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Wineries to raise grape crushing by 20% this season

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Nashik: After a drop in grape crushing during the last season following the Supreme Court ban on sale of wine and liquor along highways, the wineries in the district are in a positive mood now and have increased their grape crushing target by 20%.
Last year, the wineries had reduced the crushing target by 30%, following the ban.

In 2017, wineries had crushed 17,000 tonne grapes and produced 1.1 crore litre wine. In the next year, the figures had come down to 12,000 tonne grapes and just 78 lakh litre wine.

“There had been some issues last year and wineries had to reduce grape crushing. But all the problems have been solved. Now, there is a positive sign in the market as sale of wine is growing at the rate of 20%,” said Yatin Patil, president of the All India Wine Producers’ Association.

“During the coming grape season, wineries may crush around 14,500 tonne grapes and produce around 95 lakh litre wine,” he added.

“Wine sale has improved in the past few months. We have increased our grape crushing target by 20% to 12,000 tonne for the coming season,” said an official from Sula Vineyards, which has 70% of total market share in wine sale in the domestic market.

Pradeep Pachpatil, chairman and MD of Soma Vineyards said, “Every year, we crush 100 tonne grapes and produce around 70,000 litres of wine. This season, we have set a target of crushing 150 tonne grapes to produce 1.05 lakh litre wine.”

Maharashtra accounts for almost 90% of the total grapewine production in India, while Nashik contributes 80% of the total production.

The grape harvest season usually begins in December and continues up to April, while the early grapes (around 2.5% of the total 2 lakh acre vineyards in the district) are harvested from the second half of September and continued till November end.

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