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Bangalore International Wine Festival goes Official

Posted: Monday, 12 March 2012 11:17

Bangalore International Wine Festival goes Official

March 12 : International Wine Festival 2012 held in Bangalore last week was organised by Karnataka Wine Board, making it perhaps first such official event held by a governmental agency giving it an extra dimension of importance and a rare, if not the first such step taken forward by the government to recognize and cooperate with the growth of wine culture in the country, writes Sidd Banerji who travelled from Mumbai to check it out.

The colorful and well attended event of merit was spearheaded by Mr. K.G. Suresh Chandran, Managing Director of the Board and Ms. Vandita Sharma IAS, Principal Secretary, Deptt. of Horticulture; this maiden venture went as a definite success. No wonder the city's wine lovers-young and old, poured in at the sprawling venue of Palace Ground in appreciable numbers- around 6-7000 people attended the Fest for which the entry had been jacked up to Rs.300 this year.

The weekend of 2-4 March opened a new chapter in Karnataka's wine history. Participation was from national players like Sula, Grover, Reveilo, Four Seasons, Nine Hills as well from number of regional upcoming and challengers like Big Banyan, Seasons, Alpine, Elite, Surya, Kinvah, Heritage,  Krishnamuruga, Nandi Valley, Magpie etc.

A redeeming feature of the festival was signing of 10 MOUs with the government by wine producers from the State. While the large stalls of national players had a real busy time attending to inquisitive and eager audience, striking example was set by the professional and most befitting service, thrown in by the new but strong contenders in the field.

A separate hall had seminars running on both production and basics as well on marketing, PR and guided wine tasting by Sula.

Senior wine consultant JVM Mohan Rao and his team of youngsters gave a laudable service to the continuously floating crowd at their booth with their wines. Many were made from local grapes too.

Ice wine of Organic Estates Canada was the solitary representative of the type of wine, newly added to the Indian wine market.

Subrata Banerji, GM of the Chancery Hotels group commented, “it’s a must-Fest for us, not only to find out what’s happening but also to assess the region’s rise in the wine activities. I am glad Bangalore took the step".

While best of their produce were on display, sale and tasting gathered a huge market feedback for the producers. It was activity and fun all through the 3 days of festivity and glamour. The lawns all around the venue were full of food courts, amusement corners, vintage car shows, flea market, grape stomping and music from well known bands- Euphoria and Swarathma.

Krishnamruga of Tumkur district launched their Blackbuck Cabernet-Shiraz, their easy drinking red and Viognier their white with fruit in nose and having sharp but pleasant palate.

Alpine Wineries of Bangalore having their vineyards and winery in Mysore district, showed their passion to go for uncompromising quality wines. Their offers at the festival were brands- ORO, Vindiva Classic and Vindiva Reserve, all with their red as well whites. They were one of the 10 MOU signatories at the inauguration. They ran continuous training and teaching classes within their well planned and spread out booth. Attended by trainers and sommeliers from Portugal and France, they have certainly shown the seriousness they have attached to their wine business.

Amongst the other locals, Elite Vintage Winery (I) P Ltd., of Bagalkot district presented their wide variety and had signed another MOU with Karnataka Government. Gopal Dada Patil of Dada Winery from Belgaum district was one of the signatories with total rural background.

Kinvah brand a popular and well spread unit of Bangalore while presented their in market labels declared new launches of Kinvah Reserve, Kinvah Brut and Nandis Creek.

One returned from the festival with a definite note that the industry has come of age and the state government is putting their attention "to educate and create awareness among all sections of the society about wine, wine grape cultivation, wine making, wine consumption and health", quoted from editorial of Ms. Vandita Sharma IAS.

Sidd Banerji


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