Wine festival for three day in Mangaluru from today

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Ravindra Shankara Mirje, president, Karnataka Wine Board (centre), speaking at a press meet in Mangaluru on Friday.

Twelve wineries will showcase more than 150 brands

A three-day wine festival will begin at Kadri Park here at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Organised by the Karnataka Wine Board and Department of Horticulture, 12 wineries from Karnataka and Maharasthtra will showcase more than 150 brands, according to Ravindra Shankar Mirje, chairman of the board.

Addressing presspersons here on Friday, Mr. Mirje said the festival was being organised to promote a market for wines. It also aims to convert hard liquor consumers to wine drinkers for better health.

There would be technical sessions on wine grape cultivation, wine education to train and encourage moderate wine consumption, besides affording wineries an opportunity to directly interact with consumers.

The chairman said that 10 per cent discount would be offered on all brands of wine sold at the festival. Due to the shortage of currency notes after demonetisation, all wineries at the festival would have card-swiping machines.

Yogesh H.R., Deputy Director, Department of Horticulture, Dakshina Kannada, said children would be allowed to take part in the grape stomping at the festival.

The entry fee for adults is Rs. 20.

T. Somu, managing director of the board, said that Karnataka sold wine worth Rs. 178 crore during 2014-15. The State’s sales during 2015-16 stood at Rs. 193 crore and the target for the current financial year is Rs. 210 crore. “Sales is increasing at the rate of 25 to 30 per cent every year,” he said.

In terms of quantity, the sales went up from 5 lakh litres in 2005-06 to one crore litres during 2015-16. There are 17 wineries in Karnataka.

Mr. Somu said that Mangaluru is the second-highest wine consuming city in the State after Bengaluru. The festival is being organised here for the first time to boost sales further.

He said that about 2,000 acres in the State are under grape cultivation. The State government implemented the Karnataka Grape Processing and Wine policy in 2007.

The board organises festivals in different parts of the State.

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