From the INDIAN WINE ACADEMY  Newsletter, 28 February 2011 11:07

Following the success of the maiden edition of the 2-day festival held in April 2010, the second edition of the Bangalore International Wine Festival is being organised at Palace Grounds in Bangalore from March 11 for 3 days with around 30 wine companies expected to be present for tasting by the general public along with several wine related programmes.
The event includes the staple activities such events, namely wine appreciation seminars and guided tasting sessions, grape stomping, fashion shows, music bands and seminars on wine tasting.

B. N. Nanjundaiah, Managing Director of Naka wines, one of the promoters of the Festival, claims that in the previous edition in 2010, more than 25,000 people had visited the festival held at White Petals.  This time, the event is expected to attract around 45,000 visitors, which would make it the most popular and attended wine festival in India.

Wine industry is a direct extension of the agriculture sector as wine grapes are the basic ingredients.  A higher consumption will increase demand for the grapes which will directly benefit the farmers”, adds Nanjundaiah.

The state Government of Karnataka had introduced the progressive wine policy in 2007 to promote wine consumption and the resultant growth in the agricultural sector through the entry of new domestic wineries. Karnataka Wine Board had supported and part-sponsored the first ever wine festival in Lalbagh in 2009.  This achieved limited success as it was restricted to only Indian wines.

However, next year-2010 saw a commercial interest enter the organisation of a wine festival with introduction of imported wines at the same venue as this year — the Palace Grounds.  Nanjundaiah claims these measures have helped increased sales of wine in the State.

The entry fee of the festival is Rs 100 per person and also entitles the visitors a wine glass beside the entry ticket. It offers a great opportunity to the Bangalore residents to get educated about the health drink that brings an unnecessary awe and ignorance for many people who stay away from this low-alcohol lifestyle product.  The visitors would do well to try tasting as many wines as possible to help them learn as much as possible during the three days- after attending the seminar on how to taste wine and not gulp it.

Bangalore is fast establishing itself as a city of wine festivals besides Goa, Mumbai,  Pune and Nashik (largely thanks to Sula).  Delhi is unfortunately devoid of such festivals because the government frowns upon the wine promotion as a health drink and treats it as an alcohol. It does not allow such tastings for the public in the open.