Raise your glass at Sula wines

In 1998 Rajiv Samant established the Sulla's first Vineyard, in Nasik in western India. And the fist wines were released in 2000. Local farmers were employed to grow Grapes vines and the area under plantation of wine flourished. Sula expanded leaps and bounds flr its original 30 acres of land, which has now has broadened to 1800 acres dedicated to grape cultivation and a current production of 600,000 cases per year. Sula is India's largest producer of Vines with a market share of 65% .

Sula has a wide range of products, orbiting from premium to economy wines. The company has built the largest wine distribution  footprint in India and has a presence in 32/35 states in India. Sula currently exports its wines to almost 20 countries. The company has been a pioneer in supporting the upliftment of local farmers, and in promoting sustainable wine production. Sula supports the local farmers, by providing direct and indirect employment to villagers. Sustainable practices are Sulas heart of Wine production process. Initiatives in this area include the use of drip irrigation, rain water harvesting, solar power generation  and organic farming. Over the years, Sula has won several domestic and International awards, for its high quality wines.

Earlier grapes were sorted, steamed and crushed manually by stamping, but now today it is jusr a fun tradition and to maintain hygiene it is all done mechanically. It starts with the fermentation of Sugar and continues until all the sugar is converted to alcohol, producing gry wine. Aging the wine in oak barrels produces a smooth and more Vanilla flavoured wine.

Sula's first mover advantage and innovative brand development have established the company as the dominat market leader and in an exciting fast growing sector with significant barriers to entry. The whole wine market in India, its miniscule as far as international standards go basically the consumption is approximately 11ml that is 0.011l per capita consumption, and if we compare this to China. They have hit this to 1l per capita, that is 100 times that of India. (The consumption rate in US and UK have reached to 14 litres and ahead) Only 4-5 companies have survived this. In rest of the world's wine producing regions we have 500 vineyards, here in India we have just 3 major contributors to Vine.

Population becomes a little more educated, exposed and aspirational in the kinds of things they purchase and consume. And wine is one of them. More people have been driven into drinking Wine. Where its still 1% of all, alcohol we consume. The thing that has changed in that 15 years in Sula is the innovation the company has bought. Apart from Sauvignon Shannon, India's first Riesling. Zinfandel, the first cold refrigerated stainless steel winemaking, the first to use screw caps and there has been one innovation after the other.

India which is made out of 30 different culture binding together as one country, Sula took its place right in the beginning where they built distribution, where building distribution today is considered incredibly difficult. Sula has over 100 distributors throughout the country. Another difficulty is making the farmers believe in you, and Sula has successfully been a reliable friend, dealing with over 300 farmers. It is back-wrecking to get new growers to come on board and plant wine grapes. It is difficult for new producers to come and compete with existing markets like Sula, as direct marketing and advertising of alcoholic beverages in India is not allowed.

My picks:

  • Rasa Shiraz
  • Rasa Cabernet Cauvignon
  • Chenin Blanc Reserve
  • Riesling
  • Brut Tropicale
  • Zinfandel Rosè
  • Mosaic Grenache Syrah Rosè

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