More and more country are joining the wine growing regions and it is no surprise that India has joined the group, still its wines are very little known outside the country, even for professionals.
India’s wine history goes back to the 13th century bc, but modern Indian wine industry only started in the early 1980s with the 2001 seeing the first state, Maharashtra, to introduce a wine legislation, followed by three other States Madhya, Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in 2006, and Karnataka in 2007. The 2009 saw the creation of the Indian Grape Processing Board and India joined the OIV, International Organisation of Vine and Wine, in 2011.
The Indian subcontinent is a vast stretch of land with different climatic conditions from north to south, however, the majority of vine growing and wine production, is concentrated in two south Indian states: Maharashtra and Karnataka, falling within the subtropical climate, with two distinct seasons: the wet summer months and the cooler dry winter period.
India most important grapes, except from Bangalore Blue and Bangalore purple that are native, are Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, partly explained by the influence of foreign consultants and the international styles they can produced. The remaining grapes grown are classified into three groups based on their origin: French, Italian and other varieties. Amongst these there are Viognier and Malbec, both showing great potential, and Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Sangiovese is another grape variety that is becoming more widely spread, whilst other varieties include Riesling and Tempranillo.
Wine produced in India can be divided into Indian and Western styles with the first producing off-dry wines suited for the spicy nature of Indian food.