The interest in wine tours has picked up in Nashik, the country’s wine bowl, with promotions in full swing for the upcoming Grape Harvest 2014 festival, which will be held between February 14 and February 16. Over 100 bookings have been received for the 3-day period as opposed to 20-30 bookings for wine tours in Nashik on a monthly basis, says Manoj Jagtap, coordinator, All India Wine Producers Association.
The Indian Grape Processing Board (IGPB) and India Wine Producers Association, with the support of government agencies, will be hosting Grape Harvest 2014 at the Vinchur Wine Park in Nashik district. Jagtap, a veteran of Nashik's wine industry, has been conducting wine tours alongside making wine accessories and preservation systems for wineries in Nashik.
"Wine tours have been gaining popularity over the last two-three years among the young and upwardly mobile, who are showing a preference for wine. Wine is being seen as a healthier option as well,” he said. “The interest this time has increased because of the add-ons that would come with the festival. A normal wine tour would include a visit to eight wineries in the Vinchur Wine Park. The maximum number of wineries in the country are located in Nashik district. There are 93 wineries in the country, and Maharashtra has 75 of them.
Jagdish Holkar, chairman, IGPB, who is in Delhi to promote the festival, says wine tours are a great way to connect with the consumer. Wine-tasting allows the consumer to understand wines better and wine tours offer a unique experience, something they would normally never opt for, he explained.
Nilesh Kale, owner of Black Grape Holidays, which conducts culinary tours to Europe and wine tours to Nashik, says he is witnessing greater interest from wine lovers as far as such tours are concerned. His company has been conducting such tours to Nashua for the last three years and, on an average, hosts 10-12 couples a week. For the Sulawesi, we usually book 100-150 rooms and the fest by itself has around 10,000 visitors, he says. Grover Zampa Vineyards and York Winery, Fratelli Wines from Akluj are among others to have set up wine-tasting rooms and some of them are in the process of setting up residential facilities, Kale said.