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To Mark 75 years of Rampur Distillery, Radico Khaitan launches ‘Rampur Signature Reserve Indian Single Malt Whisky ’

To mark 75 years of Rampur Distillery, Radico Khaitan launches a super luxury variant of Rampur Indian single malt whisky in the International market. These are individually numbered bottles strictly on allocation basis.

Radico Khaitan Ltd launched a super luxury expression of Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky called ‘Rampur Signature Reserve Indian Single Malt Whisky’ to commemorate 75 years of its Rampur Distillery at The Whisky Show, London and Whisky Live, Paris recently.

The Rampur Signature Reserve Indian single malt whisky is a limited release of 400 bottles worldwide. Each bottled is individually numbered and carries the signature of Dr Lalit Khaitan, Chairman and the Rampur Master Maker. Bottled at cask strength of 43.9%, this exquisite offering is now available in UK, Europe, USA and a few selected markets in Asia Pacific. It will also be available at Dubai Duty Free as well as India Duty Free in the coming weeks.

The Indian Single Malt whisky is named after Radico Khaitan’s first distillery in Rampur and is aged, distilled and matured in the foothills of the scenic Himalayas.

Existing expressions in Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky: Rampur Select Indian Single Malt Whisky

Aged in the foothills of Himalayas, this exquisite whisky is the Kohinoor of Single Malts.

This beautiful nectar is a winner of many international awards including the Double Gold Medal at San Francisco World Spirit Competition, USA and also rated amongst the Top 20 whiskies of the world at #5.

Rampur Sherry PX Finish Indian Single Malt Whisky

A limited 48 Casks release. A few exceptional casks of Rampur Single Malt Whisky post maturation in American Oak were handpicked by our Malt Master and transferred to Sherry PX Butts from Jerez, Spain for finishing. The result is a rich and fruity whisky with layers of complex spice and dried fruit.

Rampur Double Cask Indian Single Single Malt Whisky

The newest expression of Rampur, has spent 2/3rd of its life in American Oak Bourbon Casks and 1/3rd in European Oak Sherry Oloroso Casks. Delicate balsamic vanilla notes from the American white oak compliment the full-bodied aroma; Rich caramel, dried dark fruits and spicy tonality from European oak add to the depth. Already available in the UK and EU, shipments underway to over 30 countries.

Speaking on the launch, Mr. Sanjeev Banga, President, International Business, Radico Khaitan Ltd said “We are very proud to launch the new expression ‘Rampur Signature Reserve Indian Single Malt Whisky ‘ within three years of release of the umbrella brand. Our Indian Single Malt Whisky – Rampur has gained global recognition and love from its consumers.Today, the brand has emerged as one of the most desired Indian single malt whisky brands in the world and, we hope, the new expression will also gain similar acknowledgement and appreciation from our luxury whisky lovers. We are honoured to provide a chance to savour one of the Oldest Malts from India to the International Single Malt connoisseurs”.

Angus Dundee forays into the Indian retail market

Angus Dundee a major player in Bulk Scotch is venturing into the Scotch market with the launch of MacRoys Blended Scotch Whisky. Sanjeev Puri, Regional Director, Sub Continent and Hasan Bakhtawar, General Manager-Marketing unveils some of the company’s other plans.



How has Angus Dundee fared over the years? Angus Dundee India Pvt Ltd (ADIPL) is a major player in Bulk Scotch and supplying to a large stratum of liquor manufacturers in India. A 100% subsidiary of Angus Dundee Distillers Plc Scotland, has been present in India for almost close to a decade. With a strong lineage and expertise to deliver consistent quality product, ADIPL has created a niche and made its presence felt over the years.

What are the major activities undertaken in the Indian market?

ADIPL not only offer Bulk Scotch but provide customised solutions which are customer and brand specific. This has been instrumental in sustaining and stabilising its position in the highly competitive ‘Bulk Scotch Whisky’ market.

What prompted your decision to produce your own Scotch brands in India?

Significant shift in the Indian consumer behaviour, rising disposable income with influence of social media enabling splurge on good things, growth in socialising occasions and experimenting with different types of alcohol had been an inspiration for ADIPL to introduce own Blended Scotch Whisky to the Indian consumers.

What has been the response to the launch of MacRoys in Chandigarh and other cities?

MacRoys Blended Scotch Whisky is available in select category selling outlets in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Mohali and Chhattisgarh. Launched in the month of July the brand is gradually making its presence felt.

Are you looking at a pan India launch and what is the time frame for the launch?

In a phased manner, launch in Telangana, Chandigarh and Rajasthan in current financial year, whereas Delhi and Orissa intended for the next fiscal.

What is the positioning for the brand and what are the marketing activities planned for the brand?

The present positioning portrays the product attribute “Experience the Bourbon finish luxury” and distinguishes the brand from competition. We intend to target potential consumer base tapping key touch points like On & Off Trade, Social gatherings and other socialising occasions. In addition, we are also focussing on digital as we can’t be mere spectators to the consumer’s journey and need to make our presence felt by participating in trending conversations, crafting influencer opinions and generate access to the brand online.

How is your brand different from other competing brands available in the market?

MacRoys Blended Scotch Whisky is distilled, aged and blended in Scotland. matured using the BB1 barrels, the once used American Oak Bourbon barrels holding only bourbon infuses a distinct character to the whisky. First Fill Bourbon Cask are generally used for producing Single Malt Whiskies. Crafted using exclusive malt, matured in bourbon casks whose charring produces lactins which help develop coconut and vanilla characteristics, bringing out soft, fruity-sweet and smooth blend.

Are you planning to launch more brands in the Indian market in future?

Plans are afoot to cater other price points in the Blended Scotch and Premium Scotch segments in near future.

Would you like to throw some light on your Duty-Free business at the Indian airports?

We have an exceptional BIO portfolio consisting aged and non-aged single malts, blended malts and Blended Scotch whiskies. Brands like “Tomintoul Spey Side Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch Whisky”, “Smokey Joe Blended Malt”, Non-Aged Single Malt variant “Glen Parker Single Malt Scotch Whisky” and Blended Scotch whisky named “Parkers” have presence at the Delhi Travel Retail.

Keepers of the Quaich award for Kartik Mohindra

Kartik Mohindra, CMO, Pernod Ricard India Pvt. Ltd., shares his feelings on receiving the Keepers of the Quaich award and the raison d etre for the company’s performance this year.

Congratulations and what does the Keepers of the Quaich award mean to you?

Thank you! As, Keepers of the Quaich, our mission is to uphold and celebrate the values and image of Scotch whisky globally. Collectively, the international society represents many thousands of years of experience and knowledge of Scotch whisky. I am honoured to join the distinguished Keepers and Masters, and together, commit to preserve and promote the world’s finest distilled spirit, the Scotch whisky. I look forward to actively participating and celebrating Scotch whisky both in India and abroad.

How would you rate the company’s performance until June 2019? What are the indications of the next year’s growth?

At PRI, our domestic as well as international whisky portfolios are witnessing double-digit growth. The international brands portfolio is surely seeing faster growth vis-a-vis the domestic counterparts. Having said that, we have successfully capitalised on the burgeoning wave of premiumisation. To continue our dominance in the international brands. We have introduced Chivas XV in the super premium bottled in origin scotch, the super-premium gin, Monkey 47, and the three new single malts in India – Aberlour, Scapa and Longmorn to stay at the forefront to meet the consumers’ needs and strive in changing market dynamics.

We capitalise every consumption opportunity with our expansive portfolio and drive premiumisation. Our flagship brands like Royal Stag, Blenders Pride, 100 Pipers, Jameson, Chivas Regal, Absolut, Royal Salute, are brands with purpose and values of authenticity, legacy and craftsmanship.


India, as you know, with over 1.3 billion population, offers a huge opportunity pool of consumers with varied tastes and preferences, segmented by their demographic and income strata. PRI’s expansive portfolio caters to this very diverse group across price points – ranging from the value consumer going for Imperial Blue, Deluxe consumer to Royal Stag, Premium consumer (Blenders Pride, BP Reserve) to the ultra luxury consumers opting for Royal Salute, The Glenlivet and Chivas Regal 18.

The Indian millennial consumers present an exciting opportunity for us. Outburst of trends such as increase in cocktail explorations, and consumption of different liquor categories by the same consumer have exemplified the experimental nature of millennials. To selectively cater to these new consumers, PRI’s portfolio has an offering of aspirational brands – flavourful Absolut vodka, gin – Monkey47 and Beefeater and Jacobs Creek Wine. Further, India presents immense scope through untapped geographical territories. These could prove to be great growth engines in the future. We foresee this category buoyancy to continue and grow in strong double digits.

How can the industry work together to boost the growth of the alcobev industry?

In comparison to several global markets, India faces higher incidence of taxation leading to out-of-reach end consumer prices; consequentially decelerating adoption and premiumisation.

The alcobev industry, albeit facing challenges of accessibility, also offers room for improvement in making the products available to consumers, with a wider retail footprint. The industry forces can come together towards building more favourable duty structures and regulations, leading to enhanced consumer demand.

How has Pernod Ricard been able to withstand the disruptions that have plagued the industry in the last few years?

Pernod Ricard India’s brands have preserved their footholds as category leaders, complemented by our strong consumer connect, great quality and innovation in products in the industry while catering to every consumption opportunity with our expansive portfolio. These factors coupled with our premiumisation strategy, has certainly helped PRI in withstanding the disruptions.

What is your product strategy for future growth? Given the low consumer confidence sentiment do you see a blip in the premiumisation strategy?

Globally, India offers one of the largest growth potential in spirits consumption. This leads to greater opportunities in a wider range of segments, both mature and emerging. We expect premiumisation to continue strongly in the foreseeable future, due to a positive long-term demographic and socio-economic trends led by a young and growing consumer population, rising middle and affluent class and increasing purchasing power, rapid urbanisation, and rise in Alcobev consumption by women. PRI with its brand offerings will continue to drive premiumization across categories and price points.

Given the trade wars happening worldwide, do you see the lowering of duties on Scotch or US alcobev brands?

The lowering of tariffs or duties will ultimately deliver benefits to the consumers, positively impacting the affordability. The economic conflicts in trade are a matter of bilateral discussions between the countries or the governments.

Which have been your star brands and on what brands do you plan to focus next year?

For us, every brand in our vast portfolio of domestic and imported brands are vital. Like I mentioned earlier, we continue to focus on driving premiumisation and with our consumer centric approach and the changing consumer dynamics led by millennials and generation Z, we believe that we have the right portfolio mix which will focus on creating informative-engaging experience and connect with this generation, striving for a great experience at various touchpoints, be it travel retail, liquor shops or high-end restaurants.

We, at Pernod Ricard, are always in line with the evolving consumers’ attitude and preferences that are occasioned by the constant variation in the living standards and global trends. The Glenlivet, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Wine portfolio led by Jacob’s Creek and Campo Viejo and Blenders Pride will be the key growth engines in the year.

How has your digital marketing strategy helped in sales growth?

With increasing aspirations, disposable incomes and exposure to global brands, the Indian millennial consumers present an exciting opportunity for us. Five out of six millennials connect with companies on social media and spend about 25 hours per week online. We will leverage our strengths in consumer marketing through digital media and continue to lead and drive consumer preference and connect with millennials through brands such as Royal Stag, Blenders Pride, 100 Pipers, Chivas Regal, Monkey 47, Absolut, Jameson, Ballantine’s, Beefeater, Jacob’s Creek, and Campo Viejo, to name a few.

Kartik Mohindra Now a Part of Keepers of the Quaich, a Global Celebration of Scotch whisky

The global success of Scotch whisky has been celebrated with new members of the Keepers of the Quaich being inducted into the international society at a private ceremony held at Blair Castle in Blair Atholl. Kartik Mohindra, Chief Marketing Officer, Pernod Ricard India, has been firmly inducted as The Keeper, in recognition of the outstanding commitment to Scotch Whisky. To preserve the unique cachet and exclusivity of The Keepers, New Keepers and Masters are inducted at a private ceremony held in the Scottish Highlands. This is the 61st Ceremony and Banquet to take place here. Collectively, the society represents many thousands of years of experience and knowledge of Scotch whisky. The Keepers of the Quaich is an international society which was established by the Scotch whisky industry to celebrate the outstanding commitment of those who produce and promote the world’s ­finest distilled spirit. Only a limited number of people are inducted as Keepers each year in recognition of their exceptional contribution. To date, just over 2,800 men and women from more than 100 countries have received the honour. Together with the select few that are subsequently distinguished as Master of the Quaich, they represent thousands of years of shared experience and knowledge.

“As Keepers of the Quaich, our mission is to uphold and celebrate the values and image of Scotch Whisky globally. I am honored to join the distinguished Keepers and Masters, and together, commit to preserve and promote the world’s finest distilled spirit, the Scotch Whisky. I look forward to actively participating and celebrating Scotch Whisky both in India and abroad,” said Kartik Mohindra at the prestigious honour.

Keepers of the Quaich supports international chapters of the society in 10 key markets around the world – where members continue to promote the prestigious image of Scotch whisky.

The Butler and The Bayleaf scores with good food, ambience and service

When the name alone can set you on a journey of culinary delight steeped in history, you know there is much magic in store. Presenting a splendid collaboration of the royal hospitality of the British Raj, with the caress of a modern bistro style restaurant in the city- The Butler and The Bayleaf. Being veteran restaurateur Kishore DF’s ‘regional’ venture in collaboration with Sarabjeet Singh of Keer Hospitality, the restaurant brings forth Indian culture, once again- this time with a modern touch.



Kishore DF, of the Potpourri, WTF, The Big Nasty and Foo fame, has decided to take nostalgia a notch up with this new ambitious culinary ride, after the commendable success through The Tanjore Tiffin. Since then, he has been exploring the history of Indian geography from across the map and delving deep into the tastes of our voracious culture.

Situated right above the famous Alfredo’s, The Butler and The Bayleaf, drew its inspirations in the North. Representing a 100% authentic North Indian cuisine, Kishore emphasizes “At Butler, we never, NEVER mess with the authenticity. No fusion for us, no shortcuts. We just cleverly repurpose for the modern bistro chic audience.”

Rolling in the slumber filled lunches from their grandmother’s home, Butler presents a menu for the audience that is carefully crafted by renowned chef Rajan Mehra. Inheriting the magical culinary skills from his veteran chef father, Rajan comes with immense experience in the hospitality zone while he was at Delhi. He has now come down to explore Mumbai as food production head and brand for Butler.

Speaking of the menu, the arms of the North open up with the heart-filling Shrimp and Mango Salad and the Spicy Guava and Arugula Salad; followed by exotic small plates of the authentic Kurkuri Bhindi and the Royal style Chicken Noorani. Chole Bhaturas send us to another culinary realm, as the Seekh Kebab wraps brings a Northern blend. The Main dishes are a great reminder of the ‘ghar ka khana’ as they fill our plates and hearts with Guthi hui Gobi, Butler Butter Chicken and Punjabi fish tikka.

There is no North without the Biryanis- as the Butler serves us the luscious Chicken Dum Biryani and the taste bud tingling Kathal Dum Biryani. The Bakharkhani and the Khameeri Roti set a good standard for Indian breads. While the Croissant Pudding with Spicy Rum flavoured Angoori Mango Rabdi, is a blend of Indian and modern.

The Butler invites the audience a brilliant nostalgic sensation with a 4pm to 7pm old style high tea experience. Hosted over a piano recital or a book-reading or a game of mah-jong, this event accompanies your favourite beverage with the finger foods of the noon. Homecooks will also be invited to share their home-borne recipes, along with a presentation to cook it, serve it, as well as teach you how to make it.

Light conversations bloom near the piano, as the ambience gives an old British Gymkhana feel to the restaurant. The patio is a mix of chairs and sofas, bringing in a modern dining with a touch of casual. The presence of plants tends to keep an aura of fine dining with a dash of a friendly huddle, as well.

Beam Suntory Sets High Ambitions for India

After the lull comes the storm as Beam Suntory launches it first Truly International Indian Whisky Oaksmith and the The House of Suntory portfolio including Yamazaki, Hibiki and Roku Gin.

Oaksmith is a premium Indian whisky, crafted by Suntory’s Chief Blender, Shinji Fukuyo, the creator of iconic Japanese whiskies Hibiki and Yamazaki, marks Beam Suntory’s entry into the Indian whisky segment and combines the finest Scotch Malts and American Bourbon using Japanese blending craft to bring the best of East and West for Indian consumers. The global premium spirits company brings its finest and the most popular Japanese whiskies – Yamazaki and Hibiki – and Japanese craft gin – Roku – to India with the launch of The House of Suntory portfolio.

Beam Suntory, the global premium spirits company, has launched a range of four premium spirits in India, signaling its commitment and strategy to grow in India in line with its ambition to reach USD 1 billion in revenue by 2030. The highlight of the launch is the introduction of Oaksmith Indian whisky – created by world-renowned blender Shinji Fukuyo, Chief Blender, Suntory – using traditional Japanese craftsmanship, blended with the finest Scotch Malt whiskies and American Bourbons to make a whisky unique and authentic to Indian taste. In addition, the iconic Japanese whiskies Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve and Hibiki Japanese Harmony, along with Roku® Japanese Craft gin have also been launched from The House of Suntory portfolio.

The launch of Oaksmith and Oaksmith Gold whisky in India is key to Beam Suntory’s growth strategy and signifies the importance of India to the company. Along with the introduction of Yamazaki, Hibiki and Roku, it reinforces the company’s commitment to lead the growth and premiumisation of the Indian spirits market.

The launch event of The House of Suntory was graced by Shinji Fukuyo, world-renowned Chief Blender at Suntory, the creator of the luxury and iconic blends of Hibiki and Yamazaki whiskies, and Neeraj Kumar, Managing Director of Beam Suntory India, along with George Kumekawa, Representative, The House of Suntory. The event highlighted the exceptional legacy of The House of Suntory, the art of making delicate whiskies, and the importance of India for Beam Suntory globally. The House of Suntory brands are being launched across all major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve will be available in the range of INR 10,900 to INR 20,000 across different states; Hibiki Japanese Harmony for INR 10,900 to INR 20,000 and Roku® gin for INR 5,500 to INR 7,100.

“We are thrilled by the appreciation that Hibiki and Yamazaki have received from consumers worldwide, and their popularity among spirits aficionados in India. The growing premiumisation of the Indian market and the appreciation for finely crafted spirits made this the right time to launch these brands, along with Roku gin. Indians today are well-travelled and exposed to global trends, which inspired the creation of Oaksmith for whisky lovers in India,” says Neeraj Kumar, Managing Director of Beam Suntory India. On Oaksmith and Oaksmith Gold, he said, “The beautiful blend incorporates years of tradition that the Beam Suntory family upholds while showcasing Shinji-san’s award-winning blending capabilities making it a whisky that, quite simply, no one else could possibly create.”

Oaksmith is a celebration of mastery and global collaboration, combining the best of East and West in a bottle. Blended by Shinji Fukuyo himself, Oaksmith is a harmonious blend of matured Scotch Malts that adds a strong flavour profile and American Bourbon whiskey, aged for at least four years in American Oak barrels which lends it an unmatched smoothness. That gives the brand its unique name and also inspires the round bottle labels celebrating its distinctive craftsmanship. Befitting the unique and distinct flavour palate, the exquisite six-sided bottle with beveled edges and a tall neck has an equally unique and ergonomic design that is an ode to the finest Japanese craftsmanship and makes it stand tall in this category. The company is celebrating its international pedigree with the use of the world map in all its creative expressions.

Much like The House of Suntory, Oaksmith blend is made using the finest ingredients and sincerity of process that is a hallmark of Beam Suntory’s Japanese heritage which is unique to this brand in the entire Indian whisky category. From seed to sip, the whisky is meticulously crafted to achieve a blend like no other resulting in a bold spirit that is rich on the nose yet approachable and well-balanced on one’s palate with a bright, smooth and unexpectedly long finish. The unique offering will be available at the price of an Indian whisky and the flavourful palate will be well suited to both beginners and connoisseurs alike. There will be two variants of the product – Oaksmith and Oaksmith Gold – which will launch on 19th December 2019 in the state of Maharashtra, followed by the rest of the country in due course. Oaksmith Gold will be priced in the range of INR 800 to INR 1,300, while Oaksmith will be priced in the range of INR 600 to INR 900 depending upon the state of launch. Both the variants will be premium in their respective categories due to the international quality of blend and craftsmanship they offer.

A relentless quest for perfection and commitment to using only the highest- quality ingredients encapsulates Suntory’s philosophy to create the finest spirit possible. Shinji Fukuyo, Chief Blender at Suntory, said, “My travels across the world have helped me understand and appreciate sophisticated flavour profiles. Blending spirits is about creating a harmonious flavour by weaving culture and tradition along with one’s own form of self-expression. This is an art in itself and I am very grateful that people globally have appreciated the quality and artistry of Hibiki and Yamazaki, and hopefully now, Oaksmith.” On Oaksmith®, he added, “While making this blend, I wanted to ensure that it resonates specifically well with the Indian audience while being truly international in its spirit. I travelled across the country to understand the different food cultures and flavours. Eventually what I saw, heard and tasted, helped me explore a variety of flavour profiles and finalize this harmonious blend which has the best of America, Scotland and Japanese craftsmanship. I am extremely proud as the final product completely reimagines what the future of Indian whisky can be.”

On the rising popularity of gin in India, George Kumekawa, Representative, The House of Suntory, said, “In recent years, we have noticed a strong trend among Indians to opt for premium and craft gin as their spirit of choice as it has a softer flavour profile which is easier on the throat and refreshing in its appeal – perfect for brunches and refreshment occasions. With the introduction of Roku gin in India, we are looking to further build the market for both gin as well as craft spirits to help enthusiasts discover new tastes and experiences.”

THRIVING TODAY AND READY FOR TOMORROW

As many of the speakers at the TFWA Conference and workshops this week have suggested, the way to tackle the challenges the industry faces may lie in technological advances. We in duty free and travel retail have the opportunity to create outstanding customer experiences that online retailers can only dream of. When this physical experience is enhanced by the best technology, it can only get better.

As TFWA President Alain Maingreaud pointed out in his opening address at the TFWA Conference, accelerating the adoption of digital and mobile technology will ensure the duty free and travel retail industry keeps pace with traveller expectations and enrich the in-store experience.

Christina Lu

At the Innovation in Action workshop, Alibaba Group’s Christina Lu detailed how the strategy behind their organisation was to “make it easy to do business”.The company’s travel platform Fliggy, which is not only about transaction but also about brand building, provided a huge opportunity to connect Chinese consumers with business.





Julie Menville

But the customer must come before the technology. Julie Menville of Amazon Pay explained how her organisation “started with the customer and worked backwards to create new products and services”. The launch of Amazon Pay meant that shoppers can have the same experience on other websites as they have on Amazon.





Valéry Méary

More innovation came under the spotlight at the next day’s Inflight Focus workshop. Valéry Méary of airfree detailed how technology is transforming the inflight shopping experience. His platform allows passengers to access an online portal, browse and pay for thousands of products, and then collect their purchases at the airport when they arrive.





There’s plenty of scope to build sales, and Elina Jamaluddin from AirAsia explained that her company’s Ourshop inflight platform is performing strongly, despite the fact that AirAsia is a low cost carrier.

Aldric ChauAs ever, solid knowledge of the customer is a key to success, and again use of sophisticated technology can help. Aldric Chau of Cathay Pacific stated that data-driven personalisation leads to customers spending over 40% more than they had planned. This is surely evidence, if it were needed, that investment in technology can pay handsome dividends.

Carnuntum is the newest DAC winegrowing region

The region has reached agreement on the three levels Gebietswein (regional wine), Ortswein (‘villages’ wine) and Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine), and continues to emphasise the traditional and highly prized varieties: white wine vinified from Chardonnay, Weissburgunder or Grüner Veltliner, red wine from Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch.

The family of Austrian winegrowing regions with DAC status continues to grow: after thorough consideration and regional consensus, the winegrowing region Carnuntum submitted a draft DAC regulation, which has now been signed by the Federal Minister for Sustainability & Tourism Maria Patek. This makes Carnuntum the fourteenth Austrian winegrowing region with specific protections in place for regionally typical wines.

Willi Klinger, managing director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) summarises: ‘With the DAC regulation that has now been enacted, Carnuntum is also embarking on the successful path of origin-based marketing. The winegrowers have succeeded in working out a profile that will unmistakably express and convey the characteristics of their region in both red and white wine, and will ensure even greater distinctiveness’.

Three levels, regionally typical grape varieties

Like the Steiermark, Kamptal, Kremstal and Traisental, the region Carnuntum – located in the eastern part of Austria between Vienna and the Slovak border, encompassing an area of 906 hectares under vines – will henceforth implement a three-level DAC regulation: Gebietswein (regional wine), Ortswein (‘villages’ wine) and Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine). The varietal palette focuses on the region’s marquee players: for white wines Chardonnay, Weissburgunder and Grüner Veltliner, and the reds Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch. Monovarietal Carnuntum DAC wines must be vinified exclusively from these varieties, while blends must contain at least two thirds of one of them. This means that cuvées can also contain up to a third of other approved Qualitätswein (quality wine) varieties – for example, in a red wine, Sankt Laurent, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

Flavour profile

Carnuntum has been showing very well now for quite some time, with distinctive red wines and robustly structured whites. The new DAC regulation stipulates that all wines must conform to the flavour profile ‘dry’, and that red wines must also have an alcohol content of at least 12%. In addition, Ortswein and Riedenwein must be given adequate time to develop their distinctive and expressive character: the application for obtaining a Federal Inspection Number may not be submitted before 15 March for white wine and not before 1 November in the year following the harvest for red wine.

Rubin Carnuntum will remain

The established brand Rubin Carnuntum will remain in place parallel to the DAC regulation, and will continue to provide a guarantee of special and regionally typical wines vinified from the variety Zweigelt.

Was does DAC signify?

Districtus Austriae Controllatus (DAC) is a legal indication of origin for regionally typical Austrian Qualitätswein. So if a wine label features the name of a winegrowing region in combination with ‘DAC’, one is guaranteed a wine of quality that is typical of the region. A DAC wine may only be produced from the grape varieties specified for that DAC region and must comply with all requirements of the regulation established by the region. There are currently 14 DAC winegrowing regions in Austria. Wines that do not meet the DAC requirements will bear the name of the respective federal state as an indication of provenance, as part of the variety of available wines at this level of origin.

Marrying ethanol with petrol the need of the hour

In an interview with Ambrosia, V.N. Raina, Director General, AIDA, stresses on the need to blend 10% of ethanol with Petrol to save valuable foreign exchange for the country.

What is the current situation of ethanol production in India?

The production of ethanol for mixing with petrol was introduced in the country during the year 2006-07. Ethanol is an important bio-fuel and is blended with petrol under EBP programme. It is an important component of national bio fuels programme. Ethanol is a source of energy which is indigenous, non polluting and virtually inexhaustible.Therefore to promote this bio fuel, the govt. has scaled up the blending targets which are given below:-

Production of Surplus grains declared (2018-19)

S.No.               Products Qty                 ( Lac Tonnes)

1                        Maize                            30-40

2                        Bajra                             9.00

3                       Jawar                             4.70

The initial aim was to mix 5% ethanol with petrol by the season 2016-17. However, to promote bio fuel the govt. scaled up the blending targets from 5% to 10% to be achieved by the season 2021-22 under Ethanol Blended with Petrol Programme (EBP). However, due to various reasons implementation of this programme was not seriously taken up till the year 2017 when the govt. notified the programme. But with all the efforts of the govt. and the distillery industry producing ethanol from molasses 5% blending could not be achieved even till the year 2016-17, However, during the current year 2018-19 (closing 30th Nov. 2018) total blending of approx. 6.2% has already been achieved. This also included the ethanol produced from grains “not fit for human consumption” to supplement the ethanol supplies.

The entire ethanol game plan envisaged by the govt. Can be explained in nutshell as below:

Centre has set a target of 10% ethanol blending by petrol by 2022, leading to forex savings of `12,000 crores a year.

There was 3.5% blending in 2016-17 sugar season and 4.0% in 2015-16.

Nationwide average for ethanol blending stood at 4.02% as on Oct.1

The latest proposal will allow ethanol production from surplus quantities of maize, jawar and bajra, as well as other feedstock such as fruit and vegetable wastes.

Ethanol blending in petrol has risen from 38 crore litres in supply year 2013-14 to an estimated 146 crore litres in 2017-18.

What are the incentives being given by the government to ramp up the production given the increasing ethanol requirements in India?

The Govt. first introduced financial assistance scheme by extending financial assistance through spot loans to sugar mill attached distilleries to set up plant and machinery for production and enhancement of ethanol production capacities in the country. Many distilleries attached to sugar mills applied for and received the financial assistance form the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Distribution, GOI enabling them to put up distilleries and ethanol production equipment. The financial scheme included facility of interest subvention @ 6% per annum or 50% of rate of interest charged by banks, whichever is lower with certain conditions.

In order to augment ethanol production capacity and thereby also allow diversion of sugar for production of ethanol, in principal approval has been granted for extension of soft loan of `6139 crores though banks to the mills for setting up new distilleries /expansion of existing distilleries and installation of incineration boilers or installation of any method as approved by Central Pollution Control Board for Zero Liquid Discharge for which Government will bear interest subvention of `1332 crore. About 114 sugar mills are likely to be benefitted as a result of this measure and ethanol production capacity of sugar mills in the country is likely to be enhanced by about 200 crore litres per annum in the coming three years.

The Govt. has notified a new scheme on 08.03.2019 for extending financial assistance to sugar mills for enhancement and augmentation of ethanol production capacity. Under the scheme Govt. would bear `2,790 core towards interest subvention for extending indicative loan amount of `12,900 crore by banks to the sugar mills for augmentation of ethanol producing capacity.

The Govt. has notified a scheme on 08.03.2019 for extending financial assistance to molasses based stand-alone distilleries. Under the scheme, Govt. would bear `565 cores towards interest subvention for extending indicative loan amount of `2600 crore by banks to the molasses based stand-alone distilleries to augment their ethanol production capacity.

On further request from distillery industry and All India Distillers’ Association (AIDA), govt. has also agreed to consider financial assistance on the same condition to grain based distilleries for producing ethanol. Many distilleries have already applied. In the meantime loans have been sanctioned as far as molasses based distilleries are concerned. The scheme for loans to grain based distilleries is also under consideration of the govt. This step will provide further possible resources towards increasing the production of ethanol under EBP Programme.

What are the current requirements of ethanol and are there any deficit and how are they bridging it?

The current requirement as per the programme of introducing 10% blending by the year 2022 requires approximately 300 crore ltrs. of ethanol. The govt. has announced various incentives and financial assistance to the industry. It is hoped by the closing of the year 2019-20 when new distilleries would have gone up including increase in existing production capacities in the existing units due to the positive steps taken by the govt., the 10% blending will be achieved by the year 2020- 21/22.

The prices announced for Ethanol for supply year 2019-20 (1st Dec. 2019 – 30 Nov. 2020) are:

S.No.                            Products                                              Price (Rs.) / BL

1                                   “C” Heavy Molasses                            43.75

2                                   “B” Heavy Molasses                            54.27

3                                   Sugarcane Juice                                   59.48 + GST & Transportation charges

The revision of prices of ethanol supplied from grains is also under consideration by the govt. in consultation with the distillery industry

In addition the govt. has also taken steps in consultation with the industry to set up and revise the prices of ethanol from time to time so that the industry feels protected about the production and supply of ethanol. A very recent price increase has been introduced by the govt. 01.01.2019, which now will bring the price of ethanol from various sources to the level given below w.e.f. 01/12/2019.

The revision of prices of ethanol supplied from grains is also under consideration by the govt. in consultation with the distillery industry.

The govt. of India very rightly announced use of surplus grains in addition to the spoilt and damaged grains for production of ethanol. The govt. has declared following surplus grains under this policy which could be used for production of ethanol for the year 2018-19. It will be further increased and announced from time to time by the govt. in consultation with the concerned departments. The present quantities of availability of surplus grains in the country which could be used by distilleries for production of ethanol are as below:

Will the petroleum companies be able to absorb the new price increase?

The setting up of prices are being announced by the govt. of India in consultation with the petroleum companies and it has been agreed that the prices have to be revised from time to time if the need be, to ensure continuous supply of ethanol and to increase its production as much as possible. The petroleum companies are part of the final prices of ethanol, calculated and announced by the govt.

What is the current requirements of ENA in the liquor industry ? Is there sufficient production to meet the needs of the industry?

Current requirement of ethanol as well as ENA depends upon the production and availability of raw materials for the basic production of Rectified Spirit (R.S)from which ENA and / or ethanol is produced. As per the present scenario the supply of ENA for liquors is being carried out by the industry alongwith supplies of ethanol. However, the market now competitive and has to be kept in mind for prices of liquor which are controlled by the state govts. Considering the market price of the ENA vis-a-vis that of Ethanol, it should be fair to the liquor industry as well.

A good quantity of grain spirit being produced is also in the market now and there sufficient quantity is available both for ENA and Ethanol as per the programme set up by the govt. However, it vastly depends upon competitive pricing and balanced affordability.

What incentives is the government giving for ENA production, both for domestic consumption as well as for exports?

The procurement and supply of ENA for potable purposes comes under the ambit of state govts. and the state govts. have to ensure good prices for IMFL for continuous availability of ENA in the competitive market of alcohol production in the field. The Central Govt. has no role for fixation or revising liquor rates and prices in the market, which is under the govts. of respective states.

What are the alternative feedstocks government is looking at for ethanol production besides traditional molasses and grain? And what are the challenges we have for the same?

The govt. of India has been on the look out for many alternatives, sources and resources for finding out alternative feed stocks for production of Ethanol. The govt. has already considered all feed stocks which are possibly available like agricultural wastes, forest wastes, bagasse, bamboo miscellaneous millets etc. and the research in this regard is continuously being undertaken for selecting and finalising the new feed stocks for production of ethanol.

There is an option under the research programme which will continue for searching out various resources of feed stocks and resources from all fields will be studied provided they are reasonably affordable and competitive with other feedstocks.

Will electric vehicles disrupt the demand for petrol and as a result the demand for ethanol?

No, in the near foreseeable future there is no possible disruption of demand for petrol or ethanol as a result of introducing electric vehicle in the country. The demand for petrol is rather expected to increase rapidly as the number of motor vehicles on the road is increasing by the day.