Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pause, reflect and sip

Promoting the idea of taking a break and enjoying life, Pause Wines launched a portfolio of 14 varietals grown and blended in its vineyard in Dindori near Nasik. Pause Wines journey began in 2005 when Rajesh Patil, a gourmand, experimented with the idea of setting up a winery in Nashik. The goal was to offer a variety of custom-made wines suited to the Indian palette and ultimately spread the wine culture in the country.

In 2007, he started Pause Wines. Today, with over nine varietals, the wine-maker has built a portfolio that includes reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot and its award winning Shiraz, whites like Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, as well as a Ros̩ РPause Ruby Red, all which are currently available in Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.

The winery
Pause vineyards are spread over 100 acres of fertile farmland in Dindori near Nasik. Located about 25 kms from the vineyards, the Pause winery has a capacity of 60,000 liters and can accommodate 10 wine varietals. It has a processing set-up with imported equipment from Italy for an authentic taste of wine.

Speaking about how he would set his wines apart in a growing market like India, Patil says, “We guarantee quality wines. Customers will get exactly what the label on the bottle says – with absolutely no mixing, which is currently a norm in India.” He adds that his vineyard also has access to fine quality grapes, a wide range of wine varietals, and in-house Vignerons and sommeliers on hand.

The strategy
Patil plans to reach out to hotels and restaurants apart from retail. “We are already talking to five-star hotels and fine-dining restaurants in metros and tier I cities. We already conduct training and tasting sessions with bartenders everywhere.”

It will soon expand to have presence in places like Delhi, Rajasthan, UP, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh by next year. This includes tourist destinations like Agra and Khajuraho that gets a lot of international tourists. For now though, Pause Wines is busy preparing to a launch a sparkling wine and wine tours at its vineyard.

Speaking about his perspective on the Indian wine market, he says, “While wine is increasingly becoming popular, it is yet to become an integral part of Indian people’s regular lives. Countries like France have a consumption of three to five litres per  person, but India stands at a mere 0.2 mm per person. However, the aspirational middle class are setting in motion a routine shift in wine consumption ratio and drinking habits. We want to propel that growing trend of acceptance and make it more accessible to the diverse populations of India.”

Pause Wines wants to reach out to mature wine-drinkers who are already wine consumers as it is “difficult to cultivate new drinkers”.

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