Asia Scope

India Keeps Taxing the Grape

I was startled to hear on my BBC world news podcast this morning, that a standard bottle of Jacob’s Creek Australian wine—about $15 US dollars on average in most places I’ve encountered it—costs about $50 US in India. In the last few years there has been some international pressure to lower their tariffs on wine imports, but nearly 400 per cent price increases must mean that India is standing firm.

So the question is: will this really benefit their domestic wine industry? Various sources report that wine is gaining popularity amongst Indians. Wine Review Online says: ‘The Indian wine industry is only 10 years old, but there are already 50 wineries,’ and that, ‘India and China are viewed by many wine experts as the two world markets with the most potential.’ Check out the full article, which also mentions India’s pioneer winery, Sula Vineyards, whose products are available for international distribution. The company even has Facebook and Twitter accounts for its tech-savvy fans.