Champagne house Moët & Chandon has launched two sparkling wines made from grapes grown in Nashik in northwest India, onto the market.
Launched last week at the Four Seasons hotel in Mumbai, Chandon Brut and Chandon Brut Rosé will have a retail price of 1,200 rupees (£12) and 1,400 rupees (£14) respectively at select wine retailers and hotels in the city.
The pair will go on sale in New Delhi next month and will then be rolled out across other major Indian cities next year.
Putting its faith in India as a sparkling wine producing country, Moët, which is owned by luxury goods giant LVMH, has invested in a cutting edge winery in Dindori, a sub-region of Nashik – India’s most promising grape growing region.
A three-hour drive from Mumbai in northwest India, the first vines – Sauvignon Banc and Chenin Blanc – were planted in the region in the late ‘90s.
Today, there are over 40 wineries in Nashik, which is increasingly attracting the attention of global investors.
Moët’s sparklers were created by its team of international winemakers, who worked closely with local grape growers in Nashik.
Made in the traditional method, the Brut is a blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while the rosé is a Shiraz dominant blend with a small percentage of Pinot Noir.
According to its makers, the Brut boasts “a bright and fresh fruit bouquet of citrus blossom, green apple with hints of tropical fruits and vanilla.”
The palate is described as “creamy” with “vanilla and toasty notes” and a “lingering” finish.
The rosé meanwhile, offers aromas of “ripe cherries, grapefruit, guava and rose petals”, and a palate of “mouth-filling small red fruits”.
“Moët Hennessy has traditionally been a pioneer in developing sparkling wines in new locations around the world and India is the latest example.
“With the launch of Chandon, we aim to bring winemaking and the wine culture in India to new heights,” said Mark Bedingham, managing director of Moët Hennessy Asia Pacific.
Moët’s Nashik project began in 2011, when the company planted 19 hectares of Pinot Noir, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay in the region.
The Chandon winery in Dindori is due for completion next year, and will have a capacity of producing 50,000 cases a year exclusively for the Indian market.