India seeks to provide wine enlightenment to westerners

30 November, 2007

Harvey-Miller Wine & Spirit Agencies is aiming to convince consumers that India is a "credible and viable wine-producing country" with the launch of a single-varietal range in the UK.

The Indage Vineyards Reserve wines come

from India's high-altitude Hima chal region and have been made by Australian winemaker Paul Nelson.

Although 120 grape varieties are currently

grown there, just five - Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah - have been used to make wines for the range.

The wines were unveiled at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham on Nov 28. HMWSA chairman Nick Harvey-Miller said the biggest challenge will be "educating consumers and customers" about Indian wines and bringing them into the mainstream.

He added: "The variety and quality of Indage Vineyards' wines will appeal to many different customers

- we will not be just aiming at the Indian restaurants market.

"The wines will sell for between £6.99 and £7.49 and will happily compete on any wine list or in retail with the best that California and France ha ve to offer."

The main export markets for Indian wine are France, Italy, Germany, US, UK and Singapore. The country has approximately 60,000 ha of vineyards, although only a small fraction of plantings are wine grapes.

Indian wines have "big potential" to compete in the mainstream wine market, according to Virgin Wines' personal wine advisor Sarah-Jane Robins. Virgin currently has one Indian wine in its portfolio - Sula Sauvignon Blanc 2006 from India's biggest grape-growing region, Nashik.

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