Italy-based Altamura Distilleries has entered India with the launch of its flagship vodka as it is “entirely focused in the on-trade market”, the managing director said.

The vodka distiller – named after the Puglia-based wheat which it uses to make the spirit – is “very optimistic” about the Indian market.

It will debut with its Altamura Vodka and, in the future, import a range of other Italian spirits in North India covering Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. 

The distiller has partnered with Delhi-based distributor Amistad Spirits for the launch.

When asked about the choice to enter India – currently being available in the UK and US among other countries, Altamura Distilleries co-founder and managing director Frank Grillo said: “The size of the Indian market makes it very attractive, moreover the growth of a ‘cocktail culture’ and the appreciation for mixology aligns the market very well with our focus and commitment to the mixologist.”

He added: “We have just launched into India in a limited number of states, our expansion will be tied to finding the right distribution partner who can help us navigate through the regulatory and cost issues associated with each state in India.  While our goal is to be available in every state allowable, we will take a measured approach towards expansion.”

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The Italian company said its marketing efforts in India will be the same as the rest of its markets: a focus on mixology and collaborations to attract new customers.

Grillo said: “The size and opportunity of the India market is matched by its complexity and challenging tax regimes.  For a young brand like us, it is important that we manage our growth and expansion in India with a respect for the complexity of the supply chain and the high cost of doing business in India vs other markets.  We are confident that we can navigate these challenges by collaborating with knowledgeable distribution partners.

“It is too soon for us to fully evaluate the growth trajectory we can achieve in India; we are very optimistic about the market, but we realistically understand that there are many forces, competitive, regulatory, and market-based that will impact us as we start to grow.  Future product introductions in India will be based on the success of our vodka launch.”

Altamura Distilleires said its distribution network will progressively expand, reaching Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Punjab, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir by the end of the first fiscal quarter of 2024.

On Amazon in the UK, Altamura vodka is priced at £31.49 ($39.92) for a 70cl bottle, at an abv of 43%.