For wines, the free run is ending

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on December 16, 2014 Published on December 16, 2014

Grape Processing Board to bring in quality standards by June 1

Indian wine producers will have to confirm to new standards if they want to sell their products in the country after June 2015. The Indian Grape Processing Board (IGPB) has decided to formulate the food safety standards, which will be made mandatory by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Currently, there are no set product definitions for dry wine, sweet wine, liqueur wines and a whole range of other wines, which are either made locally or imported from major wine producing countries.

Chairman of IGPB, Jagadish Holkar told Business Line that as of now even the BIS standards are not mandatory on wine products. Therefore, the new standards have been formulated and have been sent to a scientific committee for scrutiny. Wine contains 70 ingredients, including heavy metals and salts in addition to grape juice.

The new standards will ensure that unreliably made wines and oxidised wines, which are of poor quality, are not sold in the market. “Dumping of sub-standard wines from overseas wine makers will also stop,” Holkar said.

The size of Indian market is pegged at about Rs 2,000 crore and Maharashtra and Karnataka are the largest wine producers and exporters in the country.

Director of Pune based Rhythm Winery, Akalpit Prabhune said that the proposed standards will be good. He however said that rules for proper handling of wines are also required. “Even if wineries ensure standards are met, once the bottles leave the winery, wine makers have very little control over the product. The quality can also deteriorate if the wines are not properly stored by the distributors and retailers,” he said.

Founder Director of Nashik based Rio Sparkling Wines, Ashwin Rodrigues said that though the wine industry definitely needs new standards it should not be “excessive”, which could result in harassment of wine makers.

He said that Indian could adopt systems put in place in France where checks and audits on wineries are conducted.

Published on December 16, 2014
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