Monday, April 17, 2006

Napa outsourced to India?

It’s our own Napa Valley
"Did you know Bangalore is giving California competition with our own desi Napa Valley? ‘Appalachian conditions’ have been found by the Grover Winery at the foot of the Nandi Hills where nine varieties of French grapevines have responded well to growing in Indian conditions. The 20-year-old vineyard could give the best vineyards in Europe a run for their money."

No! I honestly didn't know Bangalore was competing with Napa's rep...
And when did Napa get moved into the Appalachians? Yes, the writer was looking for 'appellation' and had a near miss. Damned spell-check!
Hmmm, I wonder if they were to use commercial yeasts that were collected from California, and...naw, perish the thought...I wouldn't want to be accused of 'promulgating the international wine style' - now would I?

But on the other hand if the Indians were trying to gain acceptance into the already tradition laden world wine scene (which they are) and they are essentially learning how to mimic the styles of Europe from the rootstalk selection upwards...I mean what's wrong with that?
Given that it's mostly the climate and viticultural practices which determine what type of fruit intensity you have to begin with...even then, wouldn't the Indian industry choose a uniquely Indian style? They have after all been making wine for some 4~5 thousand years on their own...I doubt they'd throw everything out the window in favor of just one or two styles just to please the international wine writers.

Also, though they are trying to keep their tonnages around 4~5 tons/acre, their vineyards are producing 2 crops per year, so even though they have but 1,230 acres producing grapes for wine they're producing as if they had 2,460 acres. That will be interesting if they start to convert more of their 400,000 total vineyard acres from table grapes to wine varietals.
(...and where did they get the 4~5 tons/acre number to start with? Trial & error? Or was it a tactical move in thinking the INTERNATIONAL wine critics would want to see the Indian industry 'striving' for quality not quantity, eh?)

Two harvests at each winery? What does that do to your 'vintage' designations - do you then have to have a "Year X, Early Season" vs "Late Season" (or pre-monsoon vs post-monsoon) harvest designations?
And what does that do to your workforce, having to essentially work harvest continually throughout the year? Yikes!


India still has a long way to go to get their population on the Wine Bus...
Currently their consumption centers on distilled spirits (annually 37 MIL cases of whiskey, 11 MIL cases of brandy, and 9 MIL cases of rum) -though I haven't been able to locate a consumption figure for beer yet.
Watch out when they get it together!


Anonymous Chet said...

If they have reds aging in barrels, maybe they will end up with 3 "vintages" in barrel while they are harvesting the next?
That will be quite a juggling act, and will mean they'd need more barrels since they will need to turn them sooner for the next batch, unlike they would if they only had 1 vintage per year.

April 17, 2006 8:11 PM  

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