Forty years ago, Moët & Chandon, the famous French Champagne house, created history by expanding to foreign shores. Forsaking characteristic French snobbery and regional exclusivity, Moet took their expertise in making Champagne – or sparkling wine – to the US, becoming the first French house to set up wineries there. And that was the genesis of Domaine Chandon.
After that the Chandon name spread to wineries in Argentina, Brazil and Australia, with projects in China and India marking the current phase of Moët Hennessy’s evolution and pioneering spirit.
“Moët has always been a forward thinker,” emphasised Jean-Guillaume Prats, the new head of Moët Hennessy’s Estates and Wines division. “It’s really part of our DNA that is based on two pillars: long established brands and innovation.”
From the one Domaine Chandon winery in the US forty years ago, the house will soon have six estates across the world. The aim is to cater to younger consumers who want great sparkling wine but who may not be willing, or have deep pockets for the more expensive version, ie, Champagne.
Construction is already well underway near Nashik for Moët Hennessy’s first winery in India. But not willing to wait for the winery to be functional, the company has already produced its maiden 2012 vintage at a separate facility and a launch is scheduled for October this year in Mumbai.
India’s allure as against China’s for Moët is that Indians seem to have a stronger liking for Champagne (or any other sparkling wine, for that matter) than the Chinese. So it makes sense for Chandon to give them a less expensive alternative to the real stuff.
For those who can afford it, there is Moët & Chandon; and for those who want the same experience minus the cost, soon there will be Domaine Chandon in India.