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  • Kodagu homemade wine a hit among tourists

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    January 21st, 2013adminBusiness & Economy

    Shops get wine for Rs. 100 to Rs. 110 a bottle

    Kodagu is not only known for its natural beauty and salubrious climate, but also for oranges, coffee, spices and honey. Latest addition to the famed list is homemade wine. It is good tidings as the sale of homemade wine has been increasing in the district, thanks to the increase in the number of visitors, particularly to Madikeri.

    Tourists have found homemade wine a good addition to their kitty when they go back from Kodagu. Wine is made from not just grapes or gooseberries. It is also made from betel leaves, ginger, pineapple, passion fruit, rice, and banana.

    Sale of homemade wine is good during weekends when there are many visitors to Madikeri. Shops in Madikeri get supply from winemakers for Rs. 100 to Rs. 110 a bottle (750 ml). In turn, they sell it for Rs. 180 a bottle, even exceeding Rs. 200 on occasions and depending on the variety.

    Initially, winemaking and consumption was limited to households in Kodagu. Thanks to home-stay visitors, who flock the district these days, wine has gained extremely in popularity, both in terms of consumption and sale, says Anil of Madikeri. There are specialists who make sugar-free wine.

    Though, according to a rough estimate, more than 500 bottles of wines are sold in Madikeri during weekends, the quantum of business it churned out is yet to be arrived at.

    It is estimated that wine is made in more than 1,000 homes in Kodagu.

    There are reports that Stree Shakti groups too make wine. Wine is sold in a good number of shops across the district.

    Wine sale will be high during winter. It has become part of the culture of Kodagu, according to K.T. Baby Mathew of Madikeri.

    The Karnataka Wine Board, which promoted making of grape wine, can do a lot in this regard, he adds.

    However, presence of liquor was found when samples collected from Virajpet were tested in a laboratory in Bangalore last year. Wine makers are expected to obtain licence from the Karnataka Wine Board.

    The Excise Department had contended that certain winemakers mixed liquor with wine to boost its efficacy. Mixing brandy or whisky or rum will reduce the fermentation period.

    Sunil, a winemaker, denies this and says there is no need for mixing liquor with wine. In some cases, the department had asked winemakers to stop making wine.

    However, certain organisations had taken exception to the conditions imposed by the department stating that winemaking was part of local culture and it could not be stopped.

    source: http://www.TheHindu.com / Home> National> Karnataka / by K.Jeevan Chinnappa / Mysore, January 19th, 2013

 

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