NEW WINE LABELLING STANDARDS IN INDIA HOPED TO RAISE GLOBAL IMAGE
By Susan Lewis
India’s wineries started affixing labels according to international standards from this month, helping formalisation of Indian winemaking and is hoped would improve Indian wines’ image in the global market.
The standards, issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), are in line with the global requirements prescribed by the Paris-based Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), of which India is a member.
According to the FSSAI standards, information including origin, sugar level, grape varieties, preservatives used, vintage and health warning are required on the labels.
Old labels and printed cans are given six months to phaseout, they can still be sold in the market up to 31 March 2020.
The FSSAI is confident that the new labelling standards would benefit Indian consumers and would improve the image of Indian wines in the global market.
Yatin Patil, President of All India Wine Producers Association (AIWPA), said: “The new norms would mean that there are proper definitions of red wine, white wine and wine producers would also be required to share details about the root stock that goes into the making of the wine. This would bring in standardisation in the industry.”
India has a young wine industry which is just over a decade old. There are about 110 wineries, of which 72 are in central Maharashtra State. Annual production is about 20 million liters while total consumption is at 15 million liters.
Export accounts for less than 10% of total production. India’s biggest producer Sula Vineyard, in Nashik of Maharashtra State, is also the biggest exporter. The company is the first Asian winery outside China to sell 1 million cases in a year and has recently added China to its list of export markets.
With the new labelling standards in place, more Indian producers may be able to convince distributors in foreign markets to import their wines.
(the writer can be contacted at: SusanLewis@thewinechronicle.com)
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