A very interesting article by Dileep Athavale of the Times of India which really expresses what is now going on in the Indian wine industry. Fruit wines in India are seen to be “on par” with wines made from grapes. Truly excellent quality fruits are grown in India and in great abundance. Wine consumption is also rising fast, so the further development of a thriving fruit wine industry in India is a natural step.
Here is the text of the article which I am sure you will find interesting if you are following the industry as I am:
PUNE: There is an emerging trend in the global wine making process where fruits other than grapes are being used for wine making, dispersing the old belief that a wine can only be made from grapes. Encouraged with its global acceptance and popularity many Indian entrepreneurs are looking at local fruits for making wine.
It has created an entirely new market for fruit wines that promise to please the Indian palette and pose as an answer to the problem of agri-produce preservation in the country.
Dhananjay Datar, Chief Executive Officer of Indian Grape Processing Board (IGPB) says many Indian fruits, which are tropical in nature, lend themselves excellently to being processed into wines.
The concept of fruit wines is, however, not devoid of grape content. “Fruit wine is basically wine made from fruits other than grapes. Quality of any wine is determined by the fruit you use. Some Indian fruits which are suitable for the Indian climate and soil with natural aroma and flavour have the potential to make a good wine. However, fruit wines use grape juice as a base which gives structure to these wines while retaining its original flavours and qualities.”
Datar said Indian wine producers have successfully produced wines from pineapple, strawberry and lychees. Addtionally, the Kokan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli, has done considerable work on fruits such as mango and kokum. Arunachal Pradesh too has a sizeable production of kiwi fruit which can be used to make wine, he said. He added that kiwi fruit wine is very popular in New Zealand.
An important aspect of fruit wines is that these wines take a shorter time to stabilize and mature which means they can come to market faster than the grape wines. Also, these can be made according to seasonality of the fruit, therefore, a winery will not remain idle when there are no grapes to process. “Minor adjustments in the crushing unit are necessary to crush the fruit to suit their nature. Once we have the juice, wine making process is the same,” Datar said.
India with its strong agriculture base produces a variety of tropical fruits. These are rich in aroma and flavours. Fruit wines give a good opportunity in processing the available fruits which in turn will benefit the farmer.
IGPB too is encouraging production of such different kind of wines which will be popular in the market. Processing of fruits at local level will allow easy base conversion and farmers will be assured of the produce returns.
Fruit wines are however, not a completely new concept. Datar said cider which is made from apple juice are being made for centuries and are very famous in the UK, France and North America. Canada, New Zealand and Australia are leaders in fruit wines and have successfully marketed their wines internationally. Some states in USA like Florida, Texas are famous for their local fruit wines.
Presently fruit wines comprise three to five percent of world wine production. It indicates that Indian fruit wines if marketed properly will have a great scope in foreign countries, as these wines will have specific characters of a tropical Indian fruit, Datar said.