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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May, 2005, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Indian wines hope to win over UK
Sula red wine
Sula producers a whole range of wines from red to sparkling
Indian wines could be one of the next big things among UK drinkers, according to a London-based wine merchant.

Novum Wines has started to import a range of bottles from India's biggest selling premium wine producer Sula.

Based in the Nasik region, 120 miles from Mumbai (Bombay), Sula makes red, white, rose, sweet and sparkling wines.

It was founded in 1997 by Rajeev Samant who gave up his well-paid computer job in the US to return to his homeland.

Sula imported its original vines from France and Australia, and uses traditional grape varieties such as cabernet sauvignon and shiraz.

Buoyant industry

Indian wine is not yet well known outside of its native country. But the industry is growing at 20% a year at home, with 3.5 million bottles drunk in 2003 - albeit in a population of more than a billion people.

Sula founder and owner Rajeev Samant
Rajeev Samant had turned Sula into India's fastest growing wine producer

Now producers such as Sula are targeting export markets such as the UK and the US, where it is already stocked.

"We are aiming at the restaurant trade at present," said Novum Wines sales account manager Rob Couling.

"But do we intend to look at developing some retail lines with the producer in due course."

Mr Couling believes that Indian wines could become a big success among the UK's wine lovers.

"The UK wine market is very cosmopolitan and people are prepared to try different things," he said.

"At their price point, Sula's wines compare very favourably with similar offerings from Chile, Australia and France."

There are already a small number of Indian wines on sale in the UK, most notably a traditionally made sparkling wine called Omar Khayyam.

Indians embrace wine-drinking
04 Feb 04 |  Business

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