India fast emerging as a potential market for quality Australian wine exports

Traditionally, India is known to favour the consumption of alcoholic beverages such as beer, rum, and scotch. 

However, the Indian wine industry has seen a CAGR of 14 percent between 2010 to 2017, thus making it the fastest growing alcoholic beverage industry in India.

In 2018, India’s top destinations for wine imports were Australia (41 percent) and the European Union (38 percent)

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In 2019, wine consumption changed increasing multifold from a mere one million litres per annum in 2001 to over 30 million litres.

Image source: India’s wine import by region – https://www.india-briefing.com/news/emerging-opportunities-in-indias-wine-market-investment-industry-potential-22334.html/#:~:text=Only%20recently%20has%20the%20culture,liters%20per%20annum%20in%202019.

Experts believe this increase is due to both local and foreign tourists in India.

Presently given the ongoing trade dispute with China, Australian winemakers are looking at new developing markets.

Brett McKinnon, chief operations officer, Pernod Ricard Winemakers, told the drinks business:

“We see huge potential for the Australian wine category in India. While it is only small currently, wine consumption is certainly on the upswing there, with growth of 3.7% CAGR between 2016 and 2020, according to IWSR.”

As the governments of both countries are planning to sign a free trade agreement, experts believe that this would provide access to the Indian market for Australian wines.

Stuart McCloskey, owner of The Vinorium, a major UK importer and retailer of Australian wines, told the drinks business:

“We have had many discussions with our Aussie winemakers, and what stands out is how different their domestic market is to their export market. Fresh, light, natural, skin-contact and European varietals seem to be the key buzz words on the Australian wine scene. However,  our export and sales figures paint a very different story, which concerns me greatly.”

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Australian wine producers and stakeholders are also concerned that global consumers are aloof to the diversity of local wines.

The international consumers are mostly concerned with Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

India’s upper and middle-class populace, a key market base, are yet to taste cool-climate Pinot Noir, Clare Valley Riesling and traditional-method sparkling wines.