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Indian bulk first to meet on-trade thirst

Published:  06 December, 2019

Kingsland Drinks and Soul Tree wine brand have entered a joint venture to bring the first ever shipments of bulk from India to the UK, Harpers can reveal.

The wines are currently on the water, landing this month, when a Soul Tree Red and Soul Tree White will be bottled at Kingsland’s HQ at Irlam in Greater Manchester, to meet what is described as “fast growing demand” from the UK’s large Asian restaurant sector.

Developed “to meet the house wine price point on Indian restaurant wine lists”, while meeting the challenge of spicy dishes, the new wines join a portfolio that includes Sauvignon Blanc, a rosé and Cabernet Sauvignon.

“The Soul Tree range represents the very first Indian wine in our portfolio and a fresh segment for the category. India is now officially on the map as a bulk wine producer, and we’re excited to lead the way by bringing Soul Tree wines in bulk directly to the UK on-trade,” said Adam Marshall, buying controller at Kingsland Drinks.

The Soul Tree label was launched eight years ago by Alok Mathur, who switched a career in the City for wine in response to what he saw as a gap in the market for a modern brand of Indian wine aimed at the Indian on-trade.

The latest additions to the range have a new look, designed in house by Kingsland, which look to take the brand’s exiting identity forward and tap into “a clear market opportunity”, according to the company.

With the new design, Soul Tree and Kingsland are also looking to grow sales beyond the Indian restaurant sector and reach the lists of a wider swathe of modern British eateries.

Of the new joint initiative, Mathur said: “Soul Tree is a rapidly growing brand with distribution throughout the UK, and a growing international footprint. We are really proud to put Indian wines on the bulk wine map, and the joint venture with Kingsland Drinks presents the opportunity to be part of one of the widest portfolios available to the UK market.”

The move to bring Indian wine in bulk to the UK echoes Kingsland’s legacy as the first British company to ship and bottle bulk wine back in the 1960s.