Policy & Issues

2024 Australian Wine Delegation to India

Earlier this month Australian Grape & Wine through its Australian Government supported Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) project, travelled to India, along with the Australian Wine Research Institute and Wine Australia.

This visit is part of the much broader long-term India strategy that Australian Grape & Wine has been implementing since 2022 as part of the our export diversification and growth priorities.

The visit was timed to coincide with the completion of the Indian vintage and impending Indian General elections. While this engagement had a strong research and education focus, overall, the purpose was multi-faceted. As part of the broader work to grow the wine category in India the trip aimed to:

  • Engage with the broader wine industry but also the wine trade (importers, retailers, sommeliers and other influential Indian wine trade) following the reestablishment of the China wine market, in order to show that the Australian wine sector remains committed to the Indian wine market.
  • Support the Indian wine industry to build capabilities in the technical, scientific and education sectors to support growth and development of the wine category in India.
  • Continue to build the profile of wine in India with consumers, trade and the Indian government.  
  • Engage with Indian Government to drive activities under the Joint Dialogue and its working groups, which were formed almost 12 months ago as part of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) side letters.
  • Favourably position Australian wine in the context of the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which is currently being negotiated by the Australian and Indian Governments and seeks to build upon the ECTA agreement.

Overall, these activities aim to build up the profile of wine in India, both with consumers but also with the Indian government to support growth of the market and its importance to India’s farmers and its economy.

All of the meetings the Australian delegation attended were also attended by the Australian Agricultural Counsellor, based in Australia’s High Commission in Delhi, and Indian wine industry representatives, highlighting the willingness of the Australian industry to support and engage in scientific and technical exchange with the Indian wine industry and the strong working relationship which has been established between the two sectors.


The trip commenced in Mumbai where Austrade and Australian Grape & Wine hosted a high-level event celebrating Australian and India wine industry collaboration under ECTA. The event included Indian wine producers, importers, retailers, sommeliers, media and other influential Indian wine trade, with a range of Australian and Indian wines served.

The delegation also met with Mumbai’s state-based Excise Commissioner while in Mumbai, to explore Maharashtra’s excise system and how it compares with that of other Indian states. 


The delegation then travelled to Nashik (the main wine grape producing region of India) for a visit to wine education and scientific facilities. First up was the Gargi Educational Institute of Nashik, where the delegation were treated to a traditional Indian blessing before commencing a tour of the facilities and subsequent panel session with faculty and students. This institute is the only one in India that provides a wine science bachelor’s degree and is the starting point for many in the Indian wine industry.

The institute were incredibly welcoming and were thrilled to find out that the Australian delegation included the author (Dr Eric Wilkes) of one of their key wine science references. It was clear there were a number of opportunities to share Australia’s educational resources and expertise, with potential benefits for both the Indian and Australian grape and wine sectors.

The delegation also visited the National Horticulture Research & Development Foundation, to better understand its facilities and capabilities, which may be applicable to the Indian wine industry in future. The delegation was also provided tours of the production facilities of Sula Vineyards, India’s largest wine producer and Nipha Winery, India’s smallest wine producer during its time in Nashik. The time in Nashik concluded with a dinner at Gooddrop Wine Cellars with key Indian wine sector representatives.


The group then traveled 200km South to the city of Pune to meet with the National Research Centre for Grapes (NRCG). As table grapes production is so prominent in this region, the NRCG is a well-established institute which specialises in table grapes. Until recently this effort had not been extended to wine grapes. However, with the facilities and expertise easily transferable, NRCG had recently formed an MOU with the Indian wine industry peak body, Wine Growers Association of India, to deliver on a series of key projects to support Indian wine. The Australian delegation had already provided input virtually into the MOU projects however the visit provided an opportunity to better understand the capacity of the center and to continue to support the progress of the MOU outputs with the Indian wine industry.


The delegation then travelled to Delhi to undertake a series of government meetings. Similarly, to the event held in Mumbai with Indian wine trade figures, Austrade and Australian Grape & Wine held an event at the Australian High Commission in Delhi.

While in Delhi, the delegation travelled to Kundli to visit the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM). NIFTEM is considered an institute of national importance and one which the Indian government, through its Ministry of Food Processing resources and supports as a key educational institute. In the inaugural joint dialogue discussions with India, NIFTEM was identified as an institute which the Indian government would like to see partner with Australian institutes to build wine research and scientific capabilities in India.

The institute in Kundli includes an extensive campus with dedicated facilities for grain, dairy, meat and other food processing including laboratory and production equipment. There was a commitment from NIFTEM that a dedicated wine facility could also be something which could be supported.

In Delhi the delegation accompanied by Indian wine industry representatives, undertook a series of meetings with Indian government including:

  • Ministry of Food Processing – the ministry which leads the ECTA joint dialogue on wine for the Indian Government and also the Ministry which funds NIFTEM.
  • Ministry of Commerce – The ministry responsible for broader aspects of free trade negotiations including tariffs and taxation.
  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) – the authority which manages wine and broader food regulation nationally in India, equivalent to our FSANZ.
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research – the government department that funds and manages NRCG

The delegation also met with a number of high-level Australian government representatives based in Delhi, including the High Commissioner, Deputy High Commissioner and the Minister Counsellor for Education and Research.


The trip was considered highly successful and achieved a number of key outcomes including:

  • Commitment from Indian government officials and a greater understanding of the support Australia can provide to help establish improved scientific, research and educational institutes for wine in India.
  • Reemphasising the continued commitment from Australian wine industry to the Indian wine market, with this being the third visit since the project commenced. An important aspect of cultural and business relations in India.
  • Highlighting the strong partnership between Australian and Indian wine industries with the Indian government and our commitment to growing the wine category in India.
  • Support from Indian Government departments to actively progress joint dialogue working group activities and broader engagement with the Australian government on further trade negotiations.
  • Local media and promotion of Australian and Indian wine to Indian consumers.
  • Further strengthening the Australia-India wine industry relationship, with India’s industry noting the value of our engagement in its representations to Indian Government officials.
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