India has witnessed a significant increase in wine imports this fiscal year, with $170.48 million worth of wines brought into the country from April to October. This marks a substantial rise compared to the $35.03 million imported in the last financial year ending in March 2023, and far exceeds the $19.61 million in FY20 and $23.85 million in FY22.
The growth in wine imports is attributed to several factors, including the rising incomes of Indians and better access to high-quality wines. This has led to the emergence of a new group of wine enthusiasts in India, which is also the world’s largest market for scotch whisky by volume.
Vishal Kadakia, founder of Wine Park, an importer and distributor of wines, notes that the market is showing positive sentiments towards wines. He observes an increase in business, with more people interested in quality wines, and a rise in wine influencers and expanded wine lists in restaurants and hotels.
The ProWine event, a significant wine gathering in the world, was held in Mumbai last November for the third consecutive year, underlining the growing interest in wine in India.
Anil Chandhok, CEO and president of Chenab Impex, another wine importer, reports a near doubling in both his company’s portfolio and sales in the past two to three years. Chandhok’s company has been focusing on expanding its collection, including world-class Italian wines and niche wines used in creative cocktails.
Amit Agarwal, board director and CEO of Hema Connoisseur Collections, mentions that the economic slowdown in Europe has led overseas wine exporters to seek new markets. He notes a drop in export prices, changes in demand due to shifts in the Chinese market, and the growth of India’s hospitality industry as key factors contributing to the increase in wine consumption in India.
Chandhok also highlights the expanded availability of accessible, award-winning wines and the growing sophistication of Indian consumers, who are now more knowledgeable about different types of wines, including varietals and the distinction between new and old world wines.
Agarwal adds that post-Covid, there has been a shift in consumer behavior in India, with people inclined to enjoy better things in life, rather than saving for uncertain futures. This change in mindset has also contributed to the growing interest and consumption of wines in the country.