India Today - - SNAPSHOTS -

Shaambhavi Hin­go­rani, di­rec­tor, SDU Win­ery, says that wine is steadily gain­ing dis­tic­tion as the tipple of choice among ur­ban In­di­ans.

1. How did you get in­ter­ested in the wine busi­ness?

I started as an agri­cul­tur­ist with a dream of set­ting up my own bou­tique win­ery. When the right cir­cum­stances came about, I took the plunge with­out a sec­ond thought. I know it’s a very chal­leng­ing busi­ness but I have strong pas­sion for wines and am deeply com­mit­ted to my work.

2. What are the big­gest road­blocks for wine producers in In­dia?

The stor­age of wine is a huge prob­lem in our in­dus­try. Then ex­cise du­ties from state to state are another big hur­dle. Since In­dia joined the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion, im­port tar­iffs in the coun­try have been re­mark­ably re­duced, thus en­abling for­eign ex­porters to tap into In­dia’s vast con­sumer mar­ket. But I have no doubts that In­dian wine­mak­ers can cre­ate ex­cel­lent wine brands, with a fo­cus on qual­ity and con­sis­tency.

3. In­di­ans are not essen­tially wine drinkers. Do you feel this has changed in re­cent years?

The In­dian wine in­dus­try has been grow­ing steadily over the past ten years and wine is grad­u­ally be­com­ing a part of the ur­ban In­dian life­style. The In­dian con­sumer to­day is well trav­elled and this has pro­vided them with ex­po­sure to new cul­tures, ex­pe­ri­ences and din­ing habits. Wine drink­ing is fast catch­ing on with the newer as well as older gen­er­a­tion. The de­sire to ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing new, cou­pled with the chang­ing food and bev­er­age scene in the coun­try over the past few years has un­de­ni­ably given con­sumers the op­por­tu­nity to ex­per­i­ment and try out new things. The shift from hard liquor to wines has al­ready be­gun.

4. There’s a be­lief that In­dian cui­sine does not go well with wine. Do you agree?

It is ac­tu­ally quite the op­po­site. In­dian food pairs very well with cer­tain wines, es­pe­cially In­dian wines. Be­cause they are very fresh and easy to drink they go well with mildly spiced In­dian food. Be it a tan­doori dish or a korma, our wines com­ple­ment In­dian food very well. Many restau­rants are now pair­ing In­dian dishes with wine and sev­eral wine and food fes­ti­vals are also be­ing held to pro­mote this cul­ture.

5. What are your favourite wines?

There are too many to choose. The Pen­folds range from Aus­tralia. Cloudy Bay from New Zealand. War­wick from South Africa. Robert Mon­davi from Napa Val­ley. And, of course, my own wines –- Deva Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, Deva Syrah and Deva Chardon­nay.

The In­dian wine in­dus­try has been steadily grow­ing over the past ten years and wine is grad­u­ally be­com­ing a part of the ur­ban In­dian’s life­style... The shift from hard liquor to wines has

al­ready be­gun.

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