Chianti producers have agreed to limit their wine sales this year as they fear falling bulk prices could harm their brand. This is the first time that they’ve taken this step. Each producer will be limited to selling 80% of the wine it produces. With this plan 20% of the wines produced from the 2009 harvest will be held back for a minimum of 24 months reports Decanter. Now would the Indian wineries ever consider such a move?
Maybe our wine industry is too fragile or we’re not organized enough but one thing is for certain, the sooner we learn how to manage the “Indian wine brand” and the Indian wine moniker too, the better. While organizations have been established to protect the farmers in Maharashtra and the importers who bring in the foreign wine, two important constituents stay unrepresented.
The first are the producers who need to jointly take ownership of the Indian brand just as the Chianti Classico Consorzio does. This group should dictate guidelines for the production of wine each year, what can be written on the labels and where which wines can be produced. We’re currently facing excessive inventory at the retail channels that are hurting producers while destroying the Indian wine market too. The France Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) which may arguably be considered extremely restrictive has helped French wine considerably over the decades. It is left to be seen whether the Grape Processing Board will play a substantive role here.
The second body that’s under-represented are the Indian wine consumers who have to deal with the sweaty wine and beer shops, the total disregard for storage and transportation conditions and painfully high taxes that ruin the pleasure that’s supposed to come with drinking wine. Here at Sommelier India – The Wine Magazine, we represent the needs, interests and considerations of the Indian consumer the best we can but it is an uphill battle against vested interests. Regardless, we’ll continue to represent the Indian consumers and their needs to the best of our ability.