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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Tuesday, May 13 2008. 17:05

Zampa Zooms in to Zap Zinzi

In a seeming war of words, Deepak Roy, the former blue eyed boy of UB's Vijay Mallya, who had left him a few years ago and joined UB's competitor and later set up his own wine business, claims he is zooming in with his Zampa wines to zap the newly introduced Zinzi wines by his ex-boss.

Deepak Roy who has invested Rs.150 million ($37 m) in his vineyards and winery, is ready to hit the Indian wine market with his Zampa brand of wines. Just when UB announced its arrival with Zinzi brand of wines, Deepak Roy brought his Zampa wine from Valle de Vin, his 35-acre vineyard on the periphery of Nashik. He plans to add another 100 acres to his portfolio soon.

Mr Roy is now heading the Kishore Chhabria group company which produces Officer's Choice whisky and Gillbey's Green Label, the competitors of UB.

According to Roy, his winery Vallee de Vin has planned a unique marketing strategy with a direct response approach. He selected about a thousand wine connoisseurs and sent them a miniature wooden cask filled with varietal wines grown in his vineyard and literature describing his wines and the project. This will be followed up within a fortnight with a bottle each of red and white wines. He believes the word of mouth communication will be the best form of advertising for his product.

'UB is the latest entrant here, but it is well prepared with a winery at Baramati and another one being set up at Nashik.' He claims that his wines would be able to out do Zinzi and beat them in the market.

According to a report in the Economic Times, Mr Roy said: "We have brought experts from the best vineyards in the world to ensure high quality for the grapes and the wines we make here. In terms of quality, our wines can be among the best in the world."

This is really amusing and does reek of rhetoric, or else Mr. Roy is a true whisky man who believes that any French wine (even their famous vin de table) is one of the best in the world. Even the top quality Indian producers privately admit they are decades away from making that claim, even as a tall claim. So when he talks of making and selling 25000 cases of wine, his statement needs to be taken with awe and inspiration.

The claim that his portfolio of Zampa Chenin Blanc, Shiraz, Sparkling Rose wine, etc. selling in the Price range from Rs 600-650 in the said article will outshine the under Rs.300 (in Delhi) of Zinzi, amuses many people including Abhay Kewadkar, VP and Chief Wine maker of UB. 'I am happy to read about what he has to say as he has put Zinzi at a higher platform. I wish him all the luck.'

UB has not yet released their regular Four Seasons wines due to excise formalities.

Whatever be the statements attributed to Mr. Roy who could not be contacted, it promises to be an interesting development, and perhaps a revolution in Indian wine quality and marketing is fermenting slowly.


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