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Jun 12

Wine Culture In India

Wines in India have been around for thousands of years now. The incidence of wine drinking can be traced back to the scriptures; wine has been referred to as Soma in the Vedic Scriptures and as Drakshasava in Ayurveda. Wine in India has a contradictory image, on one hand it is considered as a festive drink and on the other it is forbidden by a society that largely condemns consumption of alcohol.

Due to globalization and modernization a healthy and responsible wine culture is on the rise in India. The first vineyard in India was planted in 1612 by the British. Wines in India have come a long way since then and the wine market is just beginning to blossom. Some of the Indian wine varieties and their locations are listed below.

The white wine that is manufactured in India is referred to as Chhabri. It is made from Thompson Seedless, Ugni Blanc and Charddonay grapes. It is fermented at 15C for two days and stored in Oak barrels for maturing.

Red wine in India is referred to Anarkali. It is manufactured from Cabernet Sauvignon and Bangalore Purple grapes. The fermentation of this wine is carried out between 27 and 29C for about 10 days. It is then stored in Oak barrels for about 2 years for maturing.

Indian wine is mainly produced in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Karnataka is the major producer of the Bangalore blue variety of grapes. It is grown in Doddaballapur, a place near to Bangalore. Seedless varieties of grapes are produced in Bijapur and are used for making table wine. Karnataka is the second largest producer of wines in India. Maharashtra is another major wine producer. Indian Wines are also exported to France.

Nashik, a city in Maharashtra is considered to be the wine capital of India. Chenin Blanc is widely grown here. In India the grape growing region amounts to 120,000 acres of land. Of this, a mere 2200 acres is used for production of wine grapes. This implies that only 2% of Indian vineyards produce wine quality grapes, the rest 98% is used for production of table wines. If wine in India is to gain popularity and if
Indian wines are to gain acceptance abroad the only way is to increase the area of cultivation of good quality wine grapes. Wines in India need to pick up on the production level if they are to be a hit amongst the connoisseurs of wine.

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