A group of Indian wine growers arrived in Bordeaux last week to meet suppliers and study French production techniques.
The two-day visit by the 28-strong group was the first practical result of a Franco-Indian business co-operation agreement signed in February this year by both governments.
‘Sixty per cent of wine making equipment in India comes from France,’ said Amit Kerval, a leading Indian importer of French supplies.
Kerval co-ordinated the trip, along with the newly created, Paris based Franco-Indian Network for Sustainable Business-Development (FINSB).
From a consumer perspective, however, Australian wine is better known than French in India, partly due to the fact Australian producers speak English, said Mariz Lechesne of the FINSB.
Lechesne said for many in the delegation this was their first contact with French winemaking and for some their first contact with French wines.
The main objectives for the delegation, which included representatives from two of India’s biggest vineyards, Vinsura and Sula, was to better understand the French wine industry, said Kerval.
French host companies included Radoux, a supplier of barrels and other wood products such as oak chips, and Bucher Vaslin, a producer of harvest and wine making equipment.
‘Demand for wine and winegrowing equipment in India grew by 20% last year,’ said Pierre-Guillaume Chiberry of Radoux. Chiberry described India as an important emerging market, comparable to where China was five years ago, and predicted current consumption levels of about 5m litres per year would more than double by 2010.
Written by Sophie Kevany in Bordeaux