A group of five women wine producers, calling themselves the Bordeaux Amazons came to India early this month to try and develop commercial links with the potential market through Speechmark Bordeaux, a wine marketing firm. Hélène Fenouillet, Agnès Bousseau, Florence Prud’homme, Claudine Rozier and Cécile Thirouin visited Mumbai and Karnataka meeting wine professionals, producers and the members of Bangalore Wine Club.
They started the trip by visiting IndSpirit, the annual wine and spirits fair organised by Ambrosia magazine on 3 and 4 December in Mumbai. ‘Many of the Indian wine importers who came to the fair were impressed by our presence. It is quite unusual for them to meet small producers like ourselves who take the initiative to go to India,’ said Hélène Fenouillet co-owner of six-year old winery -Château La Gatte in Saint André de Cubzac in Bordeaux.
From there, the Bordeaux Five proceeded to Bangalore from where they visited Alpine Winery, situated near Mysore City and owned by Raghavendra Gowda who tied up with the well-known French consultant winemaker from France, Stéphane Derenoncourt. ‘This is a huge project with 500 hectares of vines to be planted and technical installations worthy of some of the greatest estates on a quality terroir,’ commented Florence Prud’homme, one of the wine makers of the group, working as a winemaker since 2003 with Château Saincrit, also in St André de Cubzac, north of the Gironde
‘We visited the wine store called Drops that offers a wide selection of Indian and foreign wines. It is an interesting concept and it was reassuring to find wines that were stored in good conditions,’ said Brinda Bourhis who runs Speechmark Bordeaux together with her India-based business associate, Otroubadour, managed by Miloud Mezouaghi.
‘A visit to Spar/Max Hypermarket in Bangalore proved to be very interesting. The Wine and Spirits manager of the Spar group that has already opened 4 stores across the country with a further 3 stores planned in 2011, confirms that there is potential for wine growth in India but consumers first need to learn more about the product as it is often perceived as too complicated.’
The Indian adventure came to an end with a tasting and dinner with the members of Bangalore Wine Club, concluding with a clear message from the group- if today Bordeaux producers are focusing all their efforts on China, they need to be careful not to turn a blind eye on the other eldorado…India!
Hopefully the Bordeaux Five- Hélène Fenouillet, Agnès Bousseau, Florence
Prud’homme, Claudine Rozier and Cécile Thirouin went back as The Famous Five- the adventurers characters of Enid Blyton’s books, who could solve the mystery known as- the Indian wine market!
23 December, 2010