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Seagram’s Royal Stag launches a Limited-Edition Cricket World Cup Pack

Royal Stag, the official whisky partner of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, is truly making the cricket fever larger than ever with the launch of a new limited-edition Cricket World Cup pack.

The limited edition packaging has been conceptualised and designed by Ogilvy and is inspired by the actual ICC World Cup Trophy. The innovative packaging design represents elements from the sport of cricket along with iconic monuments from England & Wales. The pack truly embodies the spirit of cricket and has been launched just before the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 being held in England and Wales.

Commenting on the launch of new packaging, Kartik Mohindra, Chief Marketing Officer, Pernod Ricard India said, “For Indian fans, The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 goes beyond the boundaries of a regular sporting event. The passion, madness, thrill, excitement and love for the sport can be seen in every devoted cricket lover. Our long-standing association with cricket bolsters our relationship with consumers across the nation. By introducing a limited-edition Cricket World Cup pack, we are giving cricket lovers a world cup memorabilia to hold on to and together celebrate the spirit of cricket. Additionally, the on pack contest offers consumers a chance to watch the ICC Cricket World Cup Live in England & Wales.”

Speaking on the occasion, Kapil Arora, President, Ogilvy said, “Cricket and Royal Stag have been synonymous with one another for many years. However, when the brand decided to partner with the ICC Cricket World Cup, the world’s greatest festival of cricket – it deserved a special commemoration. The result is a limited-edition pack of Royal Stag that will give fans of the brand and cricket, an opportunity to collect a unique pack that celebrates and brings alive the spirit of the World Cup.”

Grover Zampa Vineyard emerges as frontrunner in the Indian wine industry

In an interview with Ambrosia, Mr. Vivek Chandramohan, Chief Executive Officer, Grover Zampa Vineyards, outlines the company’s strategic plans.

What is the status of Grover Zampa Vineyards post the acquisition? What is the rationale behind the purchase of Four Seasons Wines, Charosa Vineyards and Myra Vineyards?

With the addition of Four Seasons, Charosa and Myra, we aim to expand into a multi-brand lifestyle label with wine being at the core of our business. We are looking to widen the portfolio and offer more varietals that resonate with the millennials and new age wine drinkers. This will also lead to an increased focus on wine tourism with better amenities being offered to patrons at the vineyards, thereby consolidating the position as a market leader in the country.

The wine industry has been on a positive growth trajectory for the past few years, with growing interest from varying consumers to better understand and experience the beverage. This has opened up the pathway to expand and reach out to these very consumers through various touch-points – an insight which has significantly dictated our association with Four Seasons, Charosa and Myra.

Will there be any new wines from Grover Zampa or the focus will be on consolidation?

We have fortified our capacities and capabilities with inclusion of new technologies and we will continue to innovate and introduce new wines tailored of international standard. Every winery will have a different focus.

What price range will you be focusing on given that you now have a broader portfolio?

Focus has always been and will always be on selling premium wines which are priced at `650 and above. At Grover, our soul has always been about quality and so, we have invested heavily on sub-surface irrigation. This system allows for the plant to root deeper thereby aiding in quicker rooting in what typically would otherwise take decades by generic evolution.

We have also invested in drones and sensor technologies. The sensors will detect water stress and then the sub surface irrigation system will only give the plant water when it needs it. Research has shown us that this method dramatically improves the lifespan of the Vine as also much improves the quality of grape. Also, when you have extensive acreage of vineyards, it becomes nearly impossible to go through every square feet of the vineyard and check for disease. Here is where we have drones that fly over quickly and aerially detect the disease, if any, and administer medication quickly thus saving us millions in terms of crop value. While we have spent a lot on new technologies, our wines will be also priced at `5000 and above which will be sold exclusively.

Do you see a change in the packaging especially in the wines of the newly acquired wineries?

Immediately we will only enhance the packaging but it will not change anything as of now. We will continue with what we have in Charosa but might enhance the packaging of Four Seasons .

What sort of targets have you set for wine exports?

We now export to 28 countries; 8 new countries have been added this year. Our biggest market is France. A significant quantity of our La Reserve, Art Collection Rose` & Art Collection Cabernet Shiraz go into France. Our second largest export market is Japan. US is showing strong growth this year, UK a little slow, but we have made strong inroads into Europe this year. We have made our foray into the Nordic world, Finland, and Norway, which are monopolies, from where we have got quick and large repeat orders. These monopolies will never give you repeat orders unless they have sold the wines. This shows strong acceptance of our wines in these regions. 20% of sales are exports currently.

This year, we should close with circa 260,000 cases. Much of our expansion has come because of the growth that we have secured in the Indian market. Yes, our exports have also grown. We will most likely close at 20,000 cases this year out of the 260,000 cases.

Grover Zampa Vineyards bags most prestigious honours

Grover Zampa Vineyards, India’s oldest and leading fine wine producer and exporter, have added yet another feather to their victory cap by bagging 13 coveted honours at the recent Indian Wine Awards, 2018. An initiative powered by Sonal Holland, India’s first and only Master of Wine and Founder-Director of SoHo Wine Club. Indian Wine Awards is a world-class competition, that rewards, recognises and celebrates the best of wines available in the Indian market, both domestic and international.

The second edition of the revered awards was held on 29th September, 2018, at The Leela Mumbai. Undeniably the one-stop guide for Indian consumers to purchase wines, the ceremony marks the unison of dignified luminaries of the food and beverage industry, who come together to identify and award Indian wines for their palatable distinctiveness. Amongst the distinguishable accolades, Grover Zampa was awarded ‘Best Red Wine Indian’ for its Chene Grande Reserve 2015 and ‘Best Sparkling Wine Indian’ for its Soirée Brut Rosé 2015. It’s varietal, Soirée Brut 2015 won the Best Food & Wine pairing with Malvani Fish Fry. The brand’s other labels such as Art Collection, VA Reserve Collection, La Reserve, amongst others, earned discernible medals, further verifying Grover Zampa’s commitment to producing only superlative and high quality wines.

Elated with the wins, Vivek Chandramohan, CEO, Grover Zampa Vineyards opined, “We take pride in the toil and passion that form key ingredients of the wines being produced here at Grover Zampa Vineyards. The acknowledgment and awards won at the Indian Wine Awards, 2018, redefine the brand’s unwavering fortitude and zeal to please patrons with the best in wine always. These wins not only re-instil our faith in our capabilities and commitment, but also motivate us further to set newer benchmarks.”  

Wine

Trophy / Medal

Chene Grande Reserve 2015

Best Red Wine Indian

Soirée Brut Rosé 2015

Best Sparkling Wine Indian

Soirée Brut 2015

Trophy Winner of the Food & Wine Pairing Competition

Zampa Soirée Brut Magnifique 2016

Gold

Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection White 2017

Gold

Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection Red 2015

Gold

Art Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Gold

Art Collection Viognier 2018

Gold

La Reserve Red 2016

Gold

Soirée Brut 2015

Silver

Art Collection Chenin Blanc 2017

Silver

Art Collection Shiraz Rosé 2018

Silver

Art Collection Cabernet Shiraz 2017

Silver

Sparta – VSOP French brandy is the next need-to-have bottle for your home bar!

KALS Group, Southern India’s alcobev company announced the launch of Sparta – India’s most admired premium grape brandy.

Sparta is an authentic French VSOP brandy that has native elements of authentic French grapes from Cognac Region, which is matured to the tune of 3+ years.

The high-spirited growth of KALS

Deriving its name from ancient Greece – A city in the southern Peloponnese in Greece, capital of the department of Laconia; population 14,400 (est. 2009). It was a powerful city state in the 5th century BC, defeating its rival Athens in the Peloponnesian War to become the leading city of Greece, Sparta embodies the exceptional French style of making heritage and the expertise. Sparta is known for its winning spirit and Sparta of KALS is expected to be the curtain raiser for well-informed connoisseurs!

Sparta is made from carefully selected grapes from the best Indian vineyards which are then double distilled in small batches using traditional French alembic pot stills, to produce a liquor of exceptional smoothness and character.

Sparta is a modern take on a French classic using some of the best southern French grapes, copper pot stills for distillation, and French oak barrels for maturation, all under the direction of Master Distiller. The result is a very special blend with honey blended caramel notes of fresh fruit, vanilla, and a hint of the oak. The brandy can be enjoyed on the rocks or to add some flavour to a signature cocktail.

SPARTA- UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION

Sparta is the first authentic french-style brandy to be 100% made from grapes of Cognac region. Nothing else and nothing less then the timeless savoir faire of french double distillation making. since it uses grapes only from the best vineyards of France, Sparta is the first to reveal such an aromatic intensity. Unlike others, it relies on the time-honoured savoir faire of brandy making in small alembic copper pot stills. It is then aged in oak barrels and carefully blended by the cellar master. with its subtle gold colour, Sparta is the perfect harmony of mature and intense aromas. Discover its delicate notes of summer fruits and vanilla coming from the oak barrels. On the palate, its texture is as smooth as silk.

Enjoy it neat, on ice or with your favourite mixer.

Sparta is aged in small French oak barrels under the supervision of French Master Blender imparting a smooth and distinctive taste, exceptional aromas and a complex character of a cognac – style brandy with a long finish. Keeping up with the tradition of French Cognac making, the master blender has developed a unique recipe guaranteeing excellence in every drop.

Chairman & Managing Director Mr. Vasudevan S of KALS Group said, “With this launch KALS takes its aggressive step into the world of spirits with a superbly crafted high end offering. We are confident that Sparta will win accolades and significantly raise the bar for brandy making in India. Sparta is India‘s first handcrafted cognac derivative – style brandy for connoisseurs – from the House of KALS.”

Sparta comes in premium packaging and bottle design inspired from the Mid-19th century with a transparent gold labels that shines & scintillates to captivate the eyes of consumer- Sparta a style known as ‘standard fifth’ or ‘lettered brandy’ with embossing. Sparta will be available initially in three SKUs of 750 ml, 375 ml and 180 ml.

According to Uppiliappan G, CEO, KAL, Sparta is priced at `640 in the Tamil Nadu market. For KALs MGM Brandy is the closest in comparison. However, Sparta is rolled-out in all southern states and expected volumes will be 30,000 cases per month initially, says Uppiliappan.

Pernod Ricard poised to dominate Indian market

Guillaume Girard-Reydet, Managing Director, Pernod Ricard India, shares his vision of the company in a volatile Indian market which is punctuated with disruptions.

How would you rate Pernod Ricard’s performance this year?

Long term strategic outlook and consistent implementation has enabled us to deliver a significant improvement in business performance. In India, after the set back on the back of demonetisation and the highway ban, we are now back on track with double digit growth. As we focus on delivering high quality brands, all our leading brands continue to post double digit growth and consolidate their market positions.

What is the secret of your success with 100 Pipers?

Bottled in India Scotch is one of the most active and competitive category in India, with new entrants launching brands every year and investing heavily in retail and media. With an amazing taste, consistent communication of its distinctive brand positioning and brand expression of “Be Remembered for Good”, 100 Pipers has been leading the scotch category for close to a decade, leaving the nearest competitor at less than half its size.

How has Pernod Ricard maintained its profitability over the years despite the disruptions in the liquor industry?

Premiumisation is a firmly entrenched trend cutting across price points, flavours and categories. We expect this trend 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 women consumption.
The bouncing back of categories that we operate in due to the above and the growth was led by PRI brands as category leaders, across all segments both in our domestic and international portfolio.
Broadly, the intent is to cater to every consumption opportunity with our expansive portfolio and drive premiumisation. With brands like Royal Stag, Blenders Pride, 100 Pipers, Jameson, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, our constant endeavor is to offer brands with purpose and values of authenticity, legacy and craftsmanship. We also expect that responsible consumption continue to rise with consumers enjoying, the best convivial relationships with the best brands from the PRI.

There is a huge potential for blended brandy made with pure grape brandy and Pernod Ricard being a French company, it is best poised to be a dominant player in this segment. What plans have you outlined for this vertical?

Our expertise in the group with our strong knowledge on grapes within our portfolio specially cognac Martell, our wineries in Australia Jacob s Creek and Spain Campo Viejo and also our Indian wine Indiosa coupled with the blended brandy opportunity in India, is definitely a category which has potential, but it’s still to be evaluated. But we would be more focussed on the consumer value.

With gin becoming a potential promising market and India could produce good gins, what are the company plans for this segment?

Looking at the resurgence in gins and growing conversation around this versatile white spirit, we introduced Monkey 47 in the ultra-prestige gin category early this year. We have two beautiful gins in our portfolio, Beefeater the only gin distilled in London and Monkey 47 our craft gin from Black Forest. Definitely, I do agree that we are the country of flavours and spices and therefore I am sure that the whole industry is looking at us how to bring live our expertise.

Which are your thrust areas in the next three years?

With economic growth, extensive globalization and social media proliferation, Indian-made spirits are finding their space in the global markets. I would say 1. Growing our Indian portfolio 2. Consolidating leadership with International Brands and 3. Developing new areas in sync with consumer needs would be our focus and thrust areas. Our Seagram’s brands such as Blenders Pride, Imperial Blue, Royal Stag are present in over 37 countries, and have received great response. We have witnessed double-digit growth in our exports in the last fiscal year. Being optimistic, I am very confident that our industry will grow and the premiumisation trend will lead our industry. To address our consumers needs in their different moment of consumptions, our entire portfolio of international brands spanning across Scotch whiskies such as Chivas, Ballantine’s, Malts like The Glenlivet, Aberlour, to Irish whiskey Jameson, Absolut Vodka, gins such as Beefeater and Monkey 47 and Imported Wines – Jacob’s Creek and Campo Viejo remain a key focus for us.

Neelakanta Rao Jagdale, Amrut Distilleries MD passes away at 66

Neelakanta Rao Jagdale, Chairman & Managing Director of Amrut Distilleries, breathed his last this morning after a brief period of illness. Born in Bangalore, Neelakanta Rao R Jagdale was the second son of Late Radhakrishna Rao Jagdale, an illustrious industrialist of the State of Karnataka who was also the first President of the Karnataka Kshatriya Maratha Parishat. He was the Chairman and Managing Director of Amrut Distilleries Private Limited.

As a Second-Generation entrepreneur, post his graduation in Science, Jagdale had been at the helm of affairs of various divisions of the Jagdale Group, more particularly Amrut Distilleries Private Limited. With professional experience of about 38 years, Amrut recently entered global distinction when Amrut Fusion was rated as the third finest Malt Whisky of the World by Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible 2010. Amrut was one of the 1st Indian Single Malts to make it to the World Whiskies list and  due to Mr. Jagdale’s enormous contribution, is known for its famous brand of single malt whisky, which is the first single malt whisky to be made in India.

He along with the senior members of Karnataka Kshatriya Maratha Parishath had a huge responsibility of carrying forward the mission of the Parishath founded in 1974 by his late father Sri Radhakrishna Jagdale. His mission was complete by 1992 when he served as the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Parishath and was instrumental in structuring the Parishath’s constitution and development.

Furthering his philanthropic sphere from community to a national cause, he took up the development of the sport of swimming in late 1980s and established the Basavanagudi Aquatic Center in 1987 which is now one of the leading swimming centers in the country and Asia with over 500 children taking part in the sport of swimming, contributing to the excellence of the sport at the State, National and International levels. Notable swimmers such as Nisha Millet and Rehan Poncha, who went on to represent India at the Olympics have emerged from the BAC aquatic center.

Jagatjit Industries brings disruptive technology with Lost Spirits Technologies

An award-winning distilled spirits company which uses innovative accelerated ageing technology to manufacture its products will raise the quality of Jagatjit’s IMFL brands at an affordable price. The technology will also be made available to all players in the industry who choose to use it in India.

Roshini Jaiswal, Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO), Jagatjit Industries



Jagatjit Industries Limited (JIL), one of India’s oldest and established Liquor company, engaged in Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL),Country Liquor, Malted Milk Foods, Malt extract and Real Estate, recently announced its proposed partnership and association with Lost Spirits Technologies (LST), USA, an award-winning Los Angeles-based distillery adopting disruptive accelerated ageing technology producing whiskey and rum.

LST is a pioneer and the most successful company to have mastered and demystified the chemistry involved in the barrel ageing of spirits and has been very successful in creating technology which can replicate very high quality accelerated ageing of alcoholic spirits. LST has been widely acknowledged for its use for this disruptive technology which results in replication of a 20 year aged alcoholic spirit in a span of six days producing the same chemical signature and taste.

With this association Jagatjit Industries Limited (JIL) will enhance current product portfolio and launch new products in the premium segment using this technology in the near future. The joint venture will help Jagatjit launch a premium whisky in the next three months and reduce its dependence on imports from Scotland and the high costs associated with barrel-ageing, the company said. The partnership will also allow the technology to be made available to all players in the industry who choose to use it in India. Since India is one of the largest liquor markets in the world, it is JIL’s objective to use this technology to reduce the dependence on imports from Scotland and the prohibitive costs associated with barrel ageing. With this technology JIL will strive towards world class aged and matured alcoholic spirits which will be “Made in India”. It will also further India’s position as a world class whisky hub capable of producing top of the line alcoholic spirits at very competitive price, further reducing import costs and increasing export value.

Talking about the association, Bryan Davis, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Lost Spirits, said, “India is the world’s largest individual whiskey market. So for Lost Spirits, choosing a technology partner in India was a very important decision. We ultimately chose to work with Jagatjit Industries for a variety of reasons. We were seeking a partner with both the manufacturing and distribution capability to follow through at scale and a management style compatible with our board of directors. We believe we found the right partner in Jagatjit and Ms. Roshini Jaiswal. After working together for the past 18 months, we are delighted to see the project progress and excited to share the forthcoming developments.”

Photo Credit: Laurel Dailey (PRNewsfoto/Lost Spirits Distillery, LLC)



Roshini Jaiswal, Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO) of Jagatjit Industries, said, “Jagatjit Industries has always been a company that has been on the forefront of change and innovation. The founder Late Mr. L.P. Jaiswal was a visionary who set the trend by bringing in path breaking associations to India in the form of his tie-ups with Pepsico, Ovaltine and being the first company to introduce Bottled In India (BII) scotch in the form of Teachers Whisky. True to tradition we are now announcing our association with Bryan and Joanna (co-founders of LST), an association which will allow us to reshape the industry. This partnership between JIL and LST was possible because of the synergy in the vision of Bryan, Joanna and I which has allowed us to work very successfully together in bringing the company to a scalable position in the last 18 months. This is a significant strategy for our future to remain sustainable, designed to strengthen Jagatjit Industries, and to create long-term value for our shareholders and stakeholders across the value chain.”

The move is being described by Roshini, as the last part of the overhaul process she initiated ever since she came on board about five years ago. She has tried to make the management leaner, struck debt-restructuring deals with private equity company KKR and Indiabulls Commercial Credit, strengthened distribution networks and withdrawn from loss-making markets.

Roshini added:“Jagatjit Industries has always been a company that has been on the forefront of change and innovation. True to JIL’s tradition, we are announcing our investment in LST, which will allow us to reshape the global spirits industry. Disruptive technology is the future across all business categories. Uber, AirBnb, Smartphones, Tesla, have clearly demonstrated the impact of innovative technology. The accelerated ageing process developed and patented by LST will revolutionise the global spirits industry. The quality and cost advantages of this technology are unparalleled as compared to its predecessors.”

“Our future with disruptive technology is coming after series of steps that we are taking as a part of our restructuring exercise. The restructuring exercise started with our need to create an asset light, low working capital model at the national level by embracing established and strong partners/associates in every state who would be able to effectively utilise their existing manufacturing and distribution facilities for growth at lower cost. This restructuring has enabled JIL to work on product development, packageing and the new technology for the required push necessary for our state associates. Needless to say this transition has resulted in temporary disruption in sales volumes over the last few seasons.”

Further she pointed out, “Through this investment, we have also entered into an agreement with LST specifically for the Indian market. We will not only use this technology to improve our own product portfolio (and reduce costs at the same time), but will also license this technology to others in India. Further this will also exponentially grow India as an export hub. This is a significant strategy for our future to remain sustainable, designed to strengthen Jagatjit Industries, and to create long-term value for our shareholders and stakeholders across the value chain.”

Jagatjit, set up under the patronage of the Maharaj of Kapurthala and founded by the late L P Jaiswal, will use the technology to make the product in its distilleries. The move comes at a time when legacy Indian spirits makers such as Mohan Meakin, House of Khoday and Jagatjit have been struggling to cope with the stiff competition from the larger multinationals and seen their market share dwindle. While Jagatjit did not specify the nature of the whisky it intends to make, Meakin and Khoday have launched single malts in the last few months.
  • This technology was granted patent in the USA in the year 2017.
  • This breakthrough technology has earned LST encomiums in the form of:
  • Liquid Gold Award- Jim Murray Whisky Bible ( top 5% of Whisky)
  • Best World Whisky in Dominic Rioskrow’s Wizards of whisky
  • Best in Class for oven proof rum at the Miami Rum Renaissance
  • Favorable reviews in Whisky Advocate Magazine
  • Nominated for Craft Distillery of the Year in Whisky Magazine
  • Best in Class for super premium rum from the Spirits Business UK