California’s Wine Institute has received a US$50,000 grant from the US government in order to study the emerging wine market in India.
Funded by the Department of Agriculture’s Emerging Markets Program (EMP), the study will investigate current federal and individual state regulations governing imports and distribution of wines throughout India. It will also cover key market opportunities for imported wines and identify current wine importers and distributors.
The Wine Institute, California wine’s main advocacy group, says a final report will be published at an as yet undisclosed date.
A growing market with high wine tariffs, India has proved challenging to both US and European wine exporters.
Year on year figures show that US wine exports to India, which are 90% Californian, jumped 111% and are now worth US$792,000. However, reports on the first six months of 2007 show a drop of almost 45% in exports compared to the same period.
As already reported on decanter.com, both the US and the EU have complained about high tariffs slapped on wine exports to India, which can increase the wine prices by as much as 300%.
California wine industry representatives praised news of the study.
‘Wine is an essential export product and it is great for us to examine those markets more closely,’ said Terry Hall, communications director of the Napa Valley Vintners Association, told decanter.com. ‘With one of the largest population centres in the world, there is certainly room for expansion in that market,’
Hall also said that California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was working on a trade visit to India, scheduled early next year, which will include winemakers and other agricultural producers.
Written by Panos Kakaviatos