Lucknow, Oct 15: The first wine, made in Uttar Pradesh, is likely to be served during the ongoing festival season.
The excise department has given its go-ahead to a Muzaffarnagar-based entrepreneur to commence commercial operations of the winery and the owner of the unit has, in turn, shortlisted brand names of the products and is going to register them with the department soon.
The promoter is planning to organise experiential tours for individuals to visit the vintnery-cum-resort on the Delhi-Dehradun national highway in Muzaffarnagar.
Manoj Gupta, who would produce the wine from locally sourced fruits, said the 750-ml and 330-ml wine bottles will hit the retail stores before Diwali.
In the initial phase, Gupta plans to launch guava-based wine while later, five more fruits (mango, strawberry, blueberry, peach and lychee) will be crushed for extracts to produce wine.
“We are going to launch wine of different flavours and observe which variety is most preferred and scale up the production accordingly,” said Gupta who has been granted permission to produce 60,000 litres of wine in a year.
The vintnery is going to be run by half a dozen seasoned experts from Nashik in Maharashtra where grape-based wine has been produced for several decades.
To improve income and opportunities for farmers/horticulturists, the Uttar Pradesh government in March 2022 amended the excise policy to introduce vintnery rules through which commercial wine production could take place.
Offering a major incentive, the state decided not to levy excise duty on wine produced through locally sourced fruits.
Excise commissioner Senthil C. Pandian said the local district excise officer will collect at least two samples of the young wine in quart bottles and get it examined at the laboratory for potability and actual alcoholic strength before the bottles are launched in the market.
Muzaffarnagar district excise officer R.B. Singh said local retailers and bar owners would be asked to display the UP-made wine before customers within the stores. Gupta said the vintnery has been set up within a 20-room resort which is being decked to provide comfortable stay to the visitors who show interest in learning the production process.
Equipment, machinery and tools required for production will be procured at a cost of Rs 4 crore. The price of the 750-ml bottle of various fruit varieties would range between Rs 800 and Rs 1,500.
Meanwhile, another wine unit situated in Bareilly is also expected to launch its products within this year, said officials.