Winemakers from Washington State are set to kick off a marketing campaign in India early next month. India is projected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country sometime in the next ten to fifteen years, and the wine market in India continues to grow.

From September 5 to 9, winemakers will host a series of trade tastings and winemaker dinners in Mumbai and Delhi featuring more than 75 wines – the largest showcase of any single region to come to India this year.  These free, invitation-only events will welcome many of India’s leading food and beverage professionals, hoteliers, restaurateurs, and importers.

Wines from Washington State, second only to California in total production, continue to draw critical acclaim from around the world.  For the past two years, Wine Spectator has awarded scores of 90 points or better to a higher percentage of Washington State wines compared to any other region.  At the same time, these highly-rated wines have come with the lowest average price.

Highly respected at home, Washington State winemakers are actively developing new markets for their products, hosting events in Canada, Japan, and Northern Europe.  The upcoming campaign is the state’s first targeted specifically to India.

Washington State’s largest producer, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, is very enthusiastic about the wine market in India. Al Portney, vice president for international sales with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, says, “we first started doing business in India in 2005, due to the strong growth in high-end hotels servicing the global business environment”. “Today, our wines are sold in more than 25 markets throughout the country,” he adds. Other wineries participating in the campaign include Claar Cellars, Columbia Winery, Hedges Family Estate, L’Ecole Nº 41 Winery, Powers Winery, and Seven Hills Winery.

The campaign in India is being organized locally by Wine Forays, a Delhi-based trade promotion consultancy. Gaurav Anand, Director of Wine Forays, says that interest in the campaign has been strong, and they have already received inquiries from importers, hoteliers, and restaurateurs seeking to learn more about Washington State wine. He went on to add, “with top-notch quality at relatively bargain prices, it is inevitable that Washington State will pick up market share in India.”

Registration for the invitation-only events is currently open. More information on the campaign is available at http://www.wineforays.com/washingtonwine.

For general information on the Washington State wine industry, please visit www.washingtonwine.org.

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