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A toast to India’s growing market

A toast to India’s growing market
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First Published: Fri, Sep 19 2008. 11 31 PM IST
Updated: Fri, Sep 19 2008. 11 31 PM IST
New Delhi: With the Indian luxury market growing at a steady pace, the world’s premier wine makers are waking up to its potential. The house of Louis Roederer, one of the largest, remaining independent champagne houses in the world, is here on its first visit to India. It makes Cristal, one of most exclusive, prestigious and expensive champagnes in the world.
Louis Roederer representative, Damien Mott says that his company is looking at clocking in more sales in India. He recounted how he met some Indian people on a visit to France, and found them to be well-informed and open to new tastes - just the kind of people who can enjoy Cristal and other wines from the Louis Roederer stable.
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Cristal is so exclusive that it is allotted by quota per country. Industry sources say that India gets 600-800 Cristal bottles a year and 3000 bottles of Brut premier a year but the demand is much higher. Its not surprising that Louis Roederer is now looking at launching its Blanc de Blanc and Rosé in the country.
India has a domestic market of 850,000 cases of wine a year, and is growing at a 30% rate each year. Of this, 200,000 are imported fine wines and the market for them is growing at 5-10% a year. This could grow at a much faster rate given that the import duty structure was rationalized.
Aman Dhal of Brindco, India’s largest wine importer, says imported wines have not penetrated the market as of yet as they are expensive. If India was to rationalize its export duties structure further, many Indians could have access to fine wines and get to taste the worlds finest. But at the moment, a bottle of wine that costs Rs 450 to import ends up costing around Rs 1000 by the time it reaches the consumer.
Among the people who drink wines from Louis Roederer, are many wine connoisseurs, members of royalty and celebrities like Prince Charles, former James Bond Pierce Brosnan.
The company’s decision to come to India is perhaps a recognition of India’s growing breed of wine experts, and serious wine collectors. Dhal says there were just 20-30 serious wine collectors in India when he started business four years ago. Now there are 1500 collectors in Brindco’s database.
As the number of millionaires in India increases, luxury consumption is only set to rise. Expect more bubblies to pop as Indians live life in style.
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First Published: Fri, Sep 19 2008. 11 31 PM IST