Top Icewine to Debut in India

Inniskillin, the top Canadian icewine producer plans to enter India soon, according to the company which is a part of the Constellation Group, as disclosed to Subhash Arora at Vinoble 2008, being held in Jerez, Spain.

Talking to Subhash Arora, Randy Dufour, export director of Inniskillin, a part of the Vincor Canada, disclosed that the plans have been finalised with Sula Vineyards at the recently concluded London Wine Show.

Inniskillin was founded by Don Ziraldo and was merged into Vincor Canada which was bought over by Constellation, the biggest wine company in the world. It commands a leadership position in icewine and has actually brought the Canadian icewine industry on the world map, challenging the existing, undisputed Germany and Austria.

Disclosing this to Subhash Arora at the ongoing Vinoble 2008 in Jerez, on Monday, Randy also indicated that initially the flagship label, made with the hybrid Vidal grapes will be sold in India. Riesling and Cabernet Franc version may follow later.

Vinoble 2008 is the world's biggest and most exclusive wine show for the display of sherry wines and dessert wines. Held bi-annually, it has over 1200 participants from around 40 countries. Inniskillin is one of the many icewine producers participating at the show. Today is the last day for the 4-day show that opened on 25th when the weather turned inclement with heavy rains blessing the show, followed by pleasant weather on subsequent days.

The deal, if it becomes reality, will be a boost to Sula's import business, which has taken an upward swing during the last couple of years. Also this would be an entry for them in the super premium segment. They are already planning to launch Heidsieck Monopole Champagne soon. Hardy's label from Australia is also selling very well, making them one of the 10 biggest importers in India.

Talking of Hardy's, it is curious that both Hardy's and Inniskillin are part of the same Constellation group. Is Sula getting more into Constellation for its imports or is the later planning for some strategic alliance with Sula in the domestic market?

Only time will tell as Rajeev Samant, the CEO of Sula won't. After spurning the offers from Diageo, are their parlays going on between the two?  Keep watching this space.

Subhash Arora

May 28, 2008





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