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MOU for Ten Wineries in Karnataka

Posted: Saturday, 03 March 2012 10:22

MOU for Ten Wineries in Karnataka

Mar 03 : The Karnataka Wine Board (KWB) on Friday reportedly signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with 10 companies to set up new wineries in the state. The KWB would give subsidy ranging from Rs 4.5 to 5 million for Greenfield winery projects as was announced in the Karnataka Grape Processing and Wine Policy in 2007.

The MoUs were signed at the inauguration of the three-day wine International Wine Festival (IWF) being held in Bangalore from 2-4 March, ostensibly to highlight the efforts of KWB since the progressive Karnataka Wine Policy was announced in 2007, albeit a few years later than desirable. As anticipated, the initial response to the Policy was slow but the idea seems to be picking up momentum now, especially as the recent recession has been weathered well.

According to a report in Business Standard, the wineries that have entered into MoU are 1. Nisarga Wines Pvt Ltd, 2. Indira Ambience Pvt Ltd, 3 Rico Wineries, 4 Krishna Valley Wines, 5 Heritage Wines, 6 Elite Wineries, 7 Krishnamriga vineyard, 8 Dada Winery, 9 Nandi Valley Winery and 10 Alpine Wineries Pvt Ltd  which is the most important addition to the Karnataka wine industry and has already brought out its first vintage this year under technical guidance of the French flying winemaker Stéphane Derenoncourt.

(For an earlier related article, visit

The Bangalore International Wine Fest (IWF- 2012 ) is being organised at the Palace Ground by the Karnataka Wine Board and has been co-sponsored by Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Ltd. (KAPPEC),  Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), National Horticulture Board and Karnataka State Beverages Corporation Limited  (KSBC).  Around 50 wineries including 10 international wineries are expected to participate in the 3-day Fest being held from March 2-4. About 20,000 visitors are expected to pay Rs.300 entry charges to visit the fair, according to the organisers.

In a significant development Umesh Katti, Karnataka Minister for Agriculture , urged the chief minister to remove the wine industry from the control of excise department. This is one of the major procedural blocks hindering the growth of wine industry in India and the State could really leapfrog with the co-operation of the state government. As he said in his speech, ‘by removing controls wine industry can be promoted and will encourage farmers to grow more wine variety grapes.’

Karnataka is practically the only other producer of wine grapes in the country after Maharashtra although a few other states like Andhra Pradesh do grow eating grapes- India is the 9th largest producer of grapes, according to a report by OIV and as reported earlier by delWine in June last year. The state horticulture department and wine board have reportedly initiated steps to increase the area under wine grape cultivation to 5,000 acres (over 2000 hA) by 2015. Simultaneously, the state aims to double wine production from the present 2.5 million liters, according to the report.  Currently, this is the total area under vine in India, after almost 40% of ripping of vines in Maharashtra during the last couple of years due to non lifting of grapes by several wineries feeling the crunch of recession.

Interestingly, while the Karnataka Wine Board is trying hard to take full credit for organizing the first wine festival to promote wines as also emphasized by Vandita Sharma, (IAS), principal secretary, horticulture, the festival has already been held twice during the last couple of years by private organisers under the aegis of the Karnataka Wine Board which had confirmed to delWine on both occasions that it was supporting the event. Details of the previous event may be checked out at

According to Mr Suresh Chandra, Managing Director of the Karnataka Wine Board, besides the Indian wineries-old and new, wines from countries like the USA, Canada, France and new Zealand will also be available for tasting. An interesting aspect is that the Festival is open from11 am till 9:30 pm at night, giving people in all walks of life an opportunity to taste wines. It will certainly enhance wine awareness and culture in the state- there are lessons to be learnt for local governments like Delhi, who ought to visit the festival and give a report for perusal and action in Delhi too.

Subhash Arora


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