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‘Excise laws must be changed to make real Indian brandy'

| Updated on: Apr 01, 2012

State excise laws must be changed so that real brandy can be made in the country, says the Indian Grape Processing Board.

It wants brandy, distilled from wine, to be recognised as a separate category, and has made a strong pitch for changing the excise laws in the States.

The brandy made in India is from molasses to which brandy essence is added, while globally the real brandy is distilled from wine, said Mr Jagadish Holkar, Chairman of the Board.

“Indian excise laws were codified in the bygone era when there was no proper definition of grape-based brandy. The law needs to be changed so that the right definition of brandy, which is tune with the global definition, is adopted. With a well defined law, Indian brands could be developed,” he said.

Mr Holkar said that preliminary efforts are being made to develop an Indian brandy just like Cognac of France. A number of Indian wineries are already in talks with established European companies like Remy Martin and Camus Cognac for developing their brands here.

He said the demand from the international market could also be explored. Marketing could commence with the Indian diaspora and restaurants serving Indian cuisine overseas. In Canada, there is good demand from the Indian community for Indian wines, which could also be explored for selling brandy.

Since Maharashtra is the largest producer of wines in India, the Board has already made a representation to the State Chief Minister and the State Excise Minister for making changes in the law.

The Board sees good opportunity for wineries to further diversify their business and cut the losses they had incurred over the last four years.

However, Mr Abimalek David, Vice-President (Sales), FineWinesnMore, a wine seller, said that the Indian climate is not suitable for maturing brandy. As the evaporation losses would be very high. It would be very difficult to make it here, he said.

> rahulw@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 12, 2018

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