The industry has never particularly regarded India as a wine centre of the world. However new findings on the rate of wine consumption in the sub-continental nation suggests that maybe they should start. Is India the world’s newest wine hot spot?
Up until now the Ideal Wine Company has been in agreement with the rest of the industry in the opinion that India is not a big market for wine. We don’t feature any Indian wines on our product list and quite frankly that’s because there are no wines of repute that have caught the attention of the industry that have been produced in Indian vineyards.
However India is one of the world’s oldest societies and it in fact has a robust viticultural heritage. Vineyards have been cultivated in the integral Indus Valley for centuries and the first vineyards were thought to have been introduced by traders from neighbouring Persia.
Wine has seen more troubling times in recent history. Despite the fact that cultivation of the crop was encouraged by Portuguese and English colonisers – the hot and humid climate is perfect for the practise – a phylloxera louse damaged the country’s crop in the late 19th Century. Then the prohibition wave that swept the country in the wake of independence hampered it further for decades.
However it looks like India is once again embracing one of its cultural traditions and in this case the numbers really don’t lie. Whilst the practise of wine making still isn’t particularly strong in the region, consumption has grown by leaps and bounds.
The Indian Express reported that a Vinexpo survey showed that the rate of wine consumption will have risen to 2.1 million cases in the sub-continental nation by the end of 2017. This is an increase of 73% from the 1.10 million cases the nation collectively consumed in 2013.
Broken down, the Vinexpo survey showed that red wine was the clear winner, as Indians are expected to drink around 1.15 million cases over the coming year. Furthermore the survey showed that growing red wine consumption is expected to increase from 61% to 71.6% of the total figure by 2017. This means that India really is a hot market for red wine right now.
These numbers are hardly conclusive; they are predictions based on expectations. However even a survey such as this highlights a growing trend of wine consumption in India. It’s certainly clear that whilst India may not, by definition, be a wine hotspot, it is certainly the new frontier for the world’s wine industry.