Are Australian Wines set to capture the Indian market?

By Nitin Gupta
Gargi at her job

The recently signed interim Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) took around eight plus years into making. Three Prime Ministers changed during its drafting, and now a fourth Australian PM would actually see it being implemented.

Australian Wines would be one of the products that should benefit immensely, and the AI-ECTA should help the Australian wines capture a bigger share of growing Indian market.

Nitin Gupta catches up with the “Wine Geek”—Gargi Kothari of Magic Cellars. Gargi is a wine sommelier, wine influencer, and also a wine experience curator. They briefly discuss where Australian wines stand in the current Indian market, and how the future may look for them in India.

❊ So—what do you think about Australian wines?

Personally I love Australian wines as I’ve had the chance to try some of the best boutique wines being produced there. I’m not just talking about famous labels or brands but also about some beautiful, terroir expressive wines which really opened up my mind to Aussie wines.

Gargi tasting some Wines
The differences between Australian wines when compared with wines from other regions such as Europe, USA etc.?

Australia has a huge diversity in terms of wine styles, grapes, climate, terrain which other regions also have. But I feel that well-made Australian wines can strike a fine balance between the Old World & New World styles which can attract novice as well as seasoned wine drinkers.

Boutique wines produced in small batches by wineries who are passionate to show their terroir will showcase wines that can be really well balanced with both, their fruity and earthy characteristics.

Gargi Kothari at a winery in Australia
The impact tariff reductions due to FTA between Australia and India may have on the sales, and reach of Australian wine within India?

Currently only three Aussie brands dominate the Indian market—Jacob’s Creek, Hardy’s and Yellow Tail. Of course we also have Penfolds and Lindeman’s. But with the reduction in wine tariffs, if more importers are able to bring in those boutique wines from Australia’s premium, distinguished regions—that would really change the game for Australian wines in India.

More options and affordable prices would be a win-win for Australian wine and Indian consumers.

Any particular Australian winery experiences that you would like to share?

I had the privilege to travel to Margaret River & Swan Valley and a couple of other tiny wine regions in Western Australia. Since then Margaret River has become one of my favorite wine regions on the planet!!

Gargi during a visit to Australian winery

I visited about 8-9 boutique events as well, with well known, high quality producers where I had the great opportunity to meet with winemakers & winery owners directly which was a huge learning experience for me.

I visited Voyager Estate, Mr. Barval Wines, Flowstone, Knee Deep, Windows Estate, Arimia, Xanadu, all located in Margaret River. Then I travelled further South where I visited really small estates called Abbey Creek & IronWood in the Porongurup National Park region in the Greater Southern region of WA.

I also got to visit the famous Swan Valley just outside of Perth where I visited the famous Mandoon Estate & Olive Farm Wines. Each experience was unique and memorable and I must have tasted over 150 wines over a period of five days.

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