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Amfora introduces Oz Wine Bars in India

Tuesday, June 16, 2009, 11:00 Hrs  [IST]
By Dheera Majumder | Mumbai

Amfora Wine and Foods Pvt Ltd has introduced Oz Wine Bars in India. The company will sell the machines to premium restaurants and hotels in the country. The imported wine machines act as preservation systems for uncorked wines for a period of 21 days. The company is supplying the first machine to Lodhi Garden Restaurant in Delhi by mid July 2009. Speaking about the product to Hospitality Biz, Isheeta Gupta, General Manager, Amfora Wine & Foods states, “The product will help our partners to double their wine sales in the first year itself. The restaurants and bars already using the machines have seen wine sales jump by 500 to 900 per cent.”

The company recently added the first domestic wine brand to its portfolio. It has entered into an exclusivity agreement with D'Ori Winery Pvt Ltd to market and distribute its wines under the Chateau d'Ori label in the north Indian markets. Presently, Amfora has started marketing the product in India and expects to start distribution soon. “We will conduct consumer tasting sessions. The marketing initiatives taken will have a focused approach,” informs Isheeta Gupta, General Manager, Amfora Wine & Foods. The company has also entered into an exclusivity deal with Lodhi Garden Restaurant in Delhi inferring that Chateau d'Ori will be the only domestic brand to be sold in the restaurant. It is in the process of entering similar exclusivity deals with other restaurants in the northern market to be the only supplier of wines to partner outlets.

Besides, the company also aims to increase its wine portfolio in the country with the addition of new labels from Argentina and Australia by end 2009. It is considering addition of about four labels from Argentina and is still researching price points of different Australian wines. The company recently added new wines from South Africa and Rhone Valley and Bordeaux from France to its portfolio. However, the company is cautious about further expansion due to the new excise policy imposed by the Delhi government. “The new wine policy seems to be against wines. It will see the cheapest wine rates hike up by 30 to 40 per cent, while premium wines will also observe a significant rise in prices. Due to the new policy, institutions have also put their wine purchase plans on hold and are shifting to reasonable wines,” Gupta adds. While, wine manufacturers and distributors expect an increase in wine sales in Delhi during the upcoming season, the new excise policy is expected to hamper this growth. Wine sales saw a steep decline since Q4 of 2008. The new move in Delhi is expected to see wine sales increase in the neighbouring state of Haryana, which has a relatively liberal excise policy.

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