wine experience. Please wait for a confirmed announcement by the organizers in www.delwineexcellenceawards.com

Sheetal Kadam


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