ibnlive » Business

Nov 26, 2008 at 08:32am IST

Economic slowdown may leave winemakers bitter

New Delhi: Indians are expected to consume over 100 lakh litres of wine by 2011 and vineyards are getting ready to cash in on this thirst with new brands.

The latest entrant -- Italian Salvatore Ferragamo -- has tied up with spirits distributor finewinesnmore to sell five different varieties of his wine. The wine will initially be sold through duty free outlets, priced at Rs 5,000 - Rs 10,000 a bottle.

Owner of the Il Borro Vineyard in Italy, Salvatore Ferragamo says, "This is the time when Indians are starting to get very close to their world of wines and so it's an opportunity. India is becoming so important in the global arena and so we are looking to expand both in Mumbai and Delhi."

Ferragamo's not alone. Indian Winemaker Champagne Indage is launching wines from the Thatchi Winery it acquired in Australia last year, and U-B Spirits has launched wines from South Africa. It also plans to launch Latin American wines soon, but the industry is treading with caution.

CEO FineWinesNMore, Dharti Desai says, "This is only our third year. From last year to this year, we have posted 100 per cent growth. We haven't felt an impact as yet. But that doesn't mean we won't. There will be some trickle effect in a couple of months."

The wine distributor already has tieups to distribute 45 brands in India but it's now putting new tieups on hold. Instead, it will now focus on launching its own stores on highstreet, to market the wines already in its kitty.