India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Monday, January 25 2010. 13:27

Feature: Should Goa be the Target for WTO

With the slab rates for excise and the registration fees being  same for all wines by basing them on the maximum retail price only and even reducing the annual license fee for restaurants selling imported wines, Goa seems to have created a uniform playing field for Indian and imported wines and may not be the State to  censure by WTO, feels Subhash Arora.

One often reads the name of Goa clubbed with Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi in  wine articles so quoting visitors and officials from the EU. So I decided to check it out during my recent visit to Goa and found there was no ground for the discrimination because of the clever policy of the state which only indirectly makes things tougher for the imported wines.

The label registration charges have been made uniform, says Mario Sequeira, who produces Port as well as other wines. He also imports bulk wine from Portugal, besides representing a producer from Chianti Classico region in Italy. Registration charges for wines costing from Rs.100-500 are Rs.12, 000 while those costing above Rs, 500 are Rs.20, 000, he confirmed.

Similarly the excise duty on every bottle sold is at a slab rate as shown in the following table:

MRP                          Excise duty/bulk liter

Upto Rs.100                Rs. 6
Rs. 100-200                 Rs. 10
Rs.200-300                  Rs. 15
Rs.300-500                  Rs. 50
Rs.500-1000                Rs. 100
Rs.1000- 2000             Rs. 200
Rs. 2000-5000             Rs.400
Rs.5000+                     Rs.600

(For the sake of simplification, rates like 200, 300 etc.have been kept overlapping)

While most ports sell for under Rs 100 thus attracting the nominal excise duty of Rs.6, there is a plethora of wines selling at Rs.199-this includes the ubiquitous Zinzi from the UB group and Vin Ballet from Indage.

This may also explain why the Castelinho label sold by Tonia belonging to the Sequeira family is priced at Rs.299 and the Susegad at Rs.499.

Aman Dhall of Brindco and a Director in Grover Vineyards agrees, pointing out that the Santé from Maharashtra sells for Rs.300 while the other mainstream labels are priced at under Rs 500. Of course, Dhall decried the high registration charges and further concurring that Maharashtra and Karnataka are violating the rules though they are not  ‘killing the goose that lays the golden egg, ’ like Delhi, Chennai, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Echoing the same thoughts, Abhay Kewadkar of UB said the market is unfortunately not ripe for imported wines as the locals prefer low cost wines and Zinzi meets their requirements beautifully. It was for the same reasons that ‘we decided to exit from the Goa market this year, after trying it out last year,’ says Dharti Desai, CEO of FineWinesnMore Mumbai, who pulled out of this market this year as they found it unviable.

Recently, the license fee for restaurants wishing to sell imported wines was also reduced from the earlier Rs.100, 000 to Rs.25, 000 making it more palatable, motivating several stand alone restaurants to add imported wines in their wine lists. ‘We are looking at being more aggressive in Goa with the new policy announced,’ says Sumit Sehgal, Chief marketing Manager for Prestige Wines, importers Torres and other labels. Like Brindco, his sentiments are the same regarding the registration charges-which are too high, he laments.

With all the obvious difficulties faced by the Goan market, pressure from WTO seems to be the least of the worries for the market. One hopes the government is more reasonable about the excise duties for higher priced wines and particularly the registration charges-if it wants to encourage better class of tourists- Indian or ‘imported’-and give its denizens a wider choice.

Subhash Arora


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.

Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet