There are two new premium wines to try this summer. Big Banyan (owned by John Distilleries Limited) has recently launched Rosa Rossa (which means “pink rose” in Italian) and Bellissima (meaning “beautiful”). The first is a Zinfandel Rosé and the latter a Late Harvest Muscat Dessert wine. The launches are timed for the summer. In fact, Rosé was recently declared the official wine of summer according to Bon Appétit magazine.
The wines launched are in the international style or more specifically, Italian, which is the signature style of Big Banyan with its Italian winemaker, Lucio Matricardi. Interestingly, the Bellissima is the first dessert wine in India made from the Muscat grape. These two introductions expand their portfolio to now include seven single varietals including two whites (Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc), a Rosé (Rosa Rossa), three reds (Zinfandel, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon) and a dessert wine (Bellissima Late Harvest Muscat).
But that isn’t all, Big Banyan plans to introduce Big Banyan Shiraz Reserve, Vintage 2008 whose grapes have been selected by the master winemaker adhering to stringent standards. That wine has been aged in oak barrels for a minimum of one year. It is not surprising that this takes the number of red wines in its portfolio to four versus just two whites. With recent research from Nielsen showing that Indians primarily drink red wine (82% of all wines drunk according to the study), more winemakers are focusing increasingly on red.
According to Mr. Paul John, Chairman, John Distilleries Ltd, “John Distilleries Ltd. is proud to expand the Big Banyan brand through these new varieties. Today’s well-travelled Indian consumer is forever willing to experiment and we are passionate about providing our patrons an exhaustive range to select from. Our premium wines are created after a lot of in-depth research and we are confident of offering a variant suitable for any food pairing. It is our constant endeavour to introduce the most exquisite wines to the discerning Indian wine lover.”
Big Banyan Wines has a state of the art winery in Goa with an existing 200,000 (2 lakh) litre capacity (22,200 X 9 litre cases) with specialised Italian equipment such as crushers, press, pumps, bottling lines and multi-purpose tanks. Manufacturing in Karnataka is expected to begin by 2011 whereas plans are also afoot to explore a presence in various markets in North and North East India and Maharashtra, in line with other brands of JDL.
Big Banyan is most well known in the south where its wines have done best. Over the years, the wine producer has done events with the Bangalore Wine Club and the Rotarians Wine Fellowship of India. John Distilleries also owns the Kumarakom Lake Resort which was ranked as one of Asia’s Top 25 Condé Nast Reader Choice Awards 2008.
You can also follow Big Banyan on Twitter.