Wines of Indian origin are getting better known around the world – the names that come readily to mind are Grover Zampa, KRSMA, Fratelli, Reveilo, Four Seasons and, of course, Sula – the big daddy of them all! writes Reva K. Singh. Pictured: Victor Petit, Cecilia Oldne and Sapna Knijnenberg
Sula Vineyards entered the market 15 years ago and now exports to over 25 countries worldwide. The company has been a pioneer in many ways, not least in being the first to initiate sustainable viticulture and winemaking. Besides being India’s largest wine producer, Sula is also a leading wine and spirits importer, with a portfolio of prestigious brands like Remy Cointreau, Cono Sur, Hardys, Ruffino and Asahi.
Sula pioneered wine tourism in India, opening the first ever winery tasting room in 2005 and the first vineyard resort, Beyond by Sula, in 2007. Since then, almost a dozen wineries have followed Sula’s lead in Maharashtra alone by opening their doors to visitors. (Read more about visiting Indian wineries in the April-May 2015 issue of Sommelier India Wine Magazine).
In most recent news from Sula Vineyards, the company hosted a special event at ‘Catch by Simonis’ in The Hague, following their participation in Europe’s largest (and one of the world’s most important) wine and spirits show – ProWein in Dusseldorf. (The other Indian company that took part at the show in Dusseldorf was Grover Zampa Vineyards).
The event arranged for prominent figures of the Dutch wine trade was hosted by Cecilia Oldne, Sula’s Brand Ambassador & Head of International Business, along with Sula’s importer in The Netherlands, Asian Wines. In her welcome speech, Oldne informed guests about Nashik’s emergence as a wine region in India and how this had helped make Indian wine a player in the international arena.
The wines uncorked in the course of the evening included award-winning wines such as Rasa Shiraz, Sula Brut, Sula Sauvignon Blanc, Dindori Reserve Viognier, Dindori Reserve Shiraz, Sula Late Harvest Chenin Blanc as well as the new launches in the market – Sula Riesling and Sula Brut Rosé (pictured, left).
One of Sula’s best markets in Europe, business in The Netherlands (which is the 6th largest wine import market ii the world) is growing at a steady clip. Sapna Knijnenburg of Asian Wines, said, “Sula Vineyards came as a pleasant surprise to the Dutch people and they love the wines!” Dindori Viognier and Dindori Shiraz are the current favourites. Chefs from high-end international restaurants including Michelin star restaurants are full of praise for them.
As Oldne commented, Sula has helped raise the profile of Indian wine globally, firmly establishing India on the wine map of the world.