Presently, Indian wines have the quality to compete with international wine brands. But due to lack of popularity and insufficient promotion, they still have a long way to go. To bridge this gap, the Mumbai Wine Club organised its first edition of ‘Celebrating India’s Finest Wines’ to list India’s best wines By Akshay Kumar
The Mumbai Wine Club recently organised ‘Celebrating India’s Finest Wines’ on October 16- 17, 2014 at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club, Mumbai. The event was curated by Rojita Tiwari who is an independent wine and spirit writer and consultant. The main focus behind the event was to create a list of India’s top wines which will be updated every year. The wines were picked from India’s leading wineries such as- Grover Zampa Vineyards, Fratelli Wines, Sula Vineyards, Reveillo, York Winery, Myra Vineyards, Four Seasons Wines, Vallone Vineyards, Pernod Ricard- Nine Hills, Charosa Wines, Chandon India, Alpine Wineries, Big Banyan Wines and Krsma Estates.
Speaking about Celebrating India’s Finest Wines, Tiwari says, “This is to acknowledge and celebrate the spirit of wine making. We have a handful of wine companies making great quality wines. We also have a number of wines which have won medals, awards and accolades in various international platforms. It is high time that we prepare our own dream list which every wine company will aspire to find a place in. As this list will be updated every year, it will offer a chance to newer and greater number of participation year after year.”
“At the moment Indian wines are not recognised for its quality and consistency and the finer things that the Indian winemakers are doing. So the purpose of doing such an event is to make a list of Indian wines which can be showcased in an international platform as the best quality Indian wines in the market. We have internationally renowned jury members who have tasted all the wines. This is the first time ever in India that we are creating such a list. We will showcase this list in all the wine festivals and also organise for wine tasting sessions of the top 25 wines.”
The event consisted of a jury of eight well known wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts namely; CAV Subhash Arora, president- Indian Wine Academy and he is also the founder president of Delhi Wine Club. Sonal Holland is an acclaimed wine educator, writer, commentator and India’s highest qualified wine professional. She holds the Level for WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits from London, UK, currently she is the divisional head- Wine & Beverages for ITC Hotels India. Craig W Wedge is an International renowned wine consultant with a 25 year international wine background – currently he is the COO at Fine Wines n More. Vishal Kadakia is a wine enthusiast and aficionado, a WSET professional and founder of Wine Park. Alok Chandra owns a consultancy firm called Gryphon Brands, which is the only Wine consultancy in India specialising in wine knowledge, research and marketing. Sanjay Menon is a Mumbai based importer and owner of Sonarys and Sansula. Shatbhi Basu has over 34 year experience in hospitality and beverage industry. She is a pioneer in imparting bartending skills with STIR – India’s first bar academy.
Speaking about the selection procedure Tiwari commented, “This year we have selected wines on the basis of their popularity, consistency and quality and their availablity in the market. We actually got many more entries to participate in our event, but we could not include it in the last moment. Next year we will increase the number of brands and also the panel of jury.”
Speaking about the importance of the listing, Shatbhi Basu, says, “I think we need to focus more on the Indian market first, we need to get the Indian people to drink wine, and make them understand how these wines have progressed over the years. This exercise will allow us to tell people in our cities that these are the best wines which they should try. Once, if these wines get popular in our domestic market then automatically they will carve a place for themselves in the international market. The list will make a lot more difference for the domestic and international tourists, as when they come here there will be a lot more confidence in us to offer them our wines. From that perspective, restaurants and hotels can keep a varied brands rather than just one brand.”
After the two day long blind-tasting sessions, the jury declared India’s top 25 Wines under various categories such as Sparkling wine, White wine, Rose wine, Red wine(single varietal and blended), Sweet wine.
INDIA’S TOP 25
- DomaineChandon India- Chandon Brut Rose (Pinot Noir, Syrah) 2013
- Seagram’s Nine Hills Chenin Blanc 2014
- Krsma Estates Chardonnay 2013
- SDU Winery- SDU Deva Chardonnay Reserve 2013
- Seagram’s Nine Hills Viognier2012
- Grover Zampa Sauvignon Blanc2014
- Charosa Vineyards Selections Sauvignon Blanc Charosa Valley 2013.
- Sula Vineyards Rose (Zinfandel) 2014
- Vallonne Vineyards Rose (Cabernet Sauvignon) 2013.
- SDU Syrah Reserve 2012
- Vallonne Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Classique 2011 (Reserve)
- Charosa Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2012
- Big Banyan Limited Shiraz (2010)
- Fratelli Sangiovese 2013
- Reveilo Sangiovese 2013
- SDU Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
- York Winery Shiraz 2012
- Vallonne Vineyards Merlot 2012
- SDU Shiraz 2013.
- Grover Zampa-Grover La Reserve (Cab Sauv, Shiraz) 2012
- FratelliSette (Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc)2010
- York Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot 2012
- Grover Zampa-Zampa Chene Grand Reserve (Tempranillo, Syrah) 2012.
- Vallonne Vineyards Vin de Passerillage 2013
- Sula Vineyards Late Harvest Chenin Blanc 2013.