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Delhi Wine Club
Wine Grapes may need to be tested for Residue

Posted: Thursday, 29 November 2012 14:43

Wine Grapes may need to be tested for Residue

November 29: Wineries will now have to carry out a dual test, first of their grapes to check for chemical residues and then the wine to ensure the wine India produces is acceptable in the international market, according to a report which attributes the law to the ministry of food processing industries (MFPI) but a query with the ministry suggests that this is only a plan that needs to be part of the wine laws yet to be implemented.

‘Test your grapes  before brewing your wine’, says the report in TOI. (Hopefully, our journalists will understand one day that brewing is a term used for tea, coffee and beer etc. while grapes are always fermented to make wine or grape must left after fermentation may be distilled to make grappa!). The ministry has already identified Pune-based National Research Centre for Grapes as the referral lab and has reportedly even equipped it with testing machinery. Henceforth, all wineries in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka will have to send their samples to the research centre for testing, according to the report.

"So far, residue testing was being conducted only for table grapes and not wine grapes," said Govind Hande, horticulture officer, state agriculture department. "Samples of grapes will now have to be sent for testing before they are harvested. The vineyard will not be allowed to start wine production till it receives a clearance from the research centre regarding the grapes," Hande said.

The second test will be done on the wine samples. "If chemical residues are found in the samples, the company will be told to bring down the residue level. As per the new rule, no winery will be permitted to distribute wine without clearing both the tests," Hande said.

The Maharashtra government  proposes to make Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) as the nodal agency for establishing wine grape parks. It will also act as the link between the Central and State agencies and stakeholders like farmers, processors and service providers, according to the report.

According to a senior official at the MFPI contacted by delWine, this is not yet a policy decision but a part of the suggested wine laws and will have to be approved before making it a law. This could thus be the shape of things to come and the industry needs to brace itself for the mandatory quality check or make any representations to the right people. After all, it is bound to cause a lot of inconvenience to the industry and the usual bureaucratic delays and additional costs, especially in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

The step is being taken as some wine export shipments were reportedly rejected due to excessive residues.


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