Wine tourism is picking up among Indians amid a growing trend for immersion travel and better availability of foreign products.

Over 5,000 tourists visited Sula Vineyard facilities in Bengaluru and Nashik on December 24th - the most on a single day. The vineyard registered its highest single-day sale of ₹85 lakh on the same day. Over three days, Sula facilities received 12,000 visitors who contributed ₹2.28 crore in revenue.

“It was a record-breaking weekend on all fronts. Revenue, visitor numbers and tastings set new records,” said Rajeev Samant, Sula CEO said in a statement. This bodes incredibly well for the future of wine drinking in India, he added.

Global wine destinations

Globally, France, Italy, Spain and the US top the list of wine producers. India’s share in global production is less than one per cent. Over the last few years wine as a category has grown faster than Indian Made Foreign Liquor segment but its share in total alcohol sales in the country is still less than a per cent.

The growth of homegrown brands and the availability of imported wines are contributing to its popularity. This in turn is driving travel interest to vineyards in India and overseas. 

“We have seen increasing requests from discerning travelers to explore destinations that are known for their wines - be it in South Africa or Argentina, Australia, or even places within Europe. Travelers are keen on exploring wine regions and combining them with local culinary experiences as part of their travels,” said Subhash Motwani, director of the firm, Namaste Tourism.

Reduction in duties and stepped-up marketing campaigns are helping to widen the reach of foreign brands through trade shows and wine tasting events. 

“Wine tourism is gaining traction in India. We have a lot of our customers visiting San Francisco or Sydney taking one or two-day excursions to famous vineyards in Hunter Valley and Napa Valley respectively,” said Loveleen Arun, founder of luxury travel firm, Panache World.