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Vijay Amritraj partners Grover Zampa wines

Internationally renowned professional tennis player - and James Bond star - Vijay Amritraj has joined forces with India’s largest premium wine producer Grover Zampa to launch a range of fine wines inspired by his feats on the tennis court and style of play.

The Grover Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection consists of a white and a red wine from some of the best vineyards in India. The white is a barrel-fermented varietal Viognier and the red wine is a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier. Both wines will be distributed in the UK market through Cranbrook Wines and Myliko International with RRPs of around £14.99.

Amritraj is India’s best-known tennis export, reaching no. 16 on the world rankings in 1980 and beating many of the world’s leading players during his 20-year career, including John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.  He also enjoyed a brief acting career, starring as M16 agent Vijay in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy and appearing as a starship captain in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. More recently Amritraj was a UN Messenger of Peace from 2001 until 2006 before setting up the Vijay Amritraj Foundation, supporting innocent victims of disease, tragedy and circumstance in India.

Commenting on the wines Amritraj says: “It gives me great pleasure to associate with Grover Zampa Vineyards on this special collection. Their wines made with absolute perfection bring together the element of passion and sophistication.”

Grover Zampa is one of the oldest and most prestigious wine producers in India. The company owns vineyards in both the Nandi Hills in Karnataka and in the Nashik Valley in Maharashtra where the natural protection of both the Nandi Hills and the terraced slopes of Nashik offer fresh climate, fertile soil and the perfect conditions for vine growing. Working with limited yields, sustainable viticultural practices and selective hand harvesting, the winemaking is carried out by a team of local oenologists under the direction of international French wine consultant Michel Rolland.

Sumedh Mandla, chief executive officer of Grover Zampa, comments: “Working with such a well known and respected athlete as Vijay really reflects the quality and success we expect from the wines, considering the premium style of wine produced at Grover Zampa. We are looking forward to showing the UK market the premium wine that Indian soils can produce, and we are delighted to be hosting the world wide launch in the UK during Wimbledon Fortnight, a market we highly prioritise.”

Pictured: Vijay Amritaj and Karishma Grover

1 July 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor