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Wine bottling unit - Representational pic

Cheers! UP red carpet for wine makers

Berries, peach, mango aplenty

UP Excise policy 2021-22 which exempts fruit wine from the consideration fee for the next five years.

By VIRENDRA SINGH RAWAT

LUCKNOW, Sep 28 (The CONNECT) -To supplement the overarching aim of boosting farm income, the Uttar Pradesh government is rolling out the red carpet for fruit winemakers to set up production units in the state.

Considering UP is among India’s top horticultural producers in sub-tropical fruit varieties viz. berries, peach, mango etc, winemaking is now seen as a promising agro sub-sector to fetch remunerative prices to farmers, especially during glut season by encashing in on the growing popularity of wines, especially youth and upwardly mobile.

For the uninitiated, the state has already incorporated a provision for new wineries in the UP Excise policy 2021-22, which exempts fruit wine from the consideration fee for the next five years.

Moreover, efforts are being made to identify areas where fruits are produced in abundance so as to link it with the state’s flagship One District One Product (ODOP) scheme.

Taking the agenda forward, UP additional chief secretary (excise) Sanjay Bhoosreddy on Monday here had talks with some leading winemakers of the country. The meeting was attended by representatives of Indo Spirits Unit, Gardens Organics Farm Unit, Good Draft Cellar Unit, Sula Vineyard Unit, All India Wine Producers Association (AIWPA) and so on.

To sweeten the winemaking landscape, the excise department will grant license to vintneries for retail sale in their premises at a fee of Rs 50,000 only, while wine tasting will be allowed against a fee of Rs 2,500.

Under the existing policy, the state is looking to encourage the sale of wine in hotels and restaurant bars, apart from premium retail, model shop, foreign liquor and beer shops.

“The government intends to double the farm income and therefore emphasis is being laid on the promotion of cash crops including fruits and vegetables. The promotion of wineries is part of the government’s efforts to boost farm income,” Bhoosreddy noted.

At present, there are about 12,700 outlets of foreign liquor, beer, model shop, premium retail vends in UP, which qualify for selling India made and imported wines. The UP government has assured winemakers of providing the necessary support.

Meanwhile, the winemakers have also evinced interest in foraying in UP and contended an array of fruits could be utilised for making wines. AIWPA president Jagdish Holkar discussed the procedure of settling up a winery in Maharashtra, which is the leading winemaking state with high quality wines of different brands being manufactured in Nashik.

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