When I saw TiLt, Fratelli Wines’ wine in cans, I was mighty impressed with the Indian wine maker’ spirit and resolution to launch these just days after its Co-Founder Kapil Sekhri’s untimely demise due to cardiac arrest. Sekhri, just 45 at the time of his death, had strived to popularise Indian wines, knock out the snobbery associated with the drink and put Indian wines on the global map. Fratelli is committed to Kapil’s mission, and its Director, Gaurav Sekhri, tells us how.
What according to you is Kapil’s legacy in the wine space in India and abroad?
When Fratelli was incorporated, our dream was to produce premium quality wines. Kapil championed it and it is with his passion and energy that we could successfully produce the best quality wines that Indian terroir offers. This feat made people realise that Indian wines can compete with wines made in the rest of the world. That is Kapil’s legacy.
What is TiLt’s story?
There has always been this constant feedback that wine as a drink can be intimidating, and youngsters keep themselves away from it. We wanted to introduce young drinkers to the goodness of wine. TiLT has been made for the mindful millennial!
The early seeds of inspiration go back to a dinner at the winery, with young winemakers and viticulturists, where we all shared our journey into the wine business. It was interesting to note how each of us was frowned upon, discouraged and even told off. It was also heartening to realise that we had shared objectives – we all wanted to work towards bringing out the goodness of wine, make it uncomplicated and approachable for young adults. TiLT embodies these thoughts and efforts.
We’ve been working on this project for 2 years ensuring quality consistency and shelf stability, but speed tracked the launch with a wish to contribute to resolve the crisis that dawned upon local farmers in this pandemic of 2020. When we were at the drawing board stage and exploring many different names, TiLT was something that resonated the most with what we want to achieve with this product i.e.‘It’s time we demystify wine and TiLT our perspectives.’
What are Fratelli’s plans for the next five years?
2020 has been a very challenging year for most businesses and especially so ours. Amidst all the turbulence, we still have launched a brand-new category of wine in cans and look forward to developing that as a segment. We, of course, have some other interesting projects and are committed to our goal of putting Indian wines on the global map.
Currently, what are the biggest challenges in the wine business in India and what kind of support would you ask from the government to mitigate these?
We think the government has done a great job by treating wine and beer differently than spirits. Nevertheless, certain state-wise policies are skewed against Indian origin wines and hence put Indian wines at a disadvantage. In the end, wine is an agricultural product and any support to this ecosystem will benefit the farmers cultivating grapes and aid in converting barren land into a green cover. Also, customers have now become more conscious and aware of the products that they are consuming vegan, gluten-free, origin of raw materials, etc and, hence making informed choices.
A few reports say wine, which was primarily considered a women’s drink, has gotten the men hooked in as well. How did that happen?
We are seeing some of the sexist shackles being broken across categories and geographies. This is a trend of the 21st century. More people are questioning rudimentary beliefs. I think this trend has opened the doors for everyone to recognise the beauty of wine and appreciate its goodness, irrespective of their gender.
How do you see ‘wine in a can’ market grow in India? Will it be able to replicate the growth in the US?
India normally follows the American trends more than European. We believe that wine in can is here to stay.
Which three wines would you suggest for the festive season? Why?
For the winter season, my choice would be red. Depending on the occasion, I would recommend a J’NOON red or Sette from our super premium range. Merlot and Sangiovese from our premium range.
Stories you may like