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Moet Hennessy, Sula chase sparkling wine sales in India

Moet Hennessy and India's largest winemaker, Sula, are going to head-to-head as they seek to develop a taste for sparkling wine in the country.

Moet Hennessy, owned by French luxury goods group LVMH, has launched its Chandon India non-vintage Brut and rosé sparkling wines, produced domestically.

Priced at INR1,200 (GBP12) and INR1,400 per bottle respectively, the Chandon India wines will face competition from a rejuvenated set of sparkling wines from India’s largest producer, Sula Vineyards. All the wines are from Nashik, in Maharashtra.

This month, Sula has relaunched its range, which includes the Sula Brut, Brut Rosé and Seco. Sula Brut typically retails for the equivalent of around GBP7 to GBP8 per bottle in its home state.

It is very early days for sparkling wine in India, and per capita consumption for wine in general across the country’s 1.2bn population is still measured in millilitres rather than litres. Wine drinking is largely confined to upmarket bars, hotels and restaurants in key cities.

Mark Bedingham, managing director of Moet Hennessy Asia Pacific, told decanter.com that the group is looking to introduce a new ‘consumption culture’ in India.

‘Chandon India will be available across traditional and modern wine retail shops and will be listed across hotels, restaurants, lounges and night-clubs,’ Bedingham said. The company declined to disclose production volumes.

‘Over the years, Moet Hennessy has devoted a great deal of time, effort and expertise in understanding the vine-growing regions of India,’ he added.

Moet’s Indian Chandon Brut is a blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay & Pinot Noir, with an average lees age of 12 to 18 months, the firm said. The rosé is produced using the maceration method, from 100% Syrah. Both wines were disgorged in July 2013.

There is currently no plan to release a vintage version of Chandon India, the firm said.

(Editing by Chris Mercer)

Written by James Lawrence

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