Mallya's UB Group to set up winery near Pune
The UB group draws up plans to set up vineyards and winery to target the growing domestic market and exports.business Updated: Jun 14, 2007 11:03 IST
Vijay Mallya's United Spirits has drawn up plans to set up vineyards and a winery near Pune to target not just the growing domestic market but also exports.
"The next step is setting up of vineyards and a winery at Baramati near Pune," Abhay Kewadkar, chief wine maker of United Spirits Ltd. (USL), an arm of the airlines-to-drinks conglomerate UB group, told IANS.
"The wine varieties of grapes, particularly French, will be planted in 300 acres owned by the company and will enter into long term contractual agreements with local farmers to plant additional 1,000 acres," he said.
"This will give a capacity of five-six million bottles per year in the next five years."
Kewadkar said wines manufactured in India could also cash in on the growing global acceptability of Indian cuisine.
"There is a huge potential for exports as well, considering that Indian cuisine today has wide representation internationally. The Indian restaurants in cities like London, Paris and New York are automatic launching pads."
According to Kewadkar, the advent of multinational firms in the Indian wine scenario will benefit the domestic industry and consumers, who would have more choice of imported wine.
India's wine market makes up less than 1 percent of the country's $1.8 billion alcoholic drinks market. Around 7.8 million bottles of wine were sold in India last year.
The Indian wine industry, growing at 25-30 percent annually, is plagued by tariffs that are as high as 260 percent on imported wines. This has lead India into a WTO trade row with the European Union, which wants the duties slashed.
Despite this, the country has attracted several foreign companies like Diageo, Pernod Ricard and others to venture into the Indian market.
"The Indian market is growing at 30 percent annually on a compounding basis which should reflect in doubling the consumption every three years for the next 10 years at least," he said.
USL of UB group, which bought French champagne maker Bouvet-Ladubay in August last year, is the world's third largest spirits maker by sales and commands a share of more than half of the India's spirits markets.