If you miss your Indian wines with Indian food when travelling overseas, here’s good news for you. One of India’s premier wine producers, Grover Vineyards, has joined forces with Bibendum, UK’s foremost wine company, to distribute their wines on an exclusive basis in the UK. Initially, three wines will be represented – Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet-Shiraz and the award-winning La Reserve.
“With more than 6,000 Indian restaurants in the UK, this is a very exciting opportunity to bring India’s best wines to a wider audience,” says Tim Marson MW, Bibendum Buyer. “Grover Vineyards have the passion and vision to succeed in seeing Indian wine become the beverage of choice in good Indian restaurants across the country. Crucially, the wines more than hold their own in terms of quality, which will enable them to gain fans beyond the Indian dining sector.” 45 of the world’s best producers exclusively (including the likes of Bruno Paillard, Castello Banfi, Alois Lageder, Springfield Estate, d’Arenberg, Wither Hills and Bodega Catena Zapata) work with Bibendum which also owns Argento, the leading brand from Argentina.
Kapil Grover, Director of Grover Vineyards, said, “We are delighted to be associated with Bibendum in the very challenging UK market. We share a common vision with a strong commitment to quality, and with Bibendum’s excellent distribution we feel confident of success in this new venture. I look forward to a long and exciting partnership with Bibendum.”
Interestingly, at the London International Wine Fair last month, it was the Grovers 2006 La Reserve that was the favorite at the Indian masterclass conducted by Steven Spurrier. It was the only Karnataka wine entered among several Maharashtrian wines. The wine had gotten a bronze medal at the 2009 Sommelier India Wine Competition. There is no doubt that Grovers could present a serious threat to Sula’s position in the UK market. Without a doubt though, this will do lots to build awareness for Indian wine in the UK.
Currently, Grovers exports approximately 13,000 cases of which the majority goes to France and Japan. Kapil Grover is hoping to sell around 5,000 cases in the next one year. To do that, he’s going to use the assistance of Amber Vaidya who has been appointed brand ambassador for Grover Vineyards in the UK. Mr. Vaidya may not be that well known in wine circles but he is the son of a former Grover Vineyards board member and a keen wine enthusiast.
With the 6,000 Indian restaurants in the UK that aren’t just in the major population centers but practically every small town and village, there is significant potential. The UK market with its Indian restaurants and burgeoning population of British Asians is probably the most promising international market for Indian wine. Expect to see other Indian winemakers tie up to with importers for this market soon.