After three years of launching Chandon sparkling wine in the country, the LVMH Group holding company Moët Hennessy India recently opened doors to its state-of-the-art winery in Dindori, Nashik to a very selective group of media and trade.
The property built on 21-acre of land in the wine capital of India is also the largest facility in the country. With a total capacity to produce 50,000 cases of Chandon sparkling wines (brut and brut rose) and the scope to increase it further in future.
At the launch event, while the group honchos, Davide Marcovitch, president-Chandon, Wiboon Arunthanes, Regional Director, MH Asia Pacific, and Steven Steve Bullock, MD, Moet Hennessy India played good hosts, the new Argentinian winemaker and Operations Manager at Chandon India Gustavo Agostini was present to address the queries about the winery and production facilities.
Winemaker Amrut Vare and viticulturist Nivrutti offered a guided tour of the winery to the guests and Rohan Jelki, Brand Ambassador of Moët Hennessy India stayed busy behind the bar mixing some sparkling cocktails, chandon spritzers, to help people beat the heat.
The launch of Chandon wines in India in 2013 was a glitzy affair and the wines certainly have given a boost to the sparkling wine segment since then. Placed right in the fun, lifestyle brand segment, Chandon presented the true spirit of its French family of origin -Moët & Chandon. The story of the house of Moët & Chandon is as interesting as the champagne itself. So is the marriage between the champagne house Moët & Chandon and cognac producer Hennessy that took place in 1971 and gave birth to the company Moët Hennessy. When in 1987 the luxury fashion company Louis Vuitton and MH were merged, LVMH became the most fashionable lifestyle company redefining luxury in every sense. Moët Hennessy worldwide owns a number of wine and spirit brands and the wines made outside France are produced under the Chandon Estates also called Domaine Chandon.
Besides India, Chandon has found home in Argentina, Brazil, California, Australia and China.
Until 2014, the Indian Chandon was produced under contractual arrangement at York Winery with grapes sourced from different vineyards. Though the wines are still not made from grapes of chandon’s own vineyards, since 2014 the sparkling wines are produced at the chandon winery by a team of international and local wine-makers and viticulturists who are closing working with grape growers from the Nashik region.
At present, Chandon has two variants of sparkling wine in the market, the Chandon Brut that is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Chenin Blanc, and Chandon Brut Rose, a 100% Syrah based rose sparkling wine.
The brand Chandon speaks of an incredible success story with a 100% growth in the last financial year. The quality (crisp, edgy, freshness and fruitiness of Chandon brut and brut rose), its brand image and aggressive marketing strategy have made Chandon extremely popular in the country. To an extent that it’s succeeded in establishing a connection between the chandon loyalists and the quintessential luxury brand company by making Chandon an affordable and accessible party drink.
Rojita Tiwari is an independent writer & consultant. She also runs the award -winning wine & spirits, travel and hospitality themed blog Drinks & Destinations and curates and conducts training as well as tasting sessions and events. She is a WSET certified professional listed twice as, one of the top ten woman of wine in India. Connect with her on [email protected] or tweet to her @RojitaTiwari.