It was a Big Splash! And everybody who was anybody was there at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai this October for the much awaited launch of Chandon (pronounced “shan-don”). The occasion was a sparkling wine produced in India by the legendary House of Moët Hennessey with grapes grown and vinified in Nashik.
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Chandon Brut and Chandon Rosé are Indian sparkling wines, no mistake. But they are as close to champagne as you can get, produced as they are by Moët Hennessey, the world’s leading Champagne House since 1743. In fact, they are but the younger siblings of Moët & Chandon. As Mark Bedingham said to me, “We are proud to put our label on the Brut and Rosé being launched here as ‘Produce of India’.”
Moët Hennessy Estates & Wines’ team of international and local winemakers and viticulturists worked closely with grape growers in the Indian winemaking heartland of Nashik to come up with something uniquely Indian. Packaged in exactly the same style as other Chandon sparklers produced in South America, California and Australia, Moët & Hennessey’s Indian sparklers are the first in Asia and represent a great mark of confidence in our youthful wine drinking market.
Recognising our culture of celebration and growing love for bubbles, the decision to enter India was a strategic step towards strengthening and expanding the Chandon brand for making world-class sparkling wines outside of the Champagne region in France. Domaine Chandon was created in 1959 with its first sparkler produced in Mendoza, Argentina.
After extensive research, Moët Hennessy decided that the terroir in the Nashik region in India had tremendous potential to produce premium quality sparkling wine and decided to launch the Chandon brand in India. This was, simultaneously, a great boost for the Indian wine industry.
The Indian wine drinking market is deep enough for superior bubbles at all levels, including affordable and good sparkling wines from Indian producers, as well as celebration champagnes like Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon which are already well established and sell for Rs. 6,500 and Rs. 5,000, respectively.
And now, for the young wine enthusiast, who perhaps doesn’t want to spend quite as much, we have Chandon, costing Rs. 1,200 for Chandon Brut and Rs. 1,400 for Chandon Rosé. Made in the traditional way with a second fermentation in the bottle, Chandon Brut uses Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes while the Rosé consists of Shiraz and Pinot Noir. This is, indeed, the season to sparkle as Chandon toasts India with its first Indian launch!
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