|Old world wines are looking with hope for new markets in India. The latest to scout around is Lombard, one of the distinctive brands of vintage wines from Champagne, writes Suneeta Sodhi Kanga. When I heard that Paul-Henri, Lombard’s emissary from Epernay, was visiting Mumbai, I made it a point to meet him.|
Wines from the House of Lombard have found a home in the USA, UK and – surprisingly – the West Asian market of Dubai.
Lombard produces 1,600,000 bottles of champagne every year, 40% of which are sold in foreign markets and the EEC and its foray into the Indian sub-continent represents an attempt to augment its overseas distribution network into hitherto unexplored territory.
Moet, the leader in India, has an 85% share of the champagne market. Other champagne brands in the fray are Lanson, Wranken (Pommery), Laurent Perrier and Mumm. Lombard is hoping to add its name to this list and to this end it is aggressively looking for a local partner who will help retail its four brands in hotels and homes.
There have been three generations of the House of Lombard, spanning three eras, with only one shared passion – to make the reputation of the wine what it is today, one of the finest in the world. In the early part of the last century, the Lombard family owned vineyards in Hautvillers, and its vines are now located mainly in Montagne de Reims Ouest.
The uniqueness of Lombard et Cie starts with the harvesting. Grapes of the highest quality come from selected areas where the soil and exposure give to the three traditional champagne varieties of grapes the best expression, style and specificity.
Under the leadership of Thierry Lombard, a third generation wine lover and the current President, the House of Lombard has chosen to produce great quality champagne with expertise and new technologies while still maintaining the traditional methods. The thermo regulated tanks, the riddling system, the disgorging process are all done with top-of-the-line equipment.
But no technology replaces the nose, the tasting and the expert eye of the cellar master during the blending process of vintages. Lombard believes that its ‘inimitable style’ with its ‘finest taste of tender, sweet and vanilla flavours’ will please customers.