Soul Tree was founded in 2009 by Melvin D’Souza and Alok Mathur, who met while they were studying for MBAs at Oxford. As such we should expect a sound business model and marketing expertise – but what will be the quality of their wines?
Soul Tree buys in grapes from Nasik-based farmers and produces wine at a modern winery in Nasik where bottling also takes place. The first vintage range in 2010 consisted of a white Chenin Blanc, a red Zinfandel and a Cabernet Chenin rose produced under the direction of the late M P Sharma. These were then exported to the UK for sale in restaurants, pubs and bars.
Given the British love affair with Indian food, it doesn’t take an overly large stretch of the imagination to envisage Indian wine expanding rapidly in the British wine market – and Soul Tree are clearly positioning themselves on that basis. To succeed, they will need to ensure that their creative marketing is matched by consistency of quality distinctive wines at an attractive pricing.
D’Souza and Mathur are pioneers attempting to blaze a trail through the all too often crusty wine scene. Will we be toasting them in twenty years time for having added an extra dimension to UK wine-drinker’s palates? We certainly wish them well.