Haryana Joins Wine Making States
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Posted: Monday, 04 October 2010 12:14
Haryana Joins Wine Making States

The erstwhile Prohibition State of Haryana joins the wine producing Indian states with the launch of Luca and Zoya range of wines manufactured by Nirvana Biosys which ferments imported juice concentrate with the  technical assistance and JV with Mauritius-based E.C. Oxenham and CY Ltd., a family-owned French wine company, writes Subhash Arora.

Eight brands of ‘Luca’ and the wine-for-the young ‘Zoya’ including Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends have been already introduced in the 21 shops in Gurgaon, Haryana, according to M K Rustagi, Joint Managing Director of Nirvana Biosys Ltd. which has a manufacturing set-up in Bawal Industrial Area, off Highway NH-8 in Rewari District of Haryana. Soon to be introduced are the carbonated, Spumante version of white wine and a low alcohol off-dry, Frizzante Rosé primarily for young women and novices. It will soon introduce Mitra, a low-end ‘Port’ wine too.

‘The excise license has just been received from Delhi, where we should be able to move the stocks to the private shops in a couple of days,’ says Dr. J P Gupta, CMD and the key promoter with an M.Tech degree from IIT- Delhi and a PhD from the University of Toronto. The project was started barely year and a half ago on two acres of land in the industrial area.

A special addition to their portfolio is the Luca lychee wine made from the Indian juice. The company is almost ready to bottle the mango wine, awaiting filtration. Dr. Gupta says that they have already received active export enquiries for both of these fruit wines.  ‘no one is making these two wines in India at the present time,’ he says. Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation Ltd is the only leading fruit wine producer, making wines from apples, pears, peaches, plums, citrus, raisins etc.

The 1 million- liter winery has the scalability to 5 million liters without much difficulty or more financial requirements, say the two Indian partners, owning 70% between themselves-the balance being held by the foreign equity participants.

The unique advantage of the project, claims Dr. Gupta, is that the collaborators have not only provided the technical support, the French winemaker and the project engineer from the collaborators in Mauritius are always present 24*7 physically at the winery to oversee production as well as quality; Steve Oxenham, the winemaker and Brian Oxenham are directly supervising the production at the factory presently. The JV partners have 75 years of winemaking experience.

‘We propose to price our wines competitive with Sula but are sure the quality would be better,’ says Dr. Gupta with confidence. ‘Luca is priced around Rs.500 and he Zoya will be around Rs.300 and designed for the younger generation, with modern labels and more fruity flavours but without compromise on quality,’ says Rustagi who heads the marketing operation too, adding. ‘Lychee and Mango wines will be priced higher as they are more expensive to produce and are unique.’

The project has been aided through the subsidy given by the Ministry of Food Processing Industry for setting up food processing units. A soft loan has also been obtained through the Ministry of Science and Technology because of the unique nature of the project, adds Dr. Gupta.

Nirvana Biosys is the fist wine manufacturing facility in India which is designed to make wine from imported fruit juice. The promoters are confident that they will secure a prominent seat for themselves in the Indian wine industry and pave the way for industry to develop in North India.

Subhash Arora

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