International Wine Festival to be held in March

Bangalore: Showcasing the potential of the agro-based grapes and wine industry, a three-day "Interantional Wine Festival" would be held here from March 2 by Karnataka Wine Board (KWB).

Fifty wineries, including 10 global wineries, have evinced interest to participate in the event. Besides, a host of machinery suppliers and agro-input service providers will also exhibit their latest offerings, KWB Chairman Subhir Hari Singh told reporters here on Friday.

The festival will also have wine tasting sessions aimed at encouraging wine consumption and offer wineries a chance to interact directly with consumers. "The IWF 2012 is a major stepping stone for Karnataka grapes economy. Karnataka with 17,356 hectare under grapes and an estimated annual production of 3.18 lakh metric tonnes is second only to Maharashtra both in terms of acreage and production," he said.

Against this backdrop, encouraging setting up of processing units and promoting wine industry assumes great importance in the larger interest of the economy and farmers (grape growers) in particular, Singh said.

"Creating awareness about grapes & wine amongst farmers, entrepreneurs & the general public, providing Karnataka wineries a global exposure and facilitating technological tie-up`s between domestic entrepreneurs & foreign wine makers will be the major focus of the wine festival", he said.

The Government is keen to ameliorate the problems of grape growers said Vandita Sharma, Principal Secretary, Horticulture.

A sustainable long term solution was the need of the hour and the wine festival was a dedicated attempt to provide forward linkages to the agro-based industry. The event will also provide a platform for the stakeholders to further nurture wine grape cultivation and wine production in Karnataka, she said.