The kiwi as a source of wine


Its vineyards thriving with high-quality fruit, Arunachal Pradesh ties up with Pune company for India's first homemade kiwi wine

Arunachal Pradesh is looking at the kiwi, or Chinese gooseberry, as a cash crop that would not only bring prosperity to its tribal cultivators but also allow setting up of a couple of units to manufacture kiwi wine, which in itself is a high-priced product on the national market.

Last week, the Arunachal Pradesh Horticulture Produce Marketing and Processing Board (APHPMPB) signed an MoU with a Pune-based company, Hill Crest Foods and Beverages Pvt Ltd, for supply of the fruit for the manufacture of wine, initially as a pilot project.

"We have signed the MoU for initial supply of 3,500 kg kiwi, from which the company is supposed to produce 5,000 litres kiwi wine," said Tage Tatung, managing director of APHMPB. "Once this project clicks, we propose to set up a manufacturing unit in Arunachal Pradesh so that it also helps generate employment."

Tatung said the kiwi wine produced would be initially marketed in Arunachal Pradesh and Maharashtra before it is sent out to the national market.

"This will be first time kiwi wine will be produced in India," said Akalpit Arvind Prabhune, managing director of Rhythm Winery, a division of Hill Crest Foods. "So long whatever little kiwi wine is available in the country is being imported from New Zealand. But as the demand is increasing and we have found very good quality kiwi fruits in Arunachal Pradesh, we are soon going to manufacture kiwi wine in Pune, which will be initially sold in Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh."

Rhythm Winery is already producing strawberry and pineapple wine. "There is a big market for refreshing wines that have very low alcohol content, and kiwi wine is one item that will be able to meet this demand," Prabhune said.

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