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Indian winery Big Banyan launches new single-varietal wines

 17-April-2024 | 549 Views |  1 Min Read 

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To meet the rising sales and heightened demand from local consumers, Big Banyan, the winery under the ownership of John Distilleries, is introducing a selection of wines that showcase the variety of India’s terroir.

Named after a 400-year-old tree located nearby, Big Banyan was founded over a decade ago by Paul P John of John Distilleries, renowned for its Indian whisky lineup.

Big Banyan’s portfolio mainly comprises single-varietal wines, featuring Merlot, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon among its reds, and Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay in its whites. Additionally, the winery offers a rosé called Rosa Rossa crafted from Sangiovese grapes, and a dessert wine named Bellissima. Its reserve collection includes the Limited Shiraz and the Limited Sauvignon Blanc.

Aeisha Sahni, head of wines at John Distilleries, clarifies that Big Banyan refrains from blending different grape varieties because India is still evolving in terms of wine knowledge, and the company aims to educate consumers about the fundamentals.

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Single-varietal wines offer a simpler understanding compared to blends, providing consumers with a clearer grasp of the distinct flavour and characteristics of each grape variety. According to the company’s winemaker, Lucio Matricardi, Big Banyan aims to convey the authenticity of the grapes and showcase the personality of each variety. Additionally, the company produces blended wines under its L’angoor collection, targeting a younger audience.

Expanding its range of single-varietal wines, Big Banyan is launching a new series using grapes strongly influenced by climate and soil. The company will harvest only small yields, prioritising grape quality.

These limited-edition reds and whites will only be sold at the winery itself and at chosen outlets in Bengaluru.

. The exclusive collection, currently undergoing registration, is set to debut in a few weeks.

The new collection includes Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, and Grenache. Viognier is cultivated alongside other grape varieties already grown at the Big Banyan vineyard — Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc. The winery notes that these grapes are well-suited to Bengaluru’s cool climate and red clay soils.

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For other grape varieties, Big Banyan procures them from various regions of India through contracts based on their suitability for cultivation. Cooler climates, such as the Nashik district in Maharashtra, are ideal for sourcing whites like Chardonnay. Conversely, the microclimate and soil composition of the Deccan Plateau make it conducive for growing red grapes like Merlot and Sangiovese.

With only 8 hectares of its own vineyard land, Big Banyan currently produces around 600,000 liters of wine annually, with an upward trend in production each year. The brand experienced a 20% year-on-year growth in 2018-19, primarily attributed to the launch of the L’angoor collection in 2017, which significantly boosted sales figures. Another notable surge in sales occurred in 2021-22, with a 32% year-on-year growth, driven by the recovery of major markets following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The increasing demand is also fueled by a growing number of new wine enthusiasts in India, prompting the brand to expand its production and introduce new lines for consumers to explore.

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