Mangaluru, Nov 26,2016: The Karnataka Wine Board, along with the Horticulture Department, has for the first time put in place a wine festival, featuring the best wines. Mangalureans will reel under the display of the best wines at the three-day Mangaluru Wine Fest at Kadri Park in Mangaluru from today, Nov 26, Saturday.
Karnataka Wine Board president Raveendra Shankar Mirje told a bevy of media representatives Nov 25, Friday that the board will showcase the state’s wine heritage at the festival in order to popularise the wine culture and create awareness on the health benefits of drinking wine. At the three-day Wine Festival, visitors can taste wine and a 10% discount will be offered for more than 150 brands of wine. At least 12 major wineries, including two from Maharashtra, are expected to participate. Noting that wine consumption was the highest in Mangaluru after Bengaluru, Mirje said the board has been promoting wineries in the state to support grape growers and has drawn up plans to promote them as part of its drive to popularise wine culture.
Allied attractions : Besides wineries, food courts to facilitate food pairing with the wine, music, entertainment, cultural programmes are added attractions. This festival will also have a technical session on grape cultivation and wine education to train and encourage moderate wine consumption besides offering wineries an opportunity to directly interact with consumers. The festival will also feature grape stomping (smashing grapes with bare feet) which is usually done in wineries.
About 190 wine taverns and 39 boutiques have been set up in the state, mostly in Bengaluru and north Karnataka, after the board was formed with the framing of Karnataka Grape Processing and Wine Policy 2007. The concept of wine taverns and boutiques has made inroads in places like Belagavi.
Managing director T Somu said that the licence fee to open a wine boutique (for counter sales) with a minimum built-up floor area of 200 sq ft is Rs 5,000 and the licence fee for a wine tavern is Rs 1,000. The Excise Department issues the licence, which is renewed every year. He said that the wine industry has been growing by 25% to 30% after the Wine Policy was introduced. Prior to setting up of the board, there were only two wineries in Karnataka, against the 17 the exist now. The grape growing area has increased to 2,000 acres from mere 500 acres prior to 2007. Wine production in Karnataka has touched 1 crore litres last year from 5 lakh litres in 2005-06. The income from the sale of wine has increased to Rs 193 crore last year from Rs 60 crore before 2007. In fact, the board expects income of Rs 210 crore this year.
The wine fest will be inaugurated by District-in-Charge Minister Ramanath Rai. Wine stalls will be inaugurated by Minister for Horticulture and Agricultural Marketing S S Mallikarjuna. The entry fee is Rs 20 and is open from 11 am to 9 pm. Credit cards/debit cards will be accepted at the wine festival.