Monday, March 21, 2011

Wine making in India, a comprehensive perspective.

Wine making in India, a comprehensive perspective.

G.S.Karibasappa , P.G.Adsule , S.D.Sawant and K.Banerjee

N.R.C. for grapes, Manjri Farm, Pune – 412 307.


This paper reviews the nascent Indian wine industry in terms of the area, production and marketing of wines in the country. Approximately 38 wineries are presently operating in the country with a total production of 6.2 million liters annually. Maharashtra is leading among the states with 36 wineries and 5.4 million liter production. Apart from this, 72,000 wine cases are imported mainly by ITDC, Sansula, Brindco, E & J Gallo and other private companies. At present 7,62,000 wine cases are sold every year, which includes 46,000 cases of sparkling wines. Which is in contrast to the much higher figures of other drinks such as whisky, brandy and rum sold in the country. Eighty percent of wine consumption in the country is confined in major cities such as Mumbai (39%), Delhi (23%), Bangalore (9%) and Goa (9%). There is growing awareness about the wine as a product in the domestic market.

Poor storage and transport facilities inspite of tropical climate are the main problems of wine marketing in the country. Other constraints are the lack of promotional activities for wine consumption in the country and unfavorable rules for domestic marketing of wines except in few states. These and other factors contributed to India’s low wine consumption which is hardly 0.07 L per capita. Certain promotional strategies, such as easing of tariff barriers for the wines, developing awareness on health benefits of wine and to supply good quality wines in reasonable prices in the domestic market are emphasized.

Contributions made by major wineries such as, Champagne Indage (CI), Grover Vineyards and Sula Vineyards for indigenous production of quality wines in the country are highlighted. CI at Narayangaon is a pioneer of French style wines in India, produces exquisite qualities in both still and sparkling wines. The company has the capacity of producing over 3 million bottles annually. Some of their wines are exported to many European and Asian countries. The company has a good collection of European wine varieties. The Grovers Vineyards located in southern Karnataka state also exports wines worth $ 4,35,000 every year. This company has 200 hectares of vineyards under wine grapes of 35 varieties. Sula vineyards at Nashik has new welcome additions to India’s smarter wine list. In Nashik region ‘Chenin Blanc’ is quite predominantly grown but emphasis should be given to red wine varieties. Sangli is another region but here farmers are advised to choose appropriate varieties depending upon soil and microclimate. In all these regions, yield regulations are required to achieve quality wines and for their good storage life.

Grape growing is a highly capital intensive project, concerted efforts are required by the Financial agencies to reduce the rate of interest to 6-7% from the present 10-13%. Viticultural and wine making aspects influencing the quality of wines have been emphasized on. Wine grape cultivation practices are given in detail along with the prominent European varieties which are commercially grown in the country. The performance in terms of fruit yield, juice yield, TSS, acidity and pH measurements of major wine varieties are presented. The discussions highlighted in this paper will be of immense value to the grape growers, wineries, policy makers, financial institutions and government agencies dealing with the production, marketing, processing and certification of wines in the country.

1. Introduction

Historically, grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is grown mostly for wine making in the world over. In India on the contrary remarkable success has been achieved in table grape production and yield levels of fresh grapes are among the highest in the world. At present in India grape is grown over an area of 60,000 ha with an annual production of 1.6 million tonnes ( FAO, 2005).

Wine has been made in India for as many as 5,000 years. It was the early European travellers to the courts of the Mughal emperors Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jehan in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries A.D. who reported tasting wines from the royal vineyards. Both red (Kandhari) and white wines (Bhokri, Fakdi, Sahebi etc.) were produced. Under British influence in the nineteenth century, vineyards were established in Kashmir and at Baramati in Maharashtra and a number of Indian wines were exhibited and favourably received by visitors to the Great Calcutta Exhibition of 1884. However, Indian vineyards were totally destroyed by unknown reasons in the 1890s.

Due to limited domestic consumption of wine and non availability of standard wine varieties to produce good quality wines of international standards, much emphasis was not given for research during previous decades in India. Commercial wine grape production, however in India has begun only since 1980’s. Although exact figures are not available regarding the current area and production of wine grapes in India it is estimated around 1000 hectares in Maharashtra and about 200 hectares near Bangalore in Karnataka. Among these vineyards 70 per cent are yielding another 30 per cent are in establishment stage. In Maharashtra, wine grapes are grown in 3 regions, such as Pune-Narayangaon, Nashik and Sangli-Solapur areas. It is expected when all these vineyards start yielding in about 2-3 years, around 15,000 tons of wine grapes will be ready for crushing each year yielding on an average of 90 lakh litres of wine annually. There is a steep annual growth rate of about 20% in the present turn over of around Rs. 200 crores. Besides demand for imported wine is increasing day by day in India. About 38 private wineries have come up in the country 36 exist in Maharashtra and one each in Karnataka and Goa. The total investment on wineries of Maharashtra was Rs. 77.75 crores in 2004 and raised to Rs. 109.17 crores in 2005.

These private wineries were initially established under joint set-up with European collaborations, preparing wine from standard varieties. The most popular red varieties in cultivation are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot and for Rosae still wines, Zinfandel is used. The most popular white wine grapes are Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Ugni Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay and Riesling.

To meet the domestic demand and for exporting wines from India, good quality wines comparable to standard wines of Europe and USA has to be produced. To give impetus to the grape processing and wine industry in Maharashtra and for the benefit of farmers, the state announced a comprehensive ‘Wine Policy’ in 2001 and recently in September, 2005 it has

established ‘Maharashtra Grape Board’ especially to develop marketing channels for grape products in our country. This Government policy aims at sustaining grape cultivation and wine industry in India in general and Maharashtra in particular. Hence, interest of table grape grower is gradually switching over to wine varieties.

As a promotional activity for Indian wines, the MIDC on their website, selects wine of the month for the brands of quality wine that is available in the market to give a publicity to the wine consumers. A list of selected ‘Indian wine of the month’, during the previous year is given Table 1.

Table 1. Selected Indian wine of the month during the last year

November 2004

Sula Vineyards – 2004 Chenin Blanc

December 2004

Grover Vineyards- 2002 La Reserve

January 2005

Grover Vineyards - Viognier

February 2005

Chateau Indage Estate Vineyards - 2002 Chardonnay

March 2005

Rajdheer Wines – Le Vine

April 2005

Flemingo Wines -Cabernet Sauvignon – Shiraz

May 2005

Chateau Indage Estate Vineyards- Omar Khayyam

June 2005

ND Wines - 2003 Sauvignon Blanc

July 2005

Chateau Indage Estate Vineyards – 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon

August 2005

Sailo Wines 2002 Red wine

September 2005

Flemingo Wines – 2004 Sauvignon Blanc – Chenin Blanc(A blend)

October 2005

Chateau Indage Estate Vineyards – 2005 Shiraz

November 2005

Grover Vineyards- 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon – Shiraz ( A blend)

January 2006

Mountain View-2005 Chenin Blanc (A Dessert Wine)

2. Role of Wine Parks

The Government of Maharashtra has nominated Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) as a nodal agency for establishment of grape wine parks in the state and would coordinate efforts of various organizations from central and state agencies and the stake holders such as farmers, processors, service providers etc. Under this policy two wine parks have been established by MIDC, one Godawari Wine Park at Vinchur, Nashik District and Krishna Wine Park at Palus, Sangli district. In addition a Grape Processing and Research Institute(GPRI) at Palus under the Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University has also been established. The objectives of GPRI are;

  1. To give formal training to the farmers through various courses. The successful candidates will be awarded certificates, diplomas and degree in wine grape cultivation, manufacturing of standard quality wines and marketing of wines.
  2. To set up grape vine nurseries to provide authentic plant material to growers.
  3. To manufacture standard wines on pilot scale through demonstrations.
  4. To set up quality control laboratory for wines.
  5. To impart wine blending techniques.
  6. To explore domestic and international markets and
  7. To help farmers by setting up of a ‘Mother Unit’ for manufacture of wines.

Two mother wines one at Vinchur near Nashik and another at Palus near Sangli have been established. The concept of mother unit is to set up common facilities such as equipment for processing like pneumatic press, crusher, destemmer, filtration unit, bottling unit, quality control lab, cold storage (celler), packaging house and the services of the wine master and wine tester, which are costly and required for short period of 2-3 days in a season.

3. Domestic Wine Market

Both the Indian wine market and the indigenous wine industry are in their nascent stages, but growing by leaps and bounds (Table 2). Fifteen years ago there was no locally made wine that was drinkable. Now there are three significant wine makers, all family-owned businesses, the Chougules, the Grovers and the Samants. There is also great interest in wine makers from France, Italy, Australia, South Africa, America, and Chile to enter the Indian market.

Adam Strum the owner-***-editor of widely circulated magazine ‘Wine Enthusiast’ on his visit to the Indian wineries, has said ‘The one thing that struck me in general was that the varietals are true to their taste. Sauvignon Blanc from Grover and Sula were crisp, herbaceous, and fresh- very similar to New Zealand wines. Chenin was particularly impressive, it was fruit driven and like in Loire Valley. The sparkling Ivy from Indage was full of bubbles, crispy and light on the palate. I think it will go very well with the spicy Indian food,’ he felt. What amused and pleasantly surprised him was the Zinfandel from Vinsura. Wondering how they got the clones from California he was impressed by it being so fruity and light in comparison with some Californian Zins which tend to be too powerful, big and tannic. The market position of wines in 2003 and 2004 is reported in Table 2.

Table 2 . Segment wise Indian wine market during 2003 and 2004



Domestic production

(‘000 cases*)


(‘000 cases)


(‘000 cases)

Retail Value

(Rs. Million)










Sparkling wines










Still wines -premium










Still wines -cheap










Fortified wines/Others


















*Note ; A case is a unit of 9 litre capacity or equivalent to 12 bottles

During the year 2005, the total annual production of wine in India was 6.214 million litres, out of this 5.4 million litres is produced in Maharashtra alone that comprises 2.54 million litres of red wines, 2.69 million litres of white wines, 0.15 million litres of sparkling and 0.036 million litres of rosae wines. This is a very small fraction as compared to world’s annual production of 32,000 million litres. The country also imports 72,000 wine cases (9 litres/case) in a year where 32,000 cases are bottled in origin and remaining 0.36 m litres are imported in bulk flexi bags and subsequently bottled by Indian wineries. Besides this, about 12,000 –15,000 wine cases are sold through gray market.

The biggest consumption up to 80% is however confined to major cities like Mumbai (39%), Delhi(23%), Bangalore (9%) and the foreign tourist dominated state of Goa (9%), where as Rest of India has only 20% consumption. Some Indian wine makers have also started importing foreign made wine and bottling and selling it here in India. Among the importers ; ITDC (Indian Tourism Development Corporation), Sansula, Brindco and E&J Gallo predominate. The Indian market is way behind major wine drinking countries. The per capita consumption in India is only 0.07 litre/person/year as against 60-70 litres in France and Italy, 25 litres in US and 20 litres in Australia and even China has 0.4 litre.

4. Growth and Promotional activities for Indian wines

With the government planning to showcase “Wines of India” across the globe. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) are working out the strategy and the campaign will be finalized soon. India has recently received its first order for wine exports to the US and Indian wines were also being served in restaurants - both Indian and Western. Approximately 0.1 million litre of wine is exporting to France, Italy, Germany, USA, NewYork, U.K. and Singapore from Maharashtra state.

Stating that the promotion strategy would include analyzing the internal support mechanisms including easing tariff barriers for the liquor, the sources added, “the promotion campaign will target the US, the European Union, South Africa and Southeast Asia in a major way. There is more and more awareness about wine as a product in Indian market. Changing life styles, frequent travels abroad, more and more women employment. Increase in per capita income, international research on health benefits of wines; all have combined together to create wine awareness in India; apart from the fact that good quality wines are now available in the market.

5. Constraints in Wine marketing and consumption in India

Vintage Wine; Table Wines, Sparkling Wine, Dessert Wines, Fortified Wines (port, Sherry, Marsala, Madeira, etc or aromatic wines like Vermouth, Dubonnet, Lillet, Cynar, etc.) are the major types of Indian wine.

Table wines account for 85 per cent of the market and expensive varieties of vintage wines account for the remaining 15 per cent. However, as compared to other wine-producing nations, the domestic wine consumption is very low. Indian wines have to go a long way to gain recognizable positions in the world.

The flip side of the industry is that of the 762,440 cases sold every year, only 46,000 cases of sparkling wine and champagne are consumed in India. In contrast the figures of other drinks are: 37 million cases of whisky, 11 million cases of brandy and nine million cases of rum. Industry officials believe that the market will grow rapidly once the government drops import duties on bulk (currently at 108 per cent) and on bottled wines (currently 264-420 per cent).

One of the other reasons why wine drinking has not caught on is that quality wines are priced relatively high. Since the volumes are low, production costs are high, as are taxes. In all hot countries relatively new to wine, both local and imported wines are clearly extremely vulnerable to poor storage and transport conditions. The main constraint in achieving the quality goal is the fact that the quality compliance is very poor among the wine manufacturers.

Thus the real challenge for winemakers in India is to develop a domestic market, and that is where the problem arises. First, people believe wine and curry do not go well. "It is a myth," says Thomas Abraham, F & B Manager of Delhi's Hyatt Regency hotel. " The truth is most Indians prefer beer, whiskey or rum over wine and champagne. That's why the per capita consumption of wine in India is very low." In exports, says Aman Dhal, one of India's leading wine importers and distributors, Indian winemakers face a peculiar problem. " Traditionally wine lovers around the world have some kind of a mental block against Indian wines. They are just not comfortable with the Made in India tag."

However, Oz Clarke, one of the presenters of the BBC's Food and Drink programme, refutes that. " Western wine drinkers are some of the most imaginative aficionados in the world. I think when they see Made in India, they won't say: "What a weird idea." They'll say: "Fantastic! I haven't tried it. Give me some." In fact, one of Chateau Indage's most popular wine, Omar Khayyam, is in the British market for a decade now! A spokesman of spirit major McDowell that also distributes imported wine in the Indian market, says that wine imports, both bulk and bottled have gathered momentum in the last three years. Growth rates, he claims, have touched 25 percent per annum in the last few years." Volumes are driven mainly by Indian wines that are priced below Rs 150 per bottle," he adds. McDowell's, in fact, has an agreement with Concha Y Toro, the largest producer of wine in Chile for importing wine. The company is represented in the Indian market by two premium brands, Bosca Riesling and Red & Rose. Shaw Wallace too was a pioneer wine manufacturer. Though Shaw Wallace's Golconda has a 25 per cent market share, the leader is Chateau Indage, a diversified Indian Private company with interests in viticulture and wine distribution.

6. Indigenous Wine Production

6.1 Chateau Indage

Chateau Indage (CI), Narayangaon nested in the high Sahyadri Valley of western Maharashtra pioneered by Sham Chougule was established in 1984, with the technical collaboration of Champagne's Piper Heidsieck. The company owns vineyards spread over 600 acres located 230 km from Mumbai. The company kick-started the Indian wine revolution in the 1980s with a surprisingly appettizing methode traditionelle fizz sold on the local market as Marquise- de- Pompadour but exported with considerable success as Omar Khayyam. It manufactures 18 types of wine and the main varieties used by the winery are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Ugni Blanc, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Riesling, Muscat of Alexandria, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Zinfandel, Viognier, Shiraz, Malbec and Grenache. The ultra-modern winery in Narayangaon, produces a wide range of high-quality wines under the watchful eye of French and Californian winemakers. Chateau Indage also sells a range of still wines on the domestic market under the names Riviera, Figueira, Ivy and Chantilli. The Riviera red based on Pinot Noir is well made and attractively dry; it takes chilling well. Pioneer of French-style wines in India, CI produces a variety of exquisite still and sparkling wines. The company's wineries have a capacity to produce over three million bottles of wine per year. In the Indian market Indage holds 75 % share of the premium still wine category and the virtual monopoly in Sparkling wines. Chateau Indage's Riviera label includes a fruity, well-balanced white blend of chardonnay and Ugni blanc and a soft fresh red made from pinot noir. The Chantilly label wines; a white (chardonnay) and a red (cabernet sauvignon) are aged in French oak and show their varietal characteristics. Omar Khayyam is a top-quality chardonnay-based sparkling wine, made by the methode traditionelle, that compares favorably with champagne. The company also distills a fine oak-aged grape brandy. Their wines are also exported to U.K., Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Bhutan, Nepal, Srilanka, Mauritius, New Zealand, Japan and U.S.A.

Over the years the company has introduced 84 accessions of wine varieties ; 52 from France, 24 from Germany, 4 from Italy, 1 each from South Africa, Korea, Chile and California, USA. It has also 28 accessions of rootstocks introduced mostly from France and Germany.

6.2 Grover Vineyards

Grover Vineyards, in Dodballapur, 40 km north of Bangalore at the foot of the Nandi hills, on the other hand, uses French grapes Vitis vinifera in its vineyards in Bangalore. It exports wine worth $435,000 every year. "The Grover range produced from high-altitude vineyards north of Bangalore, with help from the ubiquitous Michel Rolland of Pomerol, is extremely respectable. The reds, particularly the Reserve red, are a distinct notch above the slightly dull Clairette-based white.

Fifteen years ago, the Grovers took on the task of reviving wine drinking in India. The company, together with Mr. George Vesselle accepted the immense challenge of growing for the first time French varieties of grapes, suitable for wine production in India. Grover Vineyards is jointly owned by Kanwal Grover and Veuve Cliquot. Kanwal Grover is advised by two top French winemakers, Michel Rolland and Georges Vesselle. The vineyards are planted at 2,000 feet above sea level and some varieties can produce two crops a year. Still white and red wines from Bangalore Purple, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Thompson seedless grapes are made under the supervision of winemaker Bruno Yvon. The white is medium-dry and fairly bland; the red is cabernet-style with good depth of fruit.

Bangalore, with the ideal combination of rich, well drained soil, warm sunny days, cool nights and temperate climate, was finally selected over six other places as the most suitable site. Thirty-five important varieties used in France for making wine were planted. In the next five years there was an emissary of French oenologists to study their adaptability to Indian conditions, as well as to assess the quality of wine they would ultimately produce. Finally, in 1988 Grover Vineyards was established on 40 acres of land at the foot of the Nandi Hills. Here nine varieties which had responded well to Indian conditions were planted on an industrial scale. Today, Grover Vineyards has over 200 hectares under plantation. Unlike other wine makers in India, Grover Vineyards is the only company which shuns ordinary table grapes, while exclusively using French wine grapes, selected from the original thirty five varieties of the Vitis vinifera species. The company has export target of 25% of its production for the current year i.e. 1.5 lakh bottles. Exports are mainly to France, US and UK. APEDA has chosen Grover Vineyards for bronze medal for the excellence in export for the year 2003-04. “ So began in earnest Grover's quest to produce India's wines made exclusively from French grapes and to world standards - and to persuade the great whisky drinking Indian dinnerati to drink wine. Neither quest has been easy." - Mark Nicholson, Financial Times, London, September 14, 1997.

6.3 Sula Vineyards

The most recent entrant into the Indian wine market is Sula, complete with labels of almost California sophistication. This winery was started in 1998 and setup about seven years ago near the town of Nashik, 200 km north-east of Mumbai, at an altitude of 600 metres, by Mr. Rajiv Samant, a Stanford trained software engineer and a returnee from Silicon Valley, USA. Initially, he was trying to plant Alphonso mango trees, but he found that his land near Gangapur Lake is similar to Napa valley in the USA. He, then, turned to viticulture and wine making. He built a winery with the help of Mr. Kerry Damskey, a wine maker from Sonama county in California and planted Chenin Blanc and other wine varieties. The winery was designed by Mr. Rahul Mehrotra, Mumbai’s leading architect.

The Sula winery is growing rapidly during the last few years, which actually indicates the potential of Indian wine industry. The annual turnover has increased from Rs 55 million in 2002-03 to Rs 180 million in 2004-05. The sales have increased from 20,000 cases in 2002-03 to 70,000 cases in 2004-05, out of which 4700 cases were exported. The company plans to sale over 1 million bottles abroad, during 2005-06, for which they have doubled their annual capacity from 0.75 million litres to 1.5 million litres.

Sula Brut, Sula Seco and Sauvignon Blanc will be some welcome additions to India’s smarter wine list. Sula wines are available in finest hotels and restaurants in India, which includes premier hotel chains like J.W. Marriott, Grand Hyatt and Taj Hotels. The company feel proud to mention that their wines are available at ‘Lavinia’ the France’s largest wine shop and are imported by ‘M/s Gaja Distribuzione’ of Italy, who also produces Italy’s most famous eponymous wines. Sula wines have been exported to US, UK, France, Italy, Canada and Ireland.

7. Major Wine markets of the World

Out of world’s total annual production of 32 billion litres, the following are among the top countries and MNC’s have their major share in the world wine market.

France : 5.6 billion ltrs

Italy : 5.3 “

Spain : 3.5 “

US : 2.2 “

Argentina : 1.4 “

Germany : 1.0 “

South Africa : 770 million ltrs

Australia : 750 “

China : 690 “

Gallo (MNC) : 675 “

Portugal : 611 “

In case of Australia, that exports 230 million litres annually worth more than 1 billion dollars and UK is its major market worth $489 million.

a. Prospects for Indian Wine Market

At the moment India produces only 8.35 million bottles per year. There is a huge potential in Indian market itself. For export market, the increasing popularity of Indian cuisine is an automatic opening. With more and more professionals visiting India on regular basis, and the fact that Indian wine exports are going up every year, word is getting spread very fast creating awareness of Indian wines in International market. What the country needs now is set of rules and norms to monitor quality compliance so that credibility of Indian wines as a product or brand is established.

The Govt. of Maharashtra is giving lot of support to wine manufacturers in the state but wine needs to be encouraged as a product. Wine culture is not going to develop by wines manufactured only in Maharashtra, it will be short sighted to discriminate manufacturers from other States by imposing higher taxes and registration fees. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu also should frame Wine Policy based on Maharashtra state. There should be uniform law in all the states, to be controlled by the Central Govt., to develop wine industry as agro based product. Govt. should also encourage participation of Indian wineries in trade fares/exhibitions at national and international level.

In Nashik region, Chenin Blanc is quite predominantly planted but there is need to work more on Red wine varieties. Sangli is another promising area. But farmers should choose appropriate varieties depending on soil, micro-climate etc. Also, there should be influence of yields, both for quality and life of wines.

There is a school of thought that old world regulations made the wine industry very complicated in terms of approach to consumer and only after 1970’s that wine culture really started after New world started to be more and more aggressive. With a result that Australian wines have taken over French wines as No. 1 sellers in UK market, both quantity and value wise, apart from the more obvious fact that they are more value for money. If Australia, Chile and US can become leaders in wine exports over just 10 years of operation, there is no reason why Indian wines cannot achieve such status. There is a vast potential to be tapped provided meticulous planning is done. In order to understand export potential for Indian wines, it is of utmost importance to address quality related issues. The wine industry in India is in its nascent stages now, to follow quality parameters will go a long way in making wines from India as a brand in international market, the same way Australians and Chileans have achieved.

Grape growing is a highly capital intensive project, concerted efforts are required to reduce the rate of interest to 6 or 7% from the present 10-13%. This will initiate farmers to grow wine varieties of grapes, which is the only way to achieve exports. The embassies and consulates of India all over the world should make a point to serve only Indian wines in their official functions, which will help in creating awareness. We have already made the beginning and wines were exported to Beijing, Islamabad and Paris.

Last but not the least, there must be constant financial backing and support from government authorities. The subsidies for wine projects should not take 2-3 years for release. We are very happy that Maharashtra Grape Board is looking into this problem with utmost sincerity. The Govt. of India is also actively considering setting up of Indian Wine Board under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries at the Central level for promoting the domestic wine industry.

8. Factors affecting wine quality

Wine grape plant prefers warm bright days, dry cold night temperature and mild winters under tropical regions. “Terroire” can be defined as basic identity of the wine owing to soil, climate and the wine making practices. There is bound to be variation in weather during the ripening of grapes from year to year bringing in variation in quality of must. The vinification practices have to be modified in accordance with the climatic changes.

Based on climatic conditions, vine growing areas are classified into cold, cool, warm and hot regions. However, yearly climatic variation may shift the positioning of a vineyard within this classification eg. Cool vineyard either cool to cold /cool to warm. These variations are more likely to occur in cool to cold vine growing regions than in warm to hot vine growing regions which show less vintage variation since climatic conditions during ripening are more or less consistent from year to year. However, blending of wines with different varieties, vineyards and years helps overcome vintage variation. One must use European wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, to make quality wine but unfortunately most of the wine manufacturers either use table grape varieties or blend with wine varieties. For varietal wines there must be minimum of 75-85% of particular variety. A model can be chosen with the best from old world and new world countries. There is a long way to go still, and there must be some set of rules governing wine industry to create credibility on a long run.

9. Classification of Wine

Wines are categorized using a number of different methods. Sometimes they are grouped into different categories by grape variety, region of origin, by color, by the name of the wine maker or viticulturalist, or by production technique. Three basic groups of wines are most easily distinguishable for the consumer: table wines, sparkling wines and fortified wines. Table wines, also known as still or natural wines, are produced in many different styles and make up the majority of wines on the market. Traditionally consumed as part of a meal, table wines contain between 10 and 14 percent alcohol and are further classified by their color, sugar content, and the variety and origin of the grapes that were used. Depending on the grape variety and wine-making technique, wines can be white, red, or pink in color. Most table wines are fermented until they are dry i.e, all the grape sugar has been turned to alcohol by the yeast. Slightly sweet or off-dry wines are made by stopping the fermentation before all the sugar is gone or by adding grape juice back to the wine afterwards.

10. How Wine Is Made ?

Wine is the product of the fermentation by yeast of grape juice or grape must, grape juice that still contains the fruit's skins and seeds. Once the grape sugar has been completely consumed, fermentation is complete, and wine has been produced. The science that deals with wine making is known as Enology.

While the basic production elements of wine are simple, manipulation of the grapes, juice or must, and wine to produce the desired combination of flavors and aromas is very difficult, and many recognize this process as an art form. Wine makers try to optimize production of specific aromas and flavors described with terms like cherry, chocolate, vanilla etc and minimize the formation of negative flavors and aromas described as wet dog, plastic and rotten egg. It is also important that the wine acids and alcohol are balanced. If the wine is too acidic, the wine may taste sour. If the ethanol level is too high, the wine will have a strong taste of alcohol.

The single most important factor that contributes to a wine's character is the grapes that are used. Grapes influence the wine's flavor, alcohol content, acidity, and even its color. White wine, which is actually straw to golden-yellow in color, is produced from white grapes, and red wine is produced from red grapes. Red and white wine production is basically the same except for one primary difference: the presence of the grape skins during fermentation. White grapes are crushed and the juice separated from the skins prior to fermentation. Red wine is fermented with the grape skins. Red pigments called anthocyanins and other compounds in the grape skins are extracted during the fermentation process to impart the characteristic red color of the wine as well as other features. A blush or rosé wine is light pink in color and is produced from red grapes not fermented with the skins. A little pigment is released when the red grapes are crushed, but not to the same extent as during fermentation.

In modern wine production, the grapes are harvested from the vineyards and taken to a winery where they are passed through a machine called a destemmer-crusher that separates the fruit from the stems and cracks the berries open to release the juice. To make white wine, the must is transferred to a press where pressure is applied to separate the juice from the skins. The amount of pressure used influences what flavor compounds are extracted from the skins. After pressing, the white juice without the skins is transported to a fermentation tank. In red wine production, the must from the crusher is transferred directly to a tank for fermentation.

The containers used for fermentation are mostly stainless steel or wood. The type of container used and the temperature of fermentation influence the characters of the wine. Many of the aroma components of wine are volatile that is, they leave the wine by evaporation. This evaporation occurs faster at higher temperatures, so to retain fruity characters in the wine the temperature of fermentation must be controlled, usually by direct cooling of the fermentation tanks. Stainless steel is much easier to cool than wood and is preferred for temperature-crucial fermentation.

The wine maker may allow fermentation to proceed relying only on the yeast naturally present on the grape skins and in the winery equipment, or the wine maker may add extra yeast in a process known as inoculation. Two yeast species are used in fermentation, Saccharomyces cerevisiae or Saccharomyces bayanus. Yeast is responsible for the presence of positive but also negative aroma characters in wine. For example, when yeast is under stress it produces a compound called hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs. To avoid this undesirable quality, a wine maker may add nutrients to the fermentation tank. The duration of fermentation also influences wine character.

Other naturally occurring microorganisms may grow in the must or juice, affecting the flavors and aromas of the finished wine. For example, lactic acid bacteria use the acids in wine as a source of energy, reducing the wine's acidity. These bacteria also produce other aromas and are responsible for the buttery smells that can be found in wine. Sometimes the wine maker restricts the growth of lactic acid bacteria, especially if the wine is already low in acidity or if the buttery character would clash with other aromas of the wine. Acetobacter, another type of bacteria, can spoil the wine by converting ethanol to acetic acid to make vinegar.

When fermentation is complete, red wine is separated from the stems and grape skins by passing it through a press. Both red and white wines appear cloudy after fermentation, and the wine maker must wait for the yeast and other solids to settle to the bottom of the fermentation tank, forming a sediment called the lees. The clear wine is racked or drawn off the lees and stored in a clean cask. In a process called fining, the wine maker may further clarify the wine by adding ingredients that attract unwanted particles, such as proteins that can cause cloudiness. These added ingredients settle to the bottom and can be easily collected and removed.

After fermentation, the wine maker has to decide how the wine will be aged. Aging of wine significantly affects the flavors and aromas present, and several different techniques are used. For example, wine aged in oak barrels picks up some flavor and aroma characters from the oak wood, a very desirable quality in some wines. A wine may be aged under conditions encouraging the loss of some of the fruity, volatile compounds, producing a wine rich in other characters, such as spicy or toasted flavors. Air exposure during aging can cause the phenolic wine compounds, extracted from grape skins and seeds, to combine with each other, producing large chemical compounds called tannins. Over time the tannins become so large that they form reddish-brown sediment in the bottle. This reduces wine bitterness and astringency. The length of time a wine is aged before it is bottled determines the extent to which these reactions occur. Once the wine has been aged, it is ready to be put into bottles, where it may continue to slowly age for many years.

11. Machineries and Accessories and other inputs for wineries

The quality of the wine is decided in vineyards. But making appropriate and good quality wine out of good grapes is more of a skill of a wine-maker than pure science. Such skill can be better executed by the wine maker consistently and hygienically, if the winery has good machineries, like destemmer, crusher, pneumatic/ hydraulic press, screw pumps, fermentation tanks with cooling jackets/ cooling system; filters & insulated tanks for cold stabilization of the wine, vacuumized bottling plants and water softeners are the major machineries required in wine Industry. Most of these machineries in large old wineries, were imported from European countries especially Italy. Makes of Della Toffola, Velo, Grotto Derfanceschi etc are commonly seen in Indian wineries (Photo). However, Maharashtra is the only state in the country given impetus to develop wine industry and leads in winery machine manufacturers in India. Many of them have developed prototypes of full range machineries suited to variable sizes of wineries. Companies like M/s Winetech Engineers and Datacone Wine machineries Pvt. Ltd. have displayed their prototypes with specifications on their websites. Destemmer, crusher, press and screw pump are the machineries which handle grapes when arrive at winery and prepare must for fermentation. These machineries play very important role in deciding wine quality and involve lots of sophistication. Most wineries in India, have not opted to go for Indian machineries for preparing must for fermentation and use imported units where destemmer, crusher, press and screw pumps are integrated and the unit works on digitally programmed & sophisticated software. Krishna wine park at Palus in Sangli district lends out such units to the smaller wineries on hire. Fermentation tanks with cooling jackets and cooling system in most new wineries are made in India. The tanks are normally made by using medical grade stainless steel (SS-316L/304) and have mirror finish from inside surface. Even old wineries are now opting for Indian made fermentation tanks and cooling systems, which are of international standards. It is also hoped that other Indian made machineries like filtering units and bottling plants will be used especially by small & newly established Indian wineries.

Oak wood vats and barrels are required to mature good wines. This is a very expensive input for any winery since such material can only be imported from European continent and other countries. Use of large vats is difficult due to high temperatures in tropical region. Hence small barrels are used by some big wineries in temperature controlled rooms to mature high value wines (Photo). Sparkling wines are prepared by only big wineries so far. Special kind of bottles sustaining high pressure of trapped gas and special device to gradually tilt the bottles during secondary fermentation are imported. Wine bottles, corks, labels and silver foils are also imported from outside India.

12. Wine yeast culture formulations

This is one of the most important input required for wine making. Even small winery spends about Rs. 3 to 5 lakhs to purchase these culture formulations. Normally yeasts are imported in the form of dry active yeast granules. ‘Red star’ and ‘Lalvin’ are two major brands of wine yeasts. The different strains sold by them are from old wine making countries in Europe but they are available in old and new wine making countries all over the world. Dry active yeast formulations need to be activated in warm water along with malt extract for 24 hours before to be used to start fermentation in must. Wine yeasts strains available are highly specialized. Most of the available yeast cultures are Saccharomyces cerevisiae or S. bayanus. But each strain is selected for specific characters, such as tolerance to high alchohol ( up to 18 %) and SO2 (100-500 ppm), high temperature tolerance (Up to 35 oC), low temperature tolerance ( 5-7oC) to have slow fermentations in white wines, ability to start stuck fermentation, low foaming etc. Recently, some strains are available which are known to enhance the body and aroma of a wine made from specific grape varieties such as Shiraz, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc etc. By and large the decision on selection of wine yeast is done by wine maker. More than specialized characters previous experience with the culture plays dominant role in the selection. Tropical viticulture receives relatively higher fungicides applications for control of air borne diseases. Hence, native yeasts on the grapes will not be sufficient in case of Indian wine grapes to go for natural fermentation. However, Saccharomyces yeasts have potential to control powdery mildew on bunches in vineyards. Application of good wine yeast cultures on grape bunches in vineyards may help in control of diseases and to suppress less efficient wild yeasts.

13. Viticulture Aspects affecting wine production

Natural factors make wine from a particular region unique, known in the wine industry as terroir, these factors include local climate (temperature, rainfall, and sunlight), location of grapevines (altitude and slope) and soil (structure, composition, and water drainage). In general, a grapevine produces the best fruit when the moderate climate provides much sunshine and cool nights without frost or hailstorms and the soil is well drained. Grapevines grow best in sandy, chalky, or rocky soils.

A wine's character is strongly affected by vine growing, or viticultural practices such as training, trellising, harvesting, and pruning. Training and trellising enable the viticulturalist to control the sun exposure to ensure the grapes ripen evenly. Grapes harvested when they are not ripe may be low in sugar and may not ferment properly. Overly ripe grapes have very high sugar content and produce wine high in alcohol. Tropical vines do not show high dormant, the viticulturalist prunes the vines twice a year. First pruning is carried out during first fortnight of April every year to induce vegetative growth and in this phase fruit bud formations occur in mature canes. The second pruning of matured canes is done during late September or early October to obtain fruits. As most of the wine varieties have basal fruitfulness of the canes, pruning level is normally kept low between 4-7 buds from the base depending upon varieties. Pruning enables the grower to control the size and shape of the vines, as well as the number of buds that will develop the next year. Too many buds on a vine may stress nutrient availability, reducing the quality of the future harvest.

Grapevines have many natural enemies: insects, molds, bacteria, fungi, viruses and animals such as birds that eat the sweet grapes. Certain soil-borne pests, such as nematodes, phylloxera(wasp), phytophthora (fungus) etc may destroy the roots of grapevines. To counter this problem, vineyards use the rootstocks from resistant American vines .(Vitis champini, V.riparia, V.berlandieri, V.rupestris and their interspecific hybrids etc.) and the scion cultivars from European species (V. vinifera).

13.1 Climate & Soil

Overall performance in terms of growth, yield and quality of grapes for wine making is greatly influenced by climate & soils.

I . Climate

It is the summation of weather conditions throughout the year.

Factors : i) Temperature

ii) Solar radiation, sunshine hours

iii) Rainfall, Relative humidity

iv) Wind, Evaporation etc.

Vitis vinifera grape varieties grow under wide range of climatic conditions.

i) Temperature : Diurnal variation with cool nights (15-18o C) and warm days (28-32oC) is essential for successful wine grape production .Degree days that are available during September to March 2200-2750 (Nashik), 2750-3000 (Pune, Narayangaon) 3000-4000 (Sangli, Solapur) normally influences which wine variety to grow and the type of wine to produce. Table wine grapes are grown at 2200-2750 degree days. Dry table wines require mild ripening period with average temperatures of 22-28oC and low diurnal variations. Growing season length should be sufficiently long to mature moderate to heavy crops of grapes. In areas where there is sudden temperature drop and onset of wet weather, there are ripening problems and crop losses. Each variety requires certain heat summation to bring its fruit from full bloom to maturity or a given brix reading. Cool, mild temperatures increase the production of acid (malic and tartaric )in the berries, increase the sugar acid balance and enhances the colour in the red varieties. By contrast hot conditions during ripening period increases the sugar level, hastens maturity, lowers the acid level of grapes and inhibits pigment formation in red varieties. The organic constituents of wine such as alcohol, acids, esters, colour, tannins and aldehydes do have direct bearing on the bouquet, taste and other qualities of individual wines. The level and balance of these constituents in the musts and wines in turn are largely determined by climate (heat summation). High temperatures cause yield loss due to poor fruit set, moisture stress and reduces the rate of photosynthesis. Optimum temperature for photosynthesis 25-30o C and declines rapidly above and falling to zero at 45-50oC and also decreases rapidly below 15oC.

ii) Solar Radiation : Optimum light intensity for photosynthesis varies between 700-1100 micro molar units (30,000-50,000 lux) depending upon the location, topography, variety and training systems.

Both light intensity and temperature are involved in the formation of fruitful buds during May-August. The number of bunch primordia increase with higher light intensity and the fruitfulness of new buds depends on the daily duration of high light intensity falling on the bud itself rather than on whole plant.

High light intensity with high temperature(>36oC) are not conducive for berry colour development, whereas with moderate temperature (28-32o C) and high light intensity there will be good colour development between veraison and ripening.

iii) Rain fall & relative humidity: Generally for economical wine production a reasonable rainfall amount of 55-65 cm annually is desirable between June- October for recharging the subsoil with moisture.

For maximum yield, vines need at least 75 cm water with good distribution throughout fruiting season. Avoid water stress during flowering and early berry growth period till veraison, whereas slight moisture stress during veraison to ripening enhances the quality of berries.

iv) Evaporation : Evaporation is based on various climatic factors such as temperature, day length, wind, vapour pressure and solar radiation which affects plant growth. The actual and potential evapotranspiration is based on the amount of available water in the root zone and the evaporative power of the air.

II . Soil requirements of vines

Grapes can adapt to a wide variety of soil types ranging from coarse gravelly sands to heavy clays, shallow to very deep soils and soils of low to high fertility. Best performance is however obtained in deep medium textured soils (loams and sandy loams) which are low in salts and are well drained. Wine Grapes are successfully grown under irrigation on soils that Provide 45-60 cm of root zone. However most V.vinifera varieties are deep rooted and fully explore the soil to a depth of 6-10 feet or more if the aeration is satisfactory and there is no obstruction to root zone.

Soil physical features such as soil colour affects the absorbance of radiant heat. Soil texture influences water holding capacity, the nutrient status, infiltration rate, permeability and aeration. Soil chemical properties such as pH is a measure of degree of acidity or alkalinity where vines are tolerant to wide range of pH conditions. The pH gives an indication of nutritional status as it is related to cation exchange capacity(CEC). In broad terms acid soils have low CEC broadly dominated by hydrogen, whereas alkaline soils are dominated by calcium, magnesium and potassium. Optimum pH range is 6-6.5 for wine grapes. The quality of wine is related to grape variety, followed by climatic area and by soil type.

13.2 Cultivation Aspects

i). Soil prepartion ; All types of soil require deep trench spaced 1.8 M-3.0 M apart and oriented towards north-south direction. Apply 2.5 tons /ha Superphosphate along with 50 tons /ha of FYM. Copius watering of the trench to get weathering & decay of the organic matter at least 15 days in advance before planting.

ii). Planting : Only Vitis vinifera varieties shall be used for new plantations. These varieties should be grafted on the recommended rootstocks for wine varieties such as Salt creek, 110 R, 1103 P, 140 Ru, 99R, SO-4, DogRidge, etc which are salt tolerant, drought and nematode tolerant. Plant the rootstocks in the month of Feb-March in enriched soil along the trenches. Graft the desirable scion variety in situ on rootstock during September and October. Normally recommended spacing for most wine varieties is 2.0 M between rows and 1.25 M between plants accommodating 4000 plants per hectare.

iii).Training of young grafts/plants : Frame work establishment with single main stem, primary arms and cordons require proper training system. For this recuts, topping , pinching and tipping are followed. Training systems such as Kniffin, double cordon and trellis system are mainly followed. Pendal system which is common for table grape is not recommended for wine varieties. Drip irrigation / fertigation facilities will compliment quick establishment of the vineyard.

iv). Manuring & fertilizer application : For one hectare vineyard 250 kg sulphate of ammonia, 250 kg superphospate and 250 kg sulphate of potash , 75 kg magnesium sulphate should be given in 3 doses after foundation pruning. The first half doses should be mixed with 40 tons FYM just prior to pruning, second quarter dose should be given 30 days after pruning and next quarter dose after 60 days of pruning. Subsequent nutrient doses should be guided by soil and petiole analysis. Optimum petiole concentrations of yielding wine grape varieties in general, should have for N-0.632 %, P-0.25% and K-0.981%, Ca - 0.6 %, Mg – 0.4 %, S-0.1%, Zn-20 ppm,Cu-8 ppm, Mn – 25 ppm, Fe- 75 ppm and B- 30 ppm.

v). Fore pruning : Early September is ideal for most of the wine varieties as they take longer period for maturity and harvest. Most of the wine varieties have basal fruitfulness hence the level of pruning is normally kept low; either spur pruning or short cane pruning are adopted.

vi).Training systems for wine grape:

Fig.1 Different training systems for wine grape varieties

It is desirable to have trellis system among the various training systems for most of the wine varieties grown in tropical climate with bright sunlight that may get sun damaged on kniffin. Whereas bower system tends to delay the ripening process and often fruits become highly acidic with poor colour development.

14. Important Wine varieties

14.1 Red Wine Grapes

Cabernet Sauvignon

Most of the great red wines of Bordeaux and some of the finest wines of the New World are based on Cabernet Sauvignon. It is often blended with Cabernet Franc and Merlot and its flavor is reminiscent of blackcurrants or cedarwood. It demands aging in small oak barrels, and the best wines require several years of bottle age to reach their peak.


This variety takes second place to Cabernet Sauvignon in most premium red wine blends. Merlot is fragrant and usually softer than Cabernet Sauvignon. It also shows best with oak maturation, but usually requires less bottle maturation before it is ready to drink. Merlot bottled as a varietal is becoming popular in India.


This grape is also known as Syrah. It makes a soft and rich wine often characterized by smoky and chocolaty aromas. It matures faster than cabernet and is sometimes blended with it to speed accessibility.


This variety probably originated in Southern Italy as the Primitivo grape. It is planted by only a few Indian wineries. The quality of wines have been very good, especially when they receive enough oak maturation.

Pinot Noir

The grape from which complex and elegant wines are made in Burgundy. There are several clones in pinot noir that show great promise. The Pinot Noir wines in are clean and lively with the flavor of ripe cherries.

Cabernet Franc

This variety possesses qualities similar to those of Cabernet Sauvignon, although they are a little less pronounced in Cabernet Franc. It is an important part of blends and is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cinsaut (Cinsault)

Formerly known as Hermitage in the Western Cape of South Africa, it produces light wines and is most often used as a blending wine to increase accessibility at an early age. Cinsaut is one of the parents of Pinotage.


It is a unique South African grape made from a cross of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. It was developed locally in 1926. It is hardy in the vineyard and generally produces a wine that is full bodied with good fruit flavors and a distinctive spiciness, but often referred to as possessing a "sweetish acetone" flavor. Previously thought to be early maturing, it is now believed that Pinotage benefits from extended maturation.

14.2. White Wine Grapes


It is currently one of the most popular if not the most popular dry white wine variety in the world. It is planted in almost every wine producing country and is one of the easiest varieties to grow. Chardonnay generally benefits from oak and is especially complex when it is barrel fermented as well as barrel aged. However, over- oaking has been a common fault of some the first Chardonnays.

Chenin Blanc

This grape is the Cape's most popular white variety with about thirty percent of her vineyards producing Chenin Blanc. It produces a wide range of wines from sweet to dry, including sparkling and still wines. Its dry wines are fresh and fruity and Chenin Blanc's sweet wines and botrytis dessert wines are becoming more fashionable.

Sauvignon Blanc

India now can produce international quality wines of Sauvignon Blanc as evidenced at few wineries located in Nashik and Pune district. These microclimates in Maharashtra are suited to the growing of this variety. The Sauvignon Blancs tend to be dry and grassy. Its plantings have increased though it is a moderate yielder

Performance of some prominent European wine varieties at NRC for Grapes , Pune is given in Table 3.

Table 3. Performance of Prominent European wine varieties at NRCG, Pune.



*Average Fruit Yield tons ha-1.

Juice yield hectoliter





g. l-1



A.Red Wines









Cabernet Sauvignon










































Convent Large Black







Pinot Noir






B. White wines









Chenin Blanc







Sauvignon Blanc







Ugni Blanc(Trebbiano)



























* Average of 2 years on 4th & 5th year-old vineyard.

Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
Pinot Noir Chenin Blanc Sauvignon Blanc

B>Indian Standard specification for wines(IS 7058)

As per the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act 1954, Standards of weights and Measures (packaged commodities) Rule,1977 and State Excise Duty Rules, following specifications have been recommended for Indian Wines. However these are subject to the restrictions imposed under these Acts and Rules there under, wherever applicable.

For the purpose of deciding whether a particular requirement of this standard is compiled with the final value, observed or calculated, expressing the result of a test or analysis, shall be rounded off in accordance with 2: 1960 ‘Rules for rounding off numerical values (revised).The number of significant places retained in the rounded off value should be the same as that of specified value in this standard.

15.1. Scope

This standard prescribes the requirements and the methods of sampling and test for Table Wines.

15.2. Types

15.2.1 Table Wines : Shall be the products obtained from the alcoholic fermentation of fresh grape juice/ must, grape juice concentrate (obtained by reverse osmosis), or frozen grapes. It shall possess the varietal character derived from the grapes or the constituents formed during fermentation.

This standard covers the following types of table wines:

(a) Dry white,

(b) Sweet white,

(c) Rose dry and sweet,

(d) Dry red,

(e) Sweet red,

(f) Sparkling wine,

15.2.1a & b. Dry and Sweet White Table Wines:

These wines shall be the products obtained from the alcoholic fermentation of grape juice/must. Their colour shall be colourless to golden pale.

15.2.1.c. Rose Table Wines

The Table wines having light red to pink colour can be designated as “Rose Table wines”. It can be a combination of red and white Table wines; or produced by shorter maceration of red wines. Dry and Sweet Rose(Blush wine); blending of Red and White wines(Rose Table) shall be termed, as ‘Blush Wine’ and it must be stipulated clearly on the label.

15.2.1.d & e. Dry and Sweet Red Table Wines

These wines shall be the products obtained from the alcoholic fermentation of red, purple, pink or black grapes. The wine shall possess distinct colour, which shall come from natural pigments, mainly anthocyanins present in the grapes.

15.3 Sparkling Wine

These wines shall be the wines that have retained the carbon dioxide, which naturally evolves from alcoholic fermentation ; or the wines that are carbonated externally with carbon dioxide.

a) The wine that will undergo second fermentation in the bottle itself and that has retained the CO2, which naturally evolves form natural alcoholic fermentation shall be termed as Sparkling Wine “ Methode Traditionelle”

b) The wine that has undergone second fermentation in the pressure tank and has

retained CO2, which has naturally evolved form natural alcoholic fermentaion and

bottled by counter pressure filling shall be termed as Sparkling wine

Bulk Methode”.

c) If the CO2 retains in the wine is by carbonation method ( external addition of CO2 in wine) it can also be termed as Sparkling wine. However, it should be properly mentioned on the front label in suitable Font so that it is easily recognised by the consumer.

15.4. Wine Quality Requirements

Table wines shall comply with the requirements given in Table-4.

Table 4 Requirements for Table Wines(Clause 6.11)




White Rose

Wine with residual sugar of 5 g/l or more

Sparkling Wine

Desert Wine


Reducing residual sugar. g/l

Less than

5 g/l

Less than

5 g/l

More than

5 g/l

More than

5 g/l

More than

10 g/l

More than

10 g/l









Total acid (as tartaric acid) g/l. Max







Volatile acidity expressed as acetic acid .g/l Max







Esters as ethyl acetate (expressed in terms of g. per liter absolute alcohol)Max







Higher alcohols as amyl alcohol (expressed in terms of g. per liter of absolute alcohol ) Max







Aldehydes as

acetaldehydes (expressed in terms of g. per litre of absolute alcohol)








Total sulphure dioxide, mg/l. Max







Free sulphur dioxide, mg/l .Max







Copper (as Cu), Mg./l Max







Iron (Fe), mg./l Max







Extract, g/l Max







Tannins, g/l Max







Methyl alcohol (expressed in terms of g. per liter of absolute alcohol ) Max






15.4.1 Ethyl Alcohol Content

The ethyl alcohol content in Table Wines shall be in the range of 8% to 15.5% volume by volume at 20° / 20° C or any other strength subject to approval by State Excise Authority, when determined according to the method prescribed in 4 of IS 3752:1988. The tolerance limits for ethyl alcohol content shall be ± 1.5 percent of the declared strength. However, the ethyl alcohol content, its tolerance and method of measurement may vary according to the rules and regulations prescribed by the State Excise Authority .

15.4.2 Taste and aroma : Table wines shall be free from any unpleasant aroma , unpleasant taste, cloudiness, sediments or suspended matters, mould and bacterial growth.

15.4.3 Freedom from Mould and Bacterial Growth

Table Wines shall be free from mould, bacterial or any other growth.

15.4.4 Freedom from Harmful Ingredients

Table Wines shall be free from any ingredients injurious to health.

15.4.5 Colour & Additives

Table Wines may contain permitted food additives as defined by PFA /CODEX /JECFA. The limits will be in accordance with EU guidelines. Uses of Colour and additives are not permitted in the Table wine unless specifically allowed by State Excise Department and needs to be clearly mentioned on the label.

15.4.6 Taste & Aroma

Table Wines shall have the characteristic taste and aroma of whisky. To enhance the characteristic flavour of the product, natural extracts and / or natural / nature identical / artificial flavour permitted under PFA/FEMA GRAS may be used. When a varietal is specified on the label the taste should respect the property and the characteristics of the particular variety of grape and the style of wine. The addition of any artificial or external aromas to enhance the palate and the flavours in the wine should completely be prohibited. The natural flavour and taste of the wine should only come from the fermentation process, and characteristics of grape variety.

15.4.7 In case of sparkling wine, it shall be carbonated with carbon dioxide conforming to Grade 2 of IS 307:1996 to pressure in accordance with its character. However, the sparkling wines shall have minimum of one volume of carbon dioxide.

15.4.8 Freedom from Sedimentation

Wines shall be free from sediments or suspended matters.

15.4.9 Net Volume

Tolerance on net volume shall be as per the Second Schedule of the Standards of Weights and Measures (Package Commodities) Rules, 1976. The net volume shall be measured at a temperature of 27°C.

15.5 Packing

15.5.1 Table Wines may be filled in glass bottles conforming to IS 1662:1974 or plastic bottles made of PET conforming to IS 14537:1998 or any other suitable neutral or non-reactive containers. The bottles or containers shall be properly sealed. Used bottles shall be permitted if sanitized and cleaned in a hygienic way by the manufacturer as per the clause of IS 14348:1996. Used bottles are generally not permitted for bottling the wines. However, the State Excise Department may permit if the bottles are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized in a hygienic manner by the producer. Containers, both before and after filling, shall pass for inspection before a brightly illuminated background and be viewed, if necessary, under magnification. Automatic inspection by specially designed units may also be employed. Defective containers or products shall be rejected.

15.5.2 In case of carbonated / sparkling wines,

a) All containers shall be cleaned and sanitized according to 4.1 of IS 5837.

b) The containers shall be filled under strict sanitary conditions as per IS 5837:1970 . After filling, the containers shall be hermatically sealed with clean, new crown corks conforming to IS 1994 : 1987 and fixed with wire hood.

15.6 Marking

15.6.1 The following particulars shall be marked legibly and indelibly on the label / crown / body of the container.

a) Name and type of the material;

b) Ethyl alcohol contents , in percent, by volume;

c) Batch or code number;

d) Month and year of Packing;

e) Name and address of the producer;

f) Net volume in ml;

g) Geographical region from where the grapes are produced

h) Varietal name of the grape; in case of single variety wine is in excess of 85% of the volume in the bottle. If less than 85% of single variety used which makes total volume, twin varietal names shall be stipulated. When more than two varieties are used in the wine, it should be clearly stated as “blended”. The stipulation of “ Indian Wines” shall not appear on the label if Indian wine is blended with foreign (imported) wine in excess of 25%.

i) Any other markings required under the standards of Weights and Measures (Packaged

Commodities) , rules 1977, and any other statutory requirement.

Note : Geographical designation /names may be used on the label solely for products originated from that geographical region (the origin of the grapes should be proved by a way that has been determined).The mention Indian wine should be precisely conformed to avoid the blending of a large amount of foreign wine with Indian wines. The percentage to determine can be limited as per example at 25% or any other value.

15.6.2 Certification Marking

The product may also be marked with the BIS Standard Mark. The use of the Standard Mark is governed by the provisions of Bureau of Indian Standards Act,1986 and the Rules and Regulations made there under. The details of conditions under which the license for the use of Standard Mark may be granted to manufacturers or producers may be obtained from Bureau of Indian Standards.

15.6.3 Geographical traceability of the wines

It is essential to establish the geographical traceability of the Indian wines to protect our indigenous wines from adulteration and conflicts at international markets. The term ‘geographical traceability’ can be defined as the Signature pertaining to the geographical origin of a wine sample. The components of a wine sample can be traced back from the grape berries out of which it was prepared. Establishing the relationship between the characteristic chemical compositions of the grapes with the specific features of different localities (e.g. peninsular area, hilly area, nearness to water bodies, etc.) can help in establishing the geographical traceability.

Once the traceability is established, this will be particularly useful to identify any adulteration in a specific wine with the wines from other localities or unspecified varieties. There are various techniques available for this, but the techniques involving the abundance ratio of the stable isotopes and application of NMR appears to be the most prominent. In stable isotope technique, the ratio of the stable oxygen isotopes viz. 16O and 18O is used, which is characteristic to a particular geographic location. Hence, just by analyzing the stable isotope pattern in a wine sample, it is possible to identify whether there is any adulteration or not, or whether the wine is really originated from the location declared in the label. Similarly, in NMR analysis, we find specific signature for the wines from specific locations.

a) Appellation:

1) Geographical area to be mentioned on the labels. Specific regions /valleys /district has be determined and published by Competent Authority and the wines produced from that particular regions only could use that Appellation.

2) Quality region shall be determined by the Competent Authority in future depending upon the quality of wine produced in that region, soil and climatic conditions. The wines produced only in such quality regions shall stipulate that specific Appellation on the labels.

15.7 Sampling

Representative samples shall be drawn and conformity of the material in the lot to the requirements of this specification shall be determined in accordance with the method prescribed in IS 3753:1984.

15.7.1 Sparkling Wine

1) To understand correctly this point we should clarify the following definitions:

· “Cuvèe” means: the grape must/ the wine/ the mixture of grape musts and or wines with different characteristics, intended for the preparation of a specific type of sparkling wines.

· “Tirage liqueur” means: the product added to the cuvèe to provoke secondary fermentation;

· “Expedition liqueur” means: the product added to the sparkling wines to give them a special taste qualities. The expedition liqueur may contain only: sucrose, grape must, grape must in fermentation, concentrated grape must, rectified concentrated grape must, wine or a mixture of thereof with the possible addition of wine distillated.

2) Any enrichment of the cuvèe shall be prohibited. Without prejudice to enrichment of Table wines authorized above the constituents of cuvèe or any enrichment of cuvèe shall be prohibited in case of sparkling wine. Acidification of the cuvèe may be carried out only up to a maximum of 1.5 grams per liter, expressed as tartaric acid or 20 milli equivalents per liter, provided that the natural acidity of the products is not less than 3 g/l expressed as tartaric acid.

3) The carbon dioxide contained in the sparkling wines may be produced only as a result of the alcoholic fermentation of the cuvèe from which such wine is prepared. Such fermentation, unless it is intended for processing grapes, grape must or grape must in fermentation directly into sparkling wine, may result only from the addition of tirage liqueur. It may take place only in bottles or in closed tanks.The use of carbon dioxide in the case of the process of transfer by counter pressure is authorized under supervision and on condition that the pressure of the carbon dioxide contained in the sparkling wine is not thereby increased.

4) Total alcoholic strength by volume of the cuvèe intended for their preparation should not be less than 8.5% .

5) The tirage liqueur intended for their preparation may contain only: grape must/ grape must in fermentation/ concentrated grape must/ rectified grape must/ sucrose wine.

6) Total sulphuric dioxide content in sparkling wine shall not be more than 150 mg./l . Maximum sulphur dioxide content shall be raised as regards to wines with the residual sugar of not less than 50g/l to 200g/l.

15.7.2 Liqueur wine

1) For the preparation of liqueur wine, the following products shall be used : grape must in fermentation ; or wine; or mixtures of products referred to in the preceding indents; or grape must or a mixture with wine.

2) Further more, the following shall be added : neutral alcohol obtained from the distillation of products of the wine sector, including dried grapes, having an alcoholic strength of not less than 96% by volume/ wine distillate or dried grape distillate with an alcoholic strength of not less than 52% and not more than 86% by volume. The addition of alcohol, distillate or spirits in order to compensate for losses due to evaporation during ageing is also authorised.

3) The natural alcoholic strength by volume for the preparation of a liqueur wine may not be less than 12 per cent. But the total sulphur dioxide content for direct human consumption may not exceed 150 mg/L when residual sugar content is below 5 g/L and not exceeding 200 mg/L when residual sugar is more than 5 g/L.

Conclusions: Presently Indian wine industry is in a nascent stage, though it has kick started only from Maharashtra much remains to be seen at the national level. The growers will have to reorient themselves for wine grapes cultivation. The Indian wine makers should learn from new world’s ( Australia and Chile ) wine makers and strictly adhere to international quality standards so that exports of wines will be their prime target. Indians will have to go generously and in celebrating manners for wine consumptions and be able to descriminate wines with other alcoholic liqueurs. The wine in fact is a social and health drink, its consumption has to be promoted through various media campaigns and wine festivals. We hope, subsequently there exists a huge scope for expansion in area and production of wine grapes in our country....