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In the spirit of things…

January 31, 2013

Bonding over booze, Indian wine makers and Chinese connoisseurs gathered in Beijing to begin a marginal retail odyssey for Indian wines in the Middle Kingdom. With western thought processes and customs quickly percolating into the Chinese consciousness, Indian wine makers are taking the adventurous step of selling wine to the tea sipping nation.

Two wines from India’s Bangalore based Grover vineyards were recently received in the Chinese capital and will be available to a select audience in top hotels, restaurants and exclusive wine stores in Beijing. While Indian wines yet haven’t made their mark in international markets and Chinese connoisseurs preferring the better known French, Argentinean and Australian wines, the move marks a step in the door. While a majority of the market is still captured by incumbent Chinese wine makers – the biggest being Great Wall – Chinese tastes are rapidly maturing to recognise the finess of finer wines.

A rapidly wine thirsty nation, China’s wine consumption has been increasing at a near 30 percent year on year, as wealthy youngsters move away from the government shots of Maotai and whisky and green tea is oh-so 2007. Wine is considered fashionable and seen swiveling a healthy, dainty glass of red wine a sign that one is internationally travelled, sophisticated and intellectual. A cultural flow from the more westernized Hong Kong, where wine flows like water, China is raising her sprits.

India’s Grover will be retailing “The Art Collection” including Cabernet Shiraz and La Reserve by Michel Rolland which will be distributed in China by government owned China Wines and Spirits.

Grover wines was begun by Kanwal Grover, an importer of high-tech equipment from France to India in the 1970’s. A connoisseur of fine French wines Kanwal decided to create his own vineyard 40 kms North of the IT city, Bangalore in the fertile Nandi Hills. Spread over 410 acres Grover wines is one of India’s best known and recognised wines.

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