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Moet-Hennessy of LVMH group to launch first India-made sparkling wine

PUNE: French wine and spirits maker Moet-Hennessy will launch its first 'made in India'sparkling wine in the next few days, persons familiar with the matter said. 

Moet-Hennessy is an arm of French luxury group LVMH. 

In India, it has a short-term contract with
Nashik-based York winery and is setting up its own winery at Dindori in Nashik district. Moet Hennessy India did not confirm the launch. 

"We are under embargo from Paris to talk about the launch," said its public relations manager. However, York winery director Ravi Gurnani said Moet is using its facility on contract for making sparkling wine. "Our contract with Moet is for a short term," he added. Industry executives said Moet's Nashik wine would carry the 'Chandon' tag. 

The company is expected to begin crushing from its Indian winery from the 2014 grapecrushing season, joining the list of foreign winemakers who are tapping the growing demand for international brands in India. 

Sparkling wine, used in India mostly during celebrations, constitutes less than 10 per cent of the wine consumption in the country. 

But a growth in the affluent class is pushing up its demand, creating room for more labels besides Sula and Zampa. Overall wine consumption in India is growing at 15-20 per cent per annum. "There is scope for new players in the sparkling wine segment due to its shortage in the country," said Arjunsinh Mohite Patil, director of Fratelli 
Wines, an Indian company with two Italian stakeholders. 

The joint venture launched its first sparkling wine last month. "The launch of Moet's sparkling wine in India is a prestigious event for the Indian wine industry," said Rajesh Jadhav, secretary, All India Wine Producers' Association. "It shows that there is huge scope for growth of wine industry in India and that it has a great future."