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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Tuesday, July 07 2009. 16:17

Wine Sales Allowed in Bangalore Supermarkets

While the Congress-led government in Delhi has been dithering for years, the new BJP government in Karnataka has initiated several progressive steps in wine promotion including permission for opening of wine boutiques in supermarkets, malls and multiplexes at a very low annual license cost or Rs.5, 000.

`The idea is to popularize wine and also help the grape-growers,’ said Karnataka’s additional chief secretary and development commissioner Dr L Shanthakumari Sundar. She added that the government has amended the relevant rules to allow opening of these boutiques subject to certain conditions  in supermarkets, malls and multiplexes for a low license fee of Rs 5,000 per annum, one of them being that ‘the minimum space required should not be less than 15,000 sq ft .

`This is a departure and welcome change from the existing policy of granting permission for opening of taverns on payment of an annual license fee of Rs 1,000. Taverns allow people  to sit there only and drink. But, wine boutiques will allow people to carry it home,’’ she said.

The area under wine grape cultivation has steadily increased from 600 acres to 1,800 acres after the state government’s initiative to promote wine production and marketing in the state through its exclusive wine policy unveiled two years ago, she said.

The total grape wine production, which was only around 1.5 -1.8 million liters annually has now touched 2-2.5 million litres after the introduction of the wine policy, according to her. In addition, the total number of wineries in the state had increased by nine in the last few months to reach 11.

`Karnataka had only two wineries in Doddaballapur in the Nandi valley and Bijapur in the Krishna valley. Now, nine new wineries had been set up,’ she said.

Farmers, who are growing different types of wine grapes are reportedly receiving around Rs 36 to Rs 38 per kg. However, it is necessary for farmers to bear in mind that wine grapes are cultivated under supervision of experts, preferably in contract farming. Only 4 to 4.5 tonnes of wine grapes should be grown in each acre, she advised.

The State Government has already granted 141.2 acres of land at Thoravi village at Bijapur to the Wine Board for development of a Wine Park. `We plan to start a Wine Institute, where classes will be held for the farmers in wine grape cultivation, besides rearing nurseries of different varieties of wine grapes for the benefit of farmers, ’ she said.

The Karnataka Wine Board has decided to develop the Wine Park with a private partner in a joint venture. We have chosen I-DECK as the agency to identify a private partner to help us in establishing the Wine Park,’ she added.


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