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India's wine-dine to touch 28 ML by 2015
Domestic wine market is growing at 30% per annum and likely to touch around 28 million litres (ML) by 2015 from current estimated level of 21 million litres (ML) in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Punjab and Pune producing a good deal of wine consumers, according to a report by industry body Assocham.

Greater exposure to Western culture, global travel and experience of other countries where drinking wine is part of the lifestyle, are also helping to drive sales of wine in India, reveals the Assocham's latest paper. The paper further said that Mumbai accounts for 32 per cent of the total consumption in India, followed by Delhi and Goa, contributing 20 percent each, Bangalore 18 percent, Punjab 6 percent and Pune 4 percent.

"The wine market in India is growing at 30% annually, faster than that for any other alcoholic beverage. It is becoming more acceptable among women to drink wine. More women are joining the workforce and they are economically independent," said Assocham's Secretary General D S Rawat.

In the paper on "Wine: Bearing Fruit in India", it has been projected that various factors could amount to rising wine consumption in India which include a large teeming population under 25 years fold and estimated around 800 million will witness attitudinal shift in alcohol consumption and shift to develop a penchant for wine.

Secondly, the rising disposable incomes among the people imply that a greater part of the population can afford such products. Thirdly, the influence of the western world is pushing the Indian youth to change their lifestyle and standards of living, reveals the paper.

Fourthly, many state governments have reduced duties on wine, eased restrictions on distribution allowing wine to be sold in supermarkets and have provided incentives for wineries to establish new facilities.

Releasing the paper, Rawat said that India's wine market is estimated at 21 million bottles a year, growing at 30 percent a year. The demand for wine, nearly 85% is accounted for by major cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Goa, Punjab and Bangalore. Around 63% of the volume sales of wine are through off-trade channel in five-star hotels, pubs and bar-restaurants. The market is expected to grow to 28 million litres by 2015.

The industry body said, all companies that are seeking to enter the Indian wine market should be aware of the regional nature of Indian wine consumption. Major cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore should be the primary targets, as they account for almost 85% of the country's total wine consumption. The soaring popularity of imported brands, which sell at much higher prices than domestic varieties, offers international companies great opportunities for strong value growth.

The Indian wine industry should understand that it is quality, not quantity of wine that matters in order to not lose its momentum. Going for cheap bulk wine is great for the short term, but leads to serious problems for the middle and long term. So, growers should concentrate on producing less, but higher quality grapes. As long as quality is improved every year, then the quantity will take care of itself, adds the paper.

In Nashik, Maharashtra, one of the most fertile regions for growing wine in the country, outside Nashik, other Indian companies with stakes in the wine industry are Grover Vineyards and Four Seasons Wines, both based in Karnataka, in southern India.

Some of the measure recommended for the government to support wine industry include creation of infrastructure, protection & subsidization, reduction in rates, better methods of sales promotion and promote classification of Indian wine regions, adds the paper.

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