Fly the friendly skies with Indian wines

In an attempt to boost the sales of domestic wines, civil aviation ministry to allow the sale of Indian-made wines aboard international flights for a 3-month trial

Flying and want to parch your quenching thirst? Chances are you might be served Indian wine aboard flights very soon. The move is being made in an attempt to boost the sales of country-made wines.

Winemakers claim the sale of Indian wines aboard flights will
open up the market for them, allowing them to make more sales

Winemakers approached the civil aviation ministry with the idea to help promote Indian wines. Following the request, officials from the ministry have said they will conduct a three-month trial period wherein domestic wine will be served as part of the flight menu.

Confirming the same, Jagdish Holkar, president, All India Wine Producers Association (AIWPA), said, "As the adage goes Charity begins from home, we approached representatives from the civil aviation ministry, defence and embassies seeking their help to promote domestic wine abroad. Representatives had accepted our proposal and have given us a three-month time period for the same."

Holkar added that the initiative will help in building a market for Indian wineries. According to recent figures, 2.3 crore litre of wine was not sold and also further elaborated that the plan will open up job offers to at least 25,000 families by 2020.

And it seems that winemakers have welcomed the plan. CEO of Sula Vineyards Rajeev Samant said, "We will be glad if the move is passed successfully. Wine is served the world over while flying and I see no reason why Indian wine should not be served on flights. Till a few years back, it was mandatory to serve only Indian wine at defence functions, which proved to be successful. This is an excellent move and I hope things go in our favour."

Which wines?
However, for the plan to be passed there are some issues that the civil ministry officials and winemakers have to be handled.

Rajesh Jadhav, secretary of AIWPA and the owner of Rajdheer Wines Pvt, revealing the issues, said, "Serving of domestic wines in international flights depends on various factors like the demand and the taste preferences of the passengers, good quality and brands.

Therefore, to begin with, only wines that have been selected by the Indian Grape processing board will be used."

Additionally, brochures will also be made and given to flyers that will provide and educate them on the wines being served as part of the menu.

Surplus Spirits
Stock (in litres) with wineries
2006-07: 66.3 lakh
2007-08: 10.5 lakh
2008-09: 15.2 lakh
2009-10: 2.53 crore
2010-2011: 2.30 crore

Other promotions
Other ideas were also presented to boost the sale of Indian wines during the meeting: 
Indian wines to be sold in Defence canteens
Central Police Canteens to also sell domestic wines
Ministry of External affairs to conduct wine tasting sessions to promote Indian wines

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