Nashik, 17th January 2024: Last year, thousands of tourists flocked to Nashik wineries to revel in the festive period from December 22 to December 31, consuming an impressive 2 lakh litres of grape wine. This marked a significant uptick of over 17% compared to the consumption in 2022.
In the year 2023, approximately 35,000 tourists chose to celebrate Christmas and welcome the New Year at renowned wineries and resorts in and around Nashik. In contrast, during the same period in 2022, around 30,000 visitors had frequented the wineries, collectively consuming or purchasing 1.7 lakh litres of grape wine, as reported by the All India Wine Producers Association (AIWPA). This data encompassed both on-site consumption at wineries and the purchase of wine bottles from these establishments.
Nashik, renowned for its grape-growing region, boasts over seven prominent wineries, making it a favored destination for tourists from Mumbai and Gujarat. Alongside the well-known Sula Vineyards and Soma Wine, other wineries like York, Vallonnie, Grover Zampa, Renaissance, and Good Drops also attract a considerable number of visitors.
Jagdish Holkar, the president of AIWPA, highlighted Nashik’s emergence as the country’s wine capital, noting the increasing popularity of its wineries. He emphasized that the trend of visiting wineries during the festive days of Christmas and the lead-up to the New Year, particularly in the last 10-12 days of December, continues to grow annually.
Holkar expressed ambitious goals for the wine sector, targeting a 20% year-on-year growth over the next five years. He anticipates the annual sales of Maharashtra wineries, currently around Rs 400 crore, to double to Rs 800 crore within the next five years.
Monit Dhavale, Senior Vice President of Sula Vineyards, attributed the surge in wine awareness among visitors to the wineries. He noted an evolving trend where tourists are increasingly seeking specific grape wine brands and participating in wine-tasting sessions. Dhavale emphasized that this change has been observed over the past three to four years, showcasing a growing preference for winery visits and engaging in wine-related experiences.
The state of Maharashtra dedicates 3.5 lakh acres to grape plantations, including 1.75 lakh acres in Nashik district. Within this expanse, the grape wine varieties cover 9,000 acres across Maharashtra, with 6,000 acres located in Nashik district. The remaining plantation in both the state and the district focuses on table grapes.