Indian winery wins top prize at Asian Wine Review

Indian winery Grover Zampa has been named ‘Winery of the Year’ by the Asian Wine Review, shining a light on a country that has been better known for its spirits quaffing ability than viticulture prowess.

Founded in the late 1970s, the winery was founded by Kanwal Grover and George Vesselle, the former technical director at Champagne Mumm.

Having around 400 acres of vineyards in Nandi Hills in Karnataka and Nashik Valley in Maharashtra state, the winery is capable of producing 1.85 million litres of wine annually ranging from sparkling wine to Shiraz.

The winery’s Art Collection Rosé 2017 was given the highest accolade of ‘Best Rosé’ and its ‘Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection Red 2015’, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Viognier, won a Gold medal for red wine after being judged by 10 experienced wine educators, buyers, winemakers and tasters out of over 200 wines from more than 50 different Asian countries.

“This year’s Winery of the Year tells a wonderful story of true ambition and belief that great wines can be produced in India. With over two decades of winemaking experience and continuous improvements in wine quality, Grover Zampa has every reason to stand proudly in accepting this prestigious accolade,” commented Eddie McDougall, the chairman of Asian Wine Review, a publication dedicated to reviewing wines from the Greater Asian region including China, India, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Georgia to name a few.

India is one of the Asian countries that practices tropical winemaking, which is heavily influenced by extreme heat and unpredictable monsoon season rains. Vines undergo what is known as a ‘two seasons, one crop’ training system, meaning that grapes go through two vegetation periods but only one period from the dry season – often from October to May in the country – leads to a crop.

The country has about 50 wineries producing mainly table wines, and the total area of vineyards is about 2,500 hectares. Most wineries are located in Maharashtra, a more wine-friendly state in the western part of India. The imported wine sector only constitutes a small portion of the country’s wine consumption.

The country imposes various degrees of alcohol prohibition in different states. A few states like Maharashtra have more lenient policy while states such as Bihar, Gujarat and Nagaland enforce a strict alcohol ban.

“Indian wine production has been steadily growing over the last decade. With healthy investments from local and foreign parties it is clear that the ambition for India to produce great wine is there and is well supported,” added McDougall when asked about the country’s wine producing potential. “Understandably the growth in production is being driven by a handful of well funded wineries but growth in the boutique spectrum has created a growing appreciation of sophisticated wine style. The future of winemaking in India is promising and incredibly progressive.”

Spirits consumption on the other hand is still strong. The country is the world’s second biggest spirits consumer after China, and is projected to consume 350 million cases of spirits by 2020, according to Vinexpo and IWSR.

2 Responses to “Indian winery wins top prize at Asian Wine Review”

  1. bharath says:

    there is a need of disciplined liquor business in india,thei govt should announce a strategic plan rather than trying to impose a ban on liquor.,it has to understand that banning liquor,will probably create more illegal trade than a scope of development ,and hence advice its state to not threaten liquor or wine business,rather than bring some drastic change into the system of increasing the trade and employment.

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