India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club
Sula enters Structured Wine Education with WSET

Posted: Monday, 18 February 2013 10:44

Sula enters Structured Wine Education with WSET

Feb 18: In conjunction with the London-based Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Sula Vineyards is conducting the basic WSET-1 course on Sunday, February 23 at its headquarters in Lower Parel, Mumbai where a limited number of people will get to learn the art of understanding wine tasting and get a certificate issued by the Trust on passing the standard exam.

After flirting successfully with music, food, restaurants, wine bar, wine resort and whatever else came to his visionary mind to sell more of his Sula wine, Rajeev Samant seems to be tinkering with the idea of establishing a foothold in the structured wine education market which has a huge potential and seems to be on the starting line-waiting for the gun to fire. Of course, the company has already been conducting several wine appreciation sessions at hotels, restaurants and various groups. In fact, their International Brand Ambassador Cecilia Oldne is also a trained sommelier and has been associated with such programs.

The course being conducted at the headquarters of Sula at Lower Parel on Sunday February 23 from 10am to 7pm is a one-day course and costs Rs.7500 which includes lunch, tea and the course material and tasting notes. 8 wines, as required by WSET, will be tasted. Those attending will be given 30 multiple choice questions and will be examined by the Wine and Spirits Trust. Sovna Puri, a former assistant head Sommelier at the famous Michelin-Starred Indian Restaurant Benares in Mayfair, London for 2 years, is a WSET-3 qualified Head of the Training at Sula. She will conduct the course for a class that is limited to 10 persons, she says.

What is the objective of this course and is this inaugural, I ask Sovna. ‘Well, we conducted a couple of them already, the last one being perhaps around 8 months ago. Of course, this is a structured course and many people want to have a certificate from a recognized institute like WSET,’ says Sovna who has been working with Sula for the past four years and has been conducted several tastings and educational programs Pan India.

The wines included in the programme, as might be expected, are from Sula’s portfolio, she says. Five of them are the domestic labels including the flagship white Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and the Late Harvest Chenin Blanc. Imported wines include Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Cono Sur in Chile.

Deepak Bhatnagar, Sula’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for India, concurs with her about the objective. This is primarily to educate people about wine and is not going to be a profit center. How about running such WSET-1 courses at Sula’s vineyards in Nashik so people can combine a fun weekend with a structured basic education, I ask. Sovna sounds a bit uncertain about the number of people coming to Nashik for the course but Deepak is clear and forthcoming, ‘we do have definite plans in the near future. We already have the license and with our BEYOND Resort, we're already conducting similar activities and will soon have such a program, the details of which we are working on,’ he says.

It is interesting to see Sula move in the area of wine education and join the likes of Tullee-Ho and other educators in the WSET program (Indian Wine Academy does not conduct such courses but only several short wine appreciation events and training programs. It aims to educate through its website about Indian and imported wines). While Sula may not be interested or planning to make it a separate profit center, this step could benefit its brand building exercise and affect direct sales.

The lower cost of wines and substantial savings on the cost of venue, which has been normally a 5-star hotel, and lunch etc, means the cost of conducting such a course is substantially lower than it costs other Approved Programme Providers and the benefits could be passed directly to the registrants directly through discounts or discount vouchers for the sale of wines from their stable. However, this also has the risk of putting off people who may think of it as a publicity gimmick to increase the sales rather than imparting basic general and objective education; most importers already carry out shoddy wine education programs for the hotels as they are obliged as part of the deal.

The program of WSET-1 includes introduction of the main styles of wines, learning the characteristics of the principle grape varieties, Systematic Approach to Tasting Service and Retail of wine. Matching Food & Wine - learning & understanding the basics of food & wine pairing, is also a part of the curriculum. The participants will have the opportunity of not only tasting 8 wines but also learning the art of basic matching food with wine.

Subhash Arora

Tags: Tullee-Ho, WSET, Sovna Puri, Deepak Bhatnagar, Sula


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.

Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet