The Indian fruit wine lovers have a lot to celebrate this Diwali season. It has been a great year for India and even better for the fruit wine producers in the country. So much wonderful, high-quality fruit is grown in India, it is so nice to see this development happening.
Fruit wines are now widely accepted, consumption and production is up and quality is increasing quickly. This is all excellent news and constitutes a literal revival of the industry and potentially turning India into a leader of quality fruit wine production.
A lot of investment, the wide-scale promotion has been done by key players in the fruit wine industry which has helped get fruit wines, ciders and mead to the forefront of consumer’s minds and offering great alternatives to grape wines that do not always pair well with traditional Indian cuisine.
The leap forward we have all witnessed this year is thanks to leaders such as Frizzante, Wildberry, Moonshine Meadery, Nipha Winery and consulting firms such as WinePlanet Consulting India, among many others. The biggest producer of wine in India is presently Maharashtra and more specifically the region around the city of Nashik but this is changing fast. Fruit wines are now found and produced in most parts of India. From the foothills of the Himalayas where apples and berries grow, in Goa, home of cashew apples to the southern tip of Karala and Tamil Nadu, a region covered in tropical fruits and of course the mighty coconut.
The country is awash with fruit, a lot of it not able to be stored for long or be transported long distances, so its a very good thing to ferment them into quality wines as a way to use the bounty of the country and provide a healthy and delicious alternative to beer or whisky which has been the staple for a long time.
Indian Fruit wine is now lower-taxed
To add to this good news and one of the biggest news stories of the year for producers at least in Maharashtra is the drastic lowering of excise taxes relating to fruit wines, now putting wines made from fruit on par with their grape cousins.
While wines made from fruits such as mango, jamun, cashew apple, berries, chikoo (sapota), strawberry and jackfruit and honey were earlier paying 100 percent of the manufacturing cost as excise duty, this has now been almost entirely waived, with the government saying that now, fruit wines will now have to pay just Rs 1 per bulk litre.
Manufacturing of a 330 ml bottle of fruit wine would previously attract an excise duty of Rs 30 to Rs 40, but now, this has come down to just 33 paisa.
To add to this wonderful development, there is a real sense of collaboration in the industry, producers and suppliers helping each other out to reach the common goal of getting fruit wines, ciders and mead to consumer’s lips.
The Indian Fruit Wine Industry is Educating Itself
An example of this is the three-day workshop on fruit wine and mead making being held this coming month. Workshops on all aspects of production, winery business set up, laboratory procedures, marketing and more will certainly help the attendees, many who will be new wineries in the start-up stage get to the next level.
With all that is going on in the Indian industry, this coming year will see Indian fruit wines, mead and ciders more and more widely enjoyed by a larger population and start seeing these wonderful products outside of the country.
To all fruit wine lovers, look out for Indian fruit wines, they are coming and this is worth celebrating!