Agri Business

Wine growers unfazed by rain woes

Balaji Narasimhan Bangalore | Updated on November 23, 2017



Though many areas of the country are struggling due to water shortage, wine growers based predominantly out of Maharashtra and Karnataka are not worried because this could help them get a better harvest.

“Vineyards don't need much water. If you have less water, you get a higher yield and thicker wine," said Venkatraman Reddy, Managing Director, Heritage Wines.

But this doesn't mean that very low rainfall is good for vines either.

“If you have more rain, you get more grapes, but quality is low. If you get low rain, both quality and quantity goes down,” said V.S. Patil, a wine consultant.

He said that if you get medium rain, you get reduced quantity of grapes, but the quality is better.

Neeraj Agarwal, Senior Vice-President – Vineyard Operations, Sula Vineyards, said that this means contending with the vagaries of nature and unpredictable rainfall.

“We have had erratic rainfall in the last three to four years. From 2004 to 2006, we had twice the usual rainfall, but for the last three years, we have only got around 60 to 70 per cent rains,” he said.

In order to cope with the rains, Agarwal said that Sula uses rainwater harvesting to tide over the years when rainfall is low.

When rainfall is high and there is water logging, he said that the plants grow aerial roots and traditional roots suffocate because of too much water.

But this happens only if there is water logging for two weeks or more.

The major problem with excessive rains happens only if it is during April and May, said Patil.

“This is the maturity period. If rains are high during this time, the berry size goes up. It becomes more watery and the aroma will come down,” he said.


Published on September 07, 2012

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