INDIAN WINERIES CRUSHED TABLE GRAPES DUE TO BAD HARVESTS AND TO HELP FARMERS
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Credit: David Mathews
Wineries in Nashik, India’s major wine producing area to the Northwest of Mumbai, have started to crush table grapes to make wines due to a bad harvest caused by unseasonal rain, according to Times of India.
It was said that some Nashik winery owners, who had earlier decided to reduce the volume of grape crushing by 30%, have instead decided to procure table grapes to make up the shortfall to help local farmers who cannot sell their produce due the national lockdown.
Times of India quoted the All-India Wine Producers’ Association (AIWPA) as saying that wineries have crushed around 18,000 tonne of grapes so far, including 7,000 tonne of tables grapes. Around 12.5 million litres of wine has been produced so far this season.
The news media quoted a senior AIWPA official as saying that buying table grapes from local farmers is the most viable solution available to both the grape farmers and wineries, when grape supplies to the domestic market were affected.
The official said premium wine will be made using wine grapes, while cheaper wine will be made using table grapes.
Pradeep Pachpatil, Chairman of Nashik-based Soma Wines, said: “The vineyards growing wine grapes were badly damaged due to the unseasonal rainfall in September and October. We had to reduce our target. However, we later decided to use table grapes. We crushed 250 tonne of grapes, including 150 tonne of table grapes,”
He added that procuring table grapes from farmers can help them during the current crisis.
Shivaji Aher, Chairman of Nashik-based winery Renaissance, said they have also bought table grapes from farmers for the first time.
“We used to use only wine grapes to make our wine. But table grape farmers were badly affected this season because of the lockdown — they were unable to send their produce to domestic markets. To help them, we have already procured 150 tonne of grapes for crushing in past two weeks. We will procure an additional 150-200 tonne,” Aher told Times of India.
Sources from one of the major wineries in Nashik said they have completed grape crushing. Apart from the wine grapes, they have also crushed around 5,000 tonne of table grapes and said that all their tanks are full of wine now.
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