UP to become next Wine Producing Indian State
Sanjay Gupta, a local businessman, who is setting up the project on his property Gupta Resorts and has already invested around Rs 4 crore in technology import, machinery and equipment purchased in Germany, said, “The winery would be spread across an area of around 2.5 Bigha. The unit will be installed on NH-58 and will have the capacity to produce 155 liters of wine per day, which means an annual production of over 50,000 liters. It will be set up by the end of this month and we will start operations from February onwards.”
A meeting with orchard owners will be held under the supervision of the district horticulture oﬃcer in the coming days, according to media reports. “Wine tasting facility will be set up outside the unit so that people can taste the quality of the wine. We are expecting a revenues of around Rs 20 crore every year,” Gupta added.
Uday Prakash, excise oﬃcer (Muzaﬀarnagar), said, “Several fruits like lychee, mango, guava, and Java plum are grown in huge quantities in UP but not fully utilised as the produce gets wasted due to lack of proper storage facilities. The new winery will use fruits for fermentation, which will help resolve this issue to a certain extent. The price of the wine will be ﬁxed later, keeping in mind the aﬀordability of locals.”
He also said the winery license was sanctioned at a very fast speed and under guidance from the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and was a part of the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ initiative of the government of India. He also stressed that being close to River Ganga, the water, soil and environment will give a special taste and flavor of the area in the wine and also give employment to the local workers living near Ganga. He was also very positive about the increasing wine consumption in the area.
According to the Additional chief secretary excise, Mr. Sanjay R. Bhoosreddy at least a dozen wine-making units should come up soon in the major fruit producing regions of the state. He says, about 40 per cent- roughly 42.16 lakh tons of fruits, remain unutilised in the State. He puts the cost of fruits left over from consumption at about Rs. 4,216.40 crores. The big advantage will be reduction of wastage of fruit and only the surplus fruit will be used by the wineries.
The media reports claim incorrectly that this will not only be the first winery in UP, but also in Northern India. They seem not to take note of the fruit wineries in Himachal Pradesh, like the state –owned HP Marketing Corporation which has been producing fruit wines for the last 2 decades. In fact, there have been a host of fruit making wineries like Minchie’s which even formed an Association last year to represent fruit wine producers in the state.
“Fruits grown in the region will be used for the production, and farmers will get a fair price for their produce. As many as 30 people will be directly employed while 150 others will get indirect employment,” Bhoosreddy added.
UP Policy production-centric
In a bid to promote wine production in Uttar Pradesh, the state cabinet revised the provisions of the Excise Policy with regards to wineries and procedure to obtain a license for the same in May 2022. Per the amended policy, the application fee for setting up a winery has been fixed at only Rs.2, 500 for the V-1 license.
After getting V-1 the wine producer will need to procure a V-2 license to run the winery, which will be charged at a fixed rate of ₹5,000 p.a. Another FL-3 license is mandatory to fill and store the bottled wines.
The revised rules further state that government will not charge any fees for lab tests for five years, from the start of the winery. Moreover, the revised excise policy also permits an increase in Alcohol by Volume (ABV) at 12 to 24% in wines.