The wine park

The Dilemma - Passion or Economics

Dec 27, 2013 11:20:02 AM

Is it easier to sell a wine which is mass produced, superbly marketed and cheaper (INR 1500/- MRP) as compared to one which is passionately made by a wine maker, hand-picked in an organically grown vineyard with minimal intervention to respect the terroir and shows what the nature provides, but obviously comes at a higher price point (INR 3000/- MRP)??

This is a no brainer - economics rules!

Well, there will be takers of both wines, but the mass produced cheaper ones will over-take the boutique expensive ones by leaps and bounds irrespective of the taste.

After being in the trade for 7 years and promoting boutique wines, it is  a fact that cheaper wines are much easier to sell even if they have less oomph factor compared to a top winery with a rock star wine maker. After all how many people in India know the wine makers’ rock star status, how many really get to try his rocking wines, how many can really afford to buy them considering such high taxes and margins, how many are really inclined to experiment and explore out of their comfort zone??

Today I stand at a cross road with a 7 year itch. Do I become unfaithful to boutique wines and fool around with mass produced wines to sell more wine or I stick to my guns and do best which we are fundamentally known for - premium wines.

The Indian consumer today as compared to 7 years ago is a lot more evolved wine drinker. He knows his Chardonnays from his Sauvignon Blancs and can distinguish a quality wine versus cheap plonk, even though he may drink the cheap plonk for economics. Like Scotch, in wines too, once you graduate to a better product it's hard to go back. With that hope and more wine drinking under one's belt, good wines are bound to find their way to consumers’ homes and dining tables. Moreover, one is always optimistic of the taxes being reduced by the government causing a win-win situation for consumers, importers and the government (more wine sold = more revenues).

Well, after much deliberation I have decided that I am in no mood for a divorce from my original concept. Instead the solution is to marry both concepts - passion with economics. Wines like Bibi Graetz (Tuscany), Man Family (South Africa) and Saint Cosme (Rhone) represent such class of wonderful wines.

St Cosme Cotes du Rhone

Isn't it far better to buy a wonderful wine at a fair price than to buy a fair wine at wonderful price?” ~ Warren Buffet

I rest my case.

Cheers,
Vishal