Sula Vineyards Case Study Analysis Format

Sula Vineyards (or “Sula”) is a winery and vineyard located in the Nashik region of western India,180 km northeast of Mumbai. After the launch of its first wines in 2000, Sula expanded from its original 30 acre family estate in Nashik to approximately 1800 acres across Nashik and the state of Karnataka.

Sula Vineyards
LocationNashik, Maharashtra, India
First vintage1999
Key peopleRajeev Samant (CEO & Founder)
Kerry Damskey (Master Winemaker)
Ajoy Shaw (Chief Winemaker)
Cecilia Oldne (VP International Business)
VarietalsChenin Blanc, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel
Other productsGrape seed oil, Grape brandy

Sula introduced grape varietals such as Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Zinfandel to India and as of 2013, they hold a market share of almost 70% in the Indian wine Industry.[1]

FacilitiesCoordinates: 20°00′24.8″N73°41′18.5″E / 20.006889°N 73.688472°E / 20.006889; 73.688472[edit]

Tours and tastings are conducted seven days a week throughout the year.

Grape Stomping: The harvest and crush season runs from January to March and The Grape Stomping activity is conducted in this period.

The Restaurants: Little Italy and Soma are the two restaurants here. The Gift Shop, The Bottle Shop which stocks exclusive brands which can be bought only at the winery, The Tasting Room facing the vineyards and backwaters of the Gangapur Dam.


Sula Vineyards was founded by Mr. Rajeev Samant in 1998. Samant studied engineering at Stanford University and worked at Oracle in San Francisco thereafter. After quitting his corporate job, Samant established Sula upon his return to India. He initially experimented with crops such as mangoes, roses, teakwood, and table grapes before realising that Nashik’s climate and temperature were well-suited for growing wine grapes. In consultation with Kerry Damskey, a Californian winemaker, Samant set up the first winery in the Nashik region of India.[2]

Sula was named after Samant's mother – 'Sulabha'. Samant steadily expanded the company over the next few years by introducing newer grape varieties and expanding the company’s offerings.[2] Today, the Nashik region is known as the 'Wine Capital of India' and is home to almost 50 wineries.[3]

Currently, Sula operates two wineries at Nashik and Dindori in Maharashtra, and have taken over three custom crush facilities in Nashik and Karnataka.[4]

Sula’s grapes come from their vineyards as well as from contract farmers across the region. The company's viticulture team trains and educates these farmers on best practices. In 2015, Sula announced a price increase of 10% for its contract farmers in order to support the farmers through unpredictable changes in weather as well as to meet the increasing demand for wine in India.[4][5]



Sula’s domestic products includes the following wines:

Red Wine[6]

White Wine[7]

Rosé Wine[8]

Sparkling Wine[9][10]

  • Sula Brut
  • Sula Brut Rosé
  • Sula Seco
  • Sula Seco Rosé
  • Brut Tropicale: To commemorate their 15th anniversary, Sula launched this limited edition, festive season bottle. Brut Tropicale is a 'Blanc de Noir' sparkling wine produced from premium black grapes including the Pinot Noir.[11][12]

Dessert Wine[13]


As of July 2015, Sula ventured into the production of spirits and launched India’s first 100% grape brandy, 'Janus'.[14]

Import and Export[edit]

Sula’s import arm, 'Sula Selections', partners with leading global wine and spirit brands and distributes them to the Indian market. Some of the import selections are Glenfiddich, Remy Martin, Asahi, and Hardy’s.[14]

Sula exports to 26 countries and is listed with Marks & Spencers, an international UK-based retail brand.[15]

Business Decisions[edit]

During the recession in India between 2008-2009, the Indian wine industry was heavily impacted because of large quantities of unsold wines and delayed payments.[4] This affected not only the wine companies but also the Indian farmers. Samant decided to reduce next year’s grape crushing targets and to introduce a line of affordable wines at a lower price range in order to weather these losses. These decisions eventually helped the company to evolve their business model and to reach larger market segments.[4]

Sula is on track to sell a million cases this year.


As per their "grow good wine with minimal environmental impact,"[16] Sula has undertaken the following environmental sustainable practices at their Nashik winery:


The annual live music festival ‘SulaFest’ takes place at their Nashik winery.[19]

SulaFest is an annual two-day 'gourmet world music festival' held at Sula Vineyards in Nashik. With an exception to the 10th SulaFest which was a three-day festival. Started in 2008,[20] this festival offers music, drinks, food, and fashion. Some of the activities the festival-goers can engage in include grape stomping, wine tasting, and camping.[21]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Rasa Shiraz – Silver Medal, Syrah Du Monde (2010) [22]
  • Dindori Reserve Shiraz – Ranked #25 on Wine Enthusiast magazine's Top 100 Wines of the Year list (2011) [23]
  • Sauvignon Blanc

-Silver Medal, Decanter World Wine Awards (UK) (2011) [24]

-Gold Medal, Indian Consumers Choice Award (2012) (2013) [25]

-Bronze Medal, Decanter Wine Asia Awards (2012) [26]

-Silver Medal, Indian Consumers Choice Award (2013) [27]

  • Riesling – Gold Medal, Indian Consumers Choice Award (2013) [27]
  • Late Harvest Chenin Blanc – Gold Medal, Indian Consumers Choice Award (2013) [27]
  • Rasa Shiraz – Silver Medal, Syrah Du Monde (2014) [28]


External links[edit]

View of Sula Vineyards, Nashik
Sula's Tasting Cellar at Nashik
Sula's tasting cellar and bottle display at Nashik
The annual music festival, SulaFest, takes place at this Greek-style amphitheater at Sula Vineyards


Entrepreneurial experience of Rajeev Samant:

Rajeev S

amant is one of the oracle’s youngest financial managers who earned master’s

degree in industrial engineering from Stanford in 1990. The news to ease trade barriers of India with the rest of the world motivate Rajeev to do his own business in India and finally it turns into as Sula Vineyard wine industry. The story begin from on his own land which is situated at gently rolling hills, a large lake and have rich clay soil. His first experiment with agriculture entailed  planting and harvesting mangos followed by Thompson seedless grapes. Most of the grapes are used for making honey and other purpose. Nobody thinks to make wine from grapes. The idea came to him


 table grapes would grow there why not grapes

for wine” then he

did extensive research on grapes needed to make wine. He did various analysis to establish the Sula vineyards industry. It remains a major challenge to be able to even maintain market share when the Indian wine industry is experiencing revenue growth at 30 percent per year and

 beginning to export wines to North America and Western Europe. Merely to remain a “major  player” in the Indian wine industry will be a challenge for Sula Vineyards. He made various

strategy to short out the challenges

and APEDA’S country wine promotion str 

ategies included easing trade barriers and developing an awareness of Indian wine helped


 wine to go globally. The five year financial data shows that the first two year the company are in lost as establishing industry require a lot of investment but due to the consistent improvement and by making partnership with other company it helps to earn net income after taxes in 2007 is $195,000

Driving global demand for Indian wine:

The Indian government showcase


of India” across the globe open the

opportunity to do business globally across the USA, France, Italy, Germany and the UK Singapore.


country wine promotion strategies included easing trade barriers and developing an awareness of Indian wine motivate Rajeev to expand his business

Regulation of Maharashtra promote the winemaking as a food processing industry, which deduce excise duty and tax from wine. The above all the factor have direct impact on the success of


 industry. Sales are slow for six months. The original winery had a capacity of 150.000 liters per year. At the year of 2006 it

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