Alike other major industries, the wine market too has been affected by the Covid-19 crisis. We speak to a vino expert to understand the alterations being made in the sector and trends witnessed in the consumption patterns currently.

What are the changes in wine consumption patterns in this pandemic phase? 

There is a drastic shift in the consumption pattern. People are spending time at home and enjoying a glass or two of wine with family.

Home delivery of wines has contemporised the alcohol buying experience. Women especially, find it convenient to order their favourite bottle of wine from the comfort and safety of their home and not jostle for space in a cramped wine shop.

Your view on how the alcoholic beverage industry can alter their functioning to foster growth

People are staying indoors and the order at home culture is on the rise. We have started home delivery of our wines and the result has been overwhelming! States like Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha are selling wines through online food delivery platforms like Swiggy, which is a positive step towards modernisation of the wine buying experience and we hope this soon becomes a nationwide trend.

How is Sula ensuring high standards of safety and hygiene of its products? 

We are undertaking all precautionary measures as per the government to ensure the safety of our product right from processing to packaging and dispatch. There are strict controls on who can enter the winery with regular temperature checks, sanitisation, and social distancing. Safety equipment like masks, protective gear, and gloves are also a must. We have taken additional measures after consultation with health and safety authorities to make our cleaning and hygiene protocols further rigorous.

How is technology playing an important role in the functioning of the brand? 

Technology has been both an enabler and a saviour in these turbulent times right from connecting people to undertaking complex projects from the comfort of their homes. On-ground events have moved to mobiles and digital learning about wines, styles, grape varietals, pairings, and pronunciations is now picking up. Virtual wine tasting sessions are also being organised.

What are the ongoing trends in the wine industry? 

The global economic recession suggests that switch to at-home consumption of wine will be both a medium and a long term trend that we can foresee in the coming years. Consumers are increasingly choosing quality over quantity and are also looking for brands that are offering new experiences, are eco-friendly, or follow sustainable manufacturing processes.

There is also an explosion of ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, which makes alcohol accessible for any occasion.

What are the updates on Sulafest? 

Our annual festival – Sulafest, a weekend vineyard music event in the country witnesses over 10,000 people. However, taking into account the current scenario, Sulafest 2021 stands cancelled for the first time in 14 years since we started. But we hope to be back in 2022.