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Launch: Turning Point for ex-Moet India Boss

Posted: Thursday, 03 February 2011 16:13

Launch: Turning Point for ex-Moet India Boss

Those familiar with the Indian wine industry might have been wondering about the whereabouts of Ashwin Deo, former MD of Moet Hennessy after he left them in October 2008 and later Tiger Beer. He has been busy developing his own private label, Turning Point for the wines ready to be launched at the Tote Restaurant in Mumbai on February 9, writes Subhash Arora.

The rumours had been rife for months that Ashwin Deo was about to launch his own label of wines produced at the winery of an existing wine maker. When DelWine contacted him, he did not deny but said some thing was in the air but was reluctant to give details until the project reached the final phase.

One does not know if leaving Moet Hennessy in October 2008 was the turning point in the life of the head honcho of the Indian operation of the wine division of LVMH, who took Moet Champagne to new heights still not crossed after his departure, but he has labeled his wines Turning Point. He is introducing the five staple Nashik varietals- Chenin, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Cabernet Shiraz and Zinfandel Rose. There will be no confusion on pricing- all labels at Rs.675. The 375 mL bottles will be priced at Rs.375.

Crushing the Tradition

Ashwin is following a different business approach to marketing wines. The wines will be made and bottled at York Winery in Nashik. ‘I am selling a Brand and coming from my Moet background that should not be surprising,’ he says. ‘Besides, I am crushing the tradition, not grapes,’ he says without mincing any words and clarifying that he wants to be imaginative in his efforts to popularize wines with young.

‘The Indian wine industry has really not taken off and expanded the way it should have. Look at the 26/11-one mishap and the whole industry turned turtle. We do not have any breadth in the market. We need to expand the market and get youth get to drink wine. All those tasting notes and swirling and sniffing are ok for the older, sophisticated crowd but I don’t hear anything that would catch the ears of the youth who are the biggest potential,’ he says, saying he would not target the Grill Room for his wine and rather sell to the local bars and pubs frequented by the young crowd.

He is keen to catch the lifestyle space of the young and wants to engage them into drinking wine. ‘I want to use just three words to make the young people try out the wine but have not come across so far.’ He seemed to like the suggestion by delWine of a  bottle of wine to be the best medium for romance between young lovers (can you imagine a 6-pack if you were on a date-was the subject of my Blog about 5 years ago -editor). His take, built on my suggestion, ‘shortest distance between the bottle and bed’ might be too western but he agrees that romance should be the key for the youth (hopefully, many not-too-young, looking for romance may be motivated by the motto too).

Talking about the brand, I ask Ashwin if the label does not conflict with Turning Leaf of California. 'No, I have the name registered so I don’t see any problem in that front,' he says.

Bottle and the Bottle Art

The bottle will have a completely silver sleeve cover that would hide the contents but will make the display of label which is part of the sleeve look very attractive- the whole bottle giving the look of a gin bottle. Ashwin feels that packaging is very important and this design will attract the youth.

To engage the younger clientele, Ashwin has created what he calls Bottle Art on his website (to be operational soon). There are several choices available on the label and permutation and combination can give innumerous creative possibilities to the individual. One day, he may offer individuals to choose the labels for their bottles but for now it would be exciting for them just to recommend a label on the website . He may keep some prize for the labels selected.

Launch of Turning Point

The wine is officially being launched at the Tote Restaurant owned by the Indigo owner Rahul Akerkar and his wife. Specialising in Grills, the food will be a good ground to get the best out of his wines. ‘I have invited about 500 people for the launch and I hope it will be fun for all.’

All the best to Ashwin for his new venture and we hope Turning Point is truly a turning point for him and  the young wine industry. We hope the fun loving youth have fun drinking his wine instead of the other white drinks like vodka that take away the grey cells faster. Although Ashwin is not willing to talk volumes, no guesses can be made accurately in the fledgling market, with the real possibility of the youth taking to wine like those in Italy, Spain and wherever the romance flourishes.

Subhash Arora



Ashwin Deo Says:

Hi Subhash, The label, in the front itself, very clearly gives the alcohol content. I am really surprised that it cant be seen!! The whites is 13.5% and the reds are 14%. Cheers, Ashwin

Posted @ Nov 15, 2013 17:36


Ravi Gurnani Says:

It should be there on the bottle usually. Alcohol is in the range of 13-14% on all wines. Regards. Ravi- York winery

Posted @ Nov 15, 2011 17:00


Manish Says:

I see no details about the alcohol content on the product- anyone?

Posted @ Nov 05, 2013 10:17


Umesh Pathak Says:

Congrats at last u done it any help in distribution in nagpur pl let me know v 've started FL1 in nagpur recently all the best for ur new venture

Posted @ February 12, 2011 13:11


Umesh Natraj Says:

Best wishes to "Turning Point"....hope every wine lover meet his or her's turning Ashwin did..!!!

Posted @ February 11, 2011 11:07


Anand Mehta Says:

Dear Ashwin,I feel this is really an innovative thinking and of course you are capable of. I wish you all the best and wish almighty that it becomes a turning point for not better but best. Anand Mehta, Arizona Marketing Pvt. Ltd.

Posted @ February 08, 2011 13:17


Dharti Desai Says:

I wish Ashwin lots of luck and I am sure he will be successful given his solid experience in this industry and a very keen understanding of the Indian wine consumer. We need more people like him in the roller coaster wine industry in our incredible India:-)

Posted @ February 04, 2011 12:31


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