Providing all-round experiences and hospitality while being an age-old winemaker is something that is centric to Grover Zampa’s motto, for which the wine brand is preparing a facility in Nashik with wine tours, lip-smacking food and sound sleep in any of their 60 all-glass chalets, each giving a 360 degree view of the scenic Sahyadri hills and lakes on either side. Vivek Chandramohan, CEO, Grover Zampa met with Steena Joy at the unveiling of the new visitor centre and lounge at the Bengaluru winery to share details on the company’s plans to become an experiential lifestyle brand and the future roadmap to have vineyards as far as in Bhutan
What is the current investment Grover Zampa is seeking?
We currently are seeing new funding from the set of new investors that have come onboard. Ravi Vishwanathan has been a Singapore-based investor in the wine brand. We have other investors including AVT, Quintela, among others. The investors are planning to expand their investment here, which is evident, looking at the alcobev industry registering double-digit growth in the coming years. With the investment, we are looking to fortify our hospitality division. Also, we want the guests to come and taste our wines, hence promoting wine tourism, which would be soon seen in a winery much bigger than the existing one.
We are also working on our facility in Nashik which is a 36 acres property and is currently being worked upon. We are going to include a restaurant on the ground floor which will have both open-air and air-conditioned sections and a barbeque specialty restaurant at the mezzanine level, which will be in phase-I. Moving forward, in phase-II, we are looking to add a cliffhanger bar.
We are also adding 60 super premium all-glass chalets with spectacular 180-degree views of the Sahyadri Hills as well as the lakes. The chalets are being designed by architects based in Bengaluru. We are looking at new-age designs for the same. So, that is how we want to add the ‘wow’ factor to our brand. The phase-I of the developments in the Nashik facility will be operational from September this year, while the phase-II of development will be operational by March-April next year. Since we are winemakers, we are in talks with the top international hotel chains to manage the property and the restaurants so that they are professionally managed.
What are the marketing plans to promote Grover Zampa products and which channels of distribution are you eyeing?
At this point of time, we are very nascent in terms of our approach to the traditional distribution channels. We have our plan in place to foray in the duty-free channels because there is a lot of wine consumers both internationally and travellers from India visiting other countries. We were not in the duty-free channel until now because there is a bit of costing aspect involved in the same and we were initially looking at consolidating the investments in the brand, and then further expanding our business on the export front. We now supply to about 22 countries, France being the biggest. The company has grown by 32 per cent in volume and 42 per cent in value last year alone, so it is significant growth for us, while the wine industry is growing at 1/5th of that.
What are Grover Zampa’s future plans of expansion?
Our future plan is to consolidate further on the growth in terms of sales, while also focusing on the addition of new channels like hospitality because we understand there is high disposable income that the modern day travellers possess. And, the consumers being well-travelled, also know the new trends in wines, etc. Also, wellness being important to them, wine is preferred to be a healthier option than the other alcoholic beverages. So we as pure winemakers are now focussing on venturing to be recognised as a wellness, lifestyle company. For this, we will be adding a lot of experiential elements which will also include wine spas, among others. Apart from that, we are exploring the other side of the Himalayas, which are countries like Bhutan which have the perfect conditions like lower rainfall, higher sunshine to set up our vineyards there. We are also exploring Uttarakhand, but winemaking being a capital-intensive business, if the government allows us some subsidies, we would love to have our vineyards there too. We have already reached out to the King of Bhutan and are speaking to the government in