Thursday, May 24, 2012: 03:34:34 PM

Food Processing Guest Column

Wine manufacturing: an art - M K Rustagi, Nirvana Biosys

Wine manufacturing is an elongated process requiring some serious attention, especially in India because the country is still at a nascent stage in terms of production

Wine making is considered to be a passion that transforms into constant innovation, resulting in the introduction of ‘first time in the world products’. More so India is yet to be seen as a qualitative wine producing nation on the world wine map.

The process of wine making involves lot of stages starting from fermentation of grape juice under controlled temperature conditions, oak maturation of red wine, stabilisation in tank, fining and filtration and then bottling.
There are also a lot of challenges involved in the process of wine manufacturing. Since, like us when we initially started, most companies do not have their own vineyard in India and have to import high quality grape juice from Italy, which ensures a fine quality wine. 
Lack of awareness at the customers end is another tough challenge that most companies have to encounter. People in India are not much informed about the basics of wine. Thus, it is important to initiate intensive educational programmes in the form of Wine Training Sessions for educating the consumers.
Crop failure could be another big issue for those Indian companies which have got their vineyards here in India as they have a limitation of making wines from only one harvest in a year. However, it is important to be flexible about sourcing grape juice from anywhere in the world.
Wine production - a relatively new phenomenon
Production of wine in India by an Indian company came in quite late. However, ever since LUCA has entered into the wine industry the mental block regarding wine manufacturing in India has changed. As a matter of fact we being one of the early movers in the country, we have been entrusted with the opportunity to set the trends on wine manufacturing in India. There are different flavours of wine in India which are widely accepted and appreciated worldwide. Different types like Lychee and Mango wines have been introduced and appreciated worldwide, especially in Europe. The German press has described Lychee wine as an “Outrageously Delicious” wine.
Winemaking is more of an Art than Science. The right materials assembled will chemically react and produce an alcoholic liquid, but how, when, and where to properly perform this alchemy to produce an elixir that will delight your taste buds, requires an artist.
Quality control is one important parameter that wine manufacturers have to stick to.  There are stringent quality checks at different levels. But it is the quality of raw material and expertise in wine making strengths that eventually help a company to maintain the quality of products. 
India has been making wines for quite some time now. But still it has not been able to match the quality expectation a matured palate looks for in a good wine. Indian wines were never put in the same league where wines from Europe are well placed. Indian grapes used in wine making have a limitation of offering an international quality wine due to change in soil and climatic conditions. The kind of wines and varietals we make are at par with Italian and French wines.
M K Rustagi is the joint managing director of Nirvana Biosys

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