Enoteca by Madhuloka played host to an evening of wine tasting and wine appreciation with Peter Csizmadia-Honigh conducting an interactive session for the wine enthusiasts of Bengaluru. The event organised by Enoteca was the grand debut for Peter Csizmadis-Honigh’s book, The Wines of India, in Bengaluru.
The Wines of India
The Wines of India is a comprehensive guide written by Csizmadia-Honigh, featuring 50 wine producers of the country and over 400 wines. The book contains accurate classification of Indian wineries and detailed profiles of various wine producers in the country. Although originally from Hungary, Peter has travelled the world for over a decade consulting and writing about different wine regions. His articles has been published in Sommelier India, The Drinks Business, VinCE Magazine and The Greek Star. “I have been traversing the world for the past decade, reviewing wines and visiting several wine regions, and with the fondness I have for India, I feel like I can present an objective view on Indian wines,” said Csizmadia-Honigh.
Wines of India is one of the first books to focus on classifying the various wineries present in the country. “The book is trying to convey the stories of 50 wine producers in India, concentrating on giving a background on what is growing in the country.”
Peter noted that purpose of the book was to shed light on the wines being produced in the country and to enlighten its readers on different classifications of wines available in India and to increase the knowledge of Indian wine enthusiasts. “When you read the book, you can see that my intention was to really educate people who only see wines as red and white. The way I constructed the book was to tell stories of winemakers in India and bring an unbiased view to the readers so they can take the meaty bits out of the book and learn more about the wines of India.”
The market for Indian wines is still at a very nascent stage. Wines produced in India are still looked at as inferior when compared to wines from other countries. Wine enthusiasts from around world doubt the quality of wines produced in India due to the environmental factors associated with the country. “Most people think the climate in India is not suited for the production of grapes, but I feel that Indian wineries produces some high quality wines. There is a need to put Indian wines on the map for Indians and for people outside India, which is what I hoped to accomplish with the book,” said Csizmadia-Honigh.
Although the market for wines in India is still miniscule compared to other regions, there is a significant rise in wine makers experimenting with different varieties. Speaking of the research conducted for winemakers, Peter said, “India currently produces 4 main varieties of wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Shenin Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, but there are more varieties which people experiment with. I think India is at a juncture, at the moment, where the groundwork has been done for more research and study of wine production. I feel that the wine makers here can get themselves in a position where they are really interested in these research projects to improve the quality of the wines.”
Although there are some myths about the process of Indian wine-making, the recognition for the quality of Indian wines is on the rise. Recently, a UK-based Indian winemaker, Soul Tree, won the bronze medal at the prestigious International Wine Challenge held in London, making it the first time an Indian wine has won an award in the competition.
Wine Consumption And Growth
Wine consumption in India is strictly catered to the upper income earners with high disposable income willing to spend money on high quality wines. Since the cost, as compared to other liquors, is significantly on the higher side, the majority of Indian population are not willing the meet the exorbitant price of high quality wines. Since the country is predominantly a hard liquor drinking nation, with over 200 million consumers, there is some doubt in regards to the increase in wine consumption.
Although there are several wineries in India providing high quality wines, the export of these wines were still on the lower side. With more experimentation and research in wine production, there has been a relatively small uptick in the export of Indian wines. According to stats released by India Department of Commerce, the export of Indian wines has seen a steady and gradual increase.
Need for Wine Education
According to Peter Csizmadia-Honigh, there is a significant need to educate the people of India about the wineries and wines produced in India to expand the growth of wine market. Since there is a rising wine culture in Bengaluru, Madhuloka, a liquor boutique, established Enoteca, a platform for wine enthusiasts in Bengaluru to experience wines from around the world. K.S. Lokesh, Managing Director of Madhuloka, said, “Keeping in mind the growing needs of wine enthusiasts in Bengaluru, we felt that launching Enoteca, a wine academy, and educating the people about wines is very much required.”
Enoteca currently offers wine courses which are catered towards casual and professional wine drinkers. Enoteca also conducts workshops which are certified by the Karnataka Wine board and events with wine experts from around the world.