THE BIG TALK
I had a tete-a-tete with Jeremy and Michael and they were rather candid in their responses. Read on
What are your first impressions of the Indian market?
Jeremy – We’ve been looking at India for a while now. We’re not in any rush of collecting our returns as it is a big market and the best way to tread is to go slow and steady. We do understand it will be a slow brand building exercise and we need to push on education.
What attracts you to India?
Michael – The Aussie wine market hasn’t grown in size for a while, though it has in value. It is exhausting to enter in to India but we see it as a long term proposition. India is a developing powerhouse sitting on a massive possible drinking population. Drinking wines is trending and will soon become a full-fledged culture. It’s always better to have an early foot in the door.
Aussie Chardonnays and Shiraz have become a brand in themselves. Is that good or bad for your business?
It’s definitely good, it gets us an entry and this sort of branding generates trust in Australian produce based on the connection one can form on a personal level. 65% of McLaren Vale produce is Shiraz, which works.
Australia has numerous obscure varietals. Which of them do you see holding great promise?
Jeremy – We’ve been making wild ferment Grenache roses and are experimenting with bush vine Tempranillo. Also look out of Fiano and Vermentino in the whites, they have a huge potential to make a mark
Michael – Grenache has had a long history in the region, given it wasn’t affected by Phylloxera, we have some 1983 bush vines that are really exciting to work with.
What makes your wines different?
Intuition and experimentation. We do not make wines for shows or to impress. There’s no formulae to making good wines but show the purity of fruit and the aim for balance.
What is the support you seek from the Indian market and the Australian High Commission in promoting your produce?
There’s a need for education and trails. We will supply to Brindco to do whats needed, which is to build a relationship with our clients and our consumers, and keep telling our stories. We need more hands on the ground in the form of industry professionals who keep telling the story of our country, our region, our wines, and the experience that Australia is.
What do you see as the future of wines in India?
We are trying to establish that and it’ll be imperative to keep our eyes open. It’s definitely the time for smaller wineries to come in and create a more personal connection for the drinkers by telling our stories and pouring hand-crafted wines that have families behind them. The market will only change for better hereon.
Being your first visit to India, apart from wines, has it broken any myths for you?
Jeremy – The amount of cricket played on the streets is astonishing. Everyone’s playing, everywhere, and at all times.
Michael – The curries aren’t hot enough. I’m yet to have one that makes me sweat and knocks my socks off!
First published in Spiritz Magazine in December, 2019