Wine in India is no more going to be a southern phenomena if Chateau Indage and Sula Vineyards have their way. According to The Economic Times both wine producers are keen to extend wine production to the north and specifically to Punjab. They are both also looking to open wine bars.
Land of the Patiala peg may sip some wine soon
The Economic Times
CHANDIGARH: Indian wine makers are ready to uncork the bubbly in the land of the Patiala Peg. And they are doing it in style by launching themselves wholeheartedly into wine hospitality and retail (a la wine bars), manufacturing (vineyards) and research (suitable soil for wine grape plantation) in the areas of Punjab, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh.
According to industry insiders, this year will see most Indian wine houses extending investment focus from traditional wine country in the West and South of India to the rich lands of the North. “The major ones are making both retail and production investments in North India, which is a huge potential market. In the coming two years, wine bars could go the coffee bars route in Chandigarh, Mohali and even the rest of Punjab, especially since the companies are launching low prices wine variants,” sources said.
With a favourable excise policy on the anvil in Chandigarh that allows liquor companies to open exclusive outlets, the IT savvy Union Territory might be the first among northern equals to say cheers to the concept of the “wine hospitality”, courtesy Samant Soma Wines (Sula) and the Chateau Indage group. Both the companies seem to be bullish on launching a string of “wine bars” in the area. “If the policies are encouraging, we would be very happy to be there in any format,” said Adrian Pinto, national GM (sales and marketing) for Sula Vineyard, when asked about the company’s plans to open exclusive stores and wine bars in the region.
Industry insiders confirm that Sula is keen to capture and develop the fast growing wine market in the North, especially Punjab, which it has entered just last year. On the production end, the company already has a memorandum of understanding with the Punjab government to research and help in production of wine and table grape varieties for the state. “They are interested in putting a winery near the Kandi area in Punjab,” informed a government official.
Similarly, a substantial number of Chateau Indage’s 29 wine bars, which it plans to open in the current fiscal could find place up North. “We are looking at developing newer wine markets and a wine bar is one of the ways to do it. We already have one at Athena in Chandigarh and we plan to open some more in the North,” confirmed Vikrant Chougule, MD, Chateau Indage (leisure division). He revealed that the company has already acquired space for winery in Kullu and Manali (Himachal Pradesh) and will also be launching a resort and spa, which would be operational by the middle of this year.