Demand for wine growing at fast pace in Bengaluru

In a tete-a-tete, Sula chief winemaker Karan talks about the wine market in the country and the pros and cons of being in this industry

cheers! Karan Vasani says they are taking steps to become more sustainable.

Sula Selections’ annual roadshow property, Globe In A Glass, was introduced to the city for the first time last week. The event brought together connoisseurs, travel enthusiasts and product ambassadors at The Lalit Ashok Bangalore.

During the event, Metrolife spoke to Karan Vasani, AVP and chief winemaker of Sula Vineyards, who shed light on why wine is catching on.

“We’re happy to see that there’s a lot of acceptance for wine in the city, especially among the young consumers. Yes, it is a pub city but wine is slowly making its place here. It’s one of the fastest growing markets,” says Karan.

Recently, the brand acquired Heritage winery located outside the city, towards Channapatna. They have also launched a new wine called Kado which is “made in Karnataka for Karnataka”.

The wines made by the brand are considered affordable, he says. Karan adds, “We keep changing in production every year. The wine market is growing by 15 to 20 per cent as well. Karnataka is growing at the same phase, if not faster. So we keep planting more vineyards, harvest more grapes and produce more wines every day.” 

Sula has commissioned a new seller of five lakh litre of wine which will come into operation next month, Karan tells Metrolife. However, the impact of global warming and climate change is affecting their business directly. “We are working hard in the fields to manage that. Because of the geographical diversity of the vineyard, if one region is affected, the rest are still fine. We are also taking steps every year to become more and more sustainable. We are the first wine company in India to hire a chief sustainability officer,” explains Karan. 

The brand is setting up “extremely aggressive targets” to reduce water consumption in growing grapes, making wine and making ensuring that the packaging is entirely recyclable, he says. 

While these might be challenges they are trying to overcome, some of them are still being fought.

He says, “The regulatory environment across the country has been challenging. Every state has its unique policy when it comes to alcohol. We are one of the few countries that doesn’t have a single wine label for the country. Every state has its own label and process.”

“While the European countries have been producing wines for many years, it’s only been 25 years for India. So we’re still figuring out which grape is best suited for the climatic condition, what grows well and to understand consumer liking along the way. We cannot get overnight results. Being a winemaker requires patience,” he told Metrolife.

Few wine tips
Don’t get intimidated by wine. At the end of the day, it’s just a drink. If you are serious about it, you can go ahead and learn about it but just enjoy the drink.

If you don’t like the drink, don’t just give up. There are plenty of other varieties available.

There is something for everyone. Though it’s a general understanding that wine should be consumed at room temperature, one must have the drink at the right temperature. Because
of climate differences, sometimes you’ll have to refrigerate the drink. Sometimes, red wines need to be chilled too.

Helping farmers
Sula signs long-term 10-year contracts with the farmers which they can use for loan purposes. The brand fixes the price in the contract and has built-in escalation prices
that come into effect every few years.

 

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Demand for wine growing at fast pace in Bengaluru

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