Grover Vineyards, one of the three largest wine producers in India, is hoping to seal a marketing and distribution deal with the country's top wine importer, Brindco, by the end of the month.

Grover Vineyards MD Kapil Grover told just-drinks today (2 January) that a tie-up with Brindco would be "the perfect fit" for the two companies.

Under the prospective agreement, Brindco would take a 20% stake in Grover Vineyards, which is based in Bangalore and is recognised as one of India's leading premium wine producers.

Mr. Grover said the deal would boost the availability of the company's wines throughout India, where wine consumption is rising by around 30% a year.

"The market will grow like that for the rest of my lifetime - and I'm only 50," Grover said. "We've just had Seagram enter the market and United Breweries will enter next year. We are perceived as quality leaders and, with Brindco coming in on marketing and distribution, we can be more on the technical side. It's a perfect fit."

Grover Vineyards has also tied up a bottling deal with a firm in Maharashtra, India's wine heartland. However, the company is looking to build its own winery there in order to get around the steep levies slapped on bottled wine imported into the state.

Mr. Grover said: "Because of the tax policy, we have to do something in Maharashtra to cater for Bombay, which is a big market. We plan to set up a winery in two to three years."

Grover Vineyards, which produces around 1m bottles of wine a year, has also signed a deal that will see a prominent local investor take a 15% stake in the company this year.

French Champagne house Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, already holds a 14% stake in Grover Vineyards.