The recently concluded India Wine Awards 2023, organized by the Sonal Holland Wine Academy in collaboration with ProWine, marked a milestone celebration of the country’s flourishing wine industry. The grand event, held at the Jio World Convention Centre, showcased 219 exceptional wines across various categories, reflecting the surging popularity of wine consumption in India.
Recent statistics reveal a remarkable 29% increase in wine consumption in 2022, with approximately 10 million regular wine drinkers. An India Wine Insider (IWI) report estimates the Indian wine market’s value at an impressive $238 million, emphasizing the industry’s significant contribution to the country’s alcohol beverage market.
Sonal C Holland, India’s first Master of Wine, played a pivotal role in recognizing this growing trend. The awards ceremony featured the largest blind-tasting competition of both domestic and international wines in India, with a distinguished panel of 20 expert jury members employing a 100-point scoring system. A total of 79 wines received the coveted Gold category, while 110 wines secured the Silver accolade.
In a noteworthy addition to this year’s awards, sake was introduced as a new category, acknowledging its increasing popularity in the Indian market. The Winners’ Night, a glamorous affair attended by 600 prominent figures from the wine industry, saw the recognition of Rajeev Samant, founder, and CEO of Sula Vineyards, with the ‘Indian Wine Industry Leader and Champion Award.’
Sonal C Holland, the founder and chairperson of India Wine Awards, presented the prestigious award to Samant, acknowledging his instrumental role in shaping the Indian wine industry. Speaking about her contributions, Sonal stated, “I’ve had the opportunity to leverage my knowledge and global wine market insights to launch initiatives that align with international standards. I’m delighted to have contributed significantly to the growth of India’s wine industry.”
The surge in wine consumption in India has also been influenced by a reduction in excise duty taxes on imported alcohol, decreasing from 300% to 150% in 2021. Trade agreements with countries like Australia further lowered import taxes on wine, making imported wines more affordable. Sonal highlighted, “Wines from Australia, Chile, Italy, and France are among the top four destinations imported into India,” while expressing optimism about the future popularity of wines from New World countries like the U.S.
India’s flourishing wine industry, centered around Nashik, Maharashtra, boasts major players such as Sula Vineyards, Grover Zampa Vineyards, and Fratelli Wines. Financial projections indicate a positive outlook for the Indian wine market, with an expected 10% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in volumes between 2022 and 2027.
Sonal envisions a bright future for the Indian wine industry, stating, “Our wine consumption is on the rise, and so is the thirst for wine knowledge. Wine is now a symbol of success, sophistication, and romance in India, establishing itself as a mainstream beverage in the country.”