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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Monday, May 04 2009. 15:10

NZ Wine Exports Should Tickle Indian Producers

A new survey released by NZIER and commissioned by the New Zealand Winegrowers to assess the state of the NZ wine industry reports that the industry now worth $1.5 billion is established  as an integral part of the NZ economy in just 20 years of existence; it should be a model to emulate for the Indian wine producers and a warning to the government not to miss the golden opportunity of making it an important part of the economy.

New Zealand’s wine exports have grown at 23.8% over the past two years, four times the rate of other all products. It has grown faster than any other industry in memory and rapidly become an iconic part of the New Zealand landscape. Over the past five years only cereals and mineral fuels exports have grown faster than wine.

"For the industry the NZIER report represents a very positive analysis of the contribution grape growing and winemaking make to the New Zealand economy. That contribution totals over $3.5 billion of revenue through our own direct sales and the sales we generate in related sectors such as the tourism and hospitality industries," Winegrowers chairman Stuart Smith says, according to a news report by the NZ National Business Review.

The industry plays a pivotal role in some of the New Zealand’s regions. For instance, Marlborough which is synonymous with quality and typicity of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc accounts for 20% of its entire economy. Maharashtra, in India has done a reasonable job of wine promotion with Karnataka as the late entrant. States like Himachal, Uttaranchal and Andhra and parts of Tamil Nadu could be flourishing with the proper promotion of wine production.

Wine also provides a key tourist boost for New Zealand, accounting for an estimated 225,000 visitors, which add an extra NZ $907 million to the economy. Wine tourists tend to stay longer (an average of 25 days, compared to 20) and spend more per visitor (NZ$ 4030 compared to $2850).

In India, Sula took the lead in wine tourism with a tasting room and a reasonably world-class structure has been commissioned but nothing much has been done by Indage or Grover- though Indage opened a wine bar outside the winery with a modern tasting room inside and Grover has also opened a tasting room recently. The infra-structure to travel to Nashik is practically non-existent. It takes over 5 hours to reach Nashik from the airport with a private taxi and once you reach there, finding the winery locations is a nightmare for most visitors. The tourism ministry does not seem to pay much attention to this aspect either. Even Destination India 2009 project to promote tourism in India seems to have ignored this lucrative part of the tourism. Hopefully, the Nashik grape growers association or the newly formed National Grape Board would have a look at the potential honey pot when it gets down to business.

“The challenge for the industry, particularly in these very tough economic times, is to continue to build on the success to date so we make an even greater contribution to economic development in New Zealand. To achieve that growth the industry will need to continue to invest, focus on quality, be sustainable and be strongly market led. In addition it is vital that governments deliver supportive regulatory environments as a foundation for that growth,’ Mr. Smith says.

Mr. Stuart Smith should visit India sometimes and see the regulatory maze we in India live through! The laws are confusing, the various paradoxes exist and the feeling of guilt and fear to treat it as a food product shows in various actions of the state governments as well as the central government which is slightly more open today than it was a few years ago.


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