Wineries in India shift to table grapes following weather and Covid-19 challenges
After widespread damage to wine variety grapes in India, wineries are resorting to crushing table grapes, according to Times of India.
This new pattern of buying from local table grape farmers also comes in response to challenges faced by table grape producers amid the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns as it has prevented growers from reaching consumers.
In the country's wine region of Nashik, producers had decided earlier to reduce the volume of grape crushing by 30%, after slowdowns in production and unexpected rain. The industry is now looking towards table grapes as a solution.
As winemakers continued to see that its suppliers were badly impacted by weather, some wineries bought table grapes directly from farmers for the first time. Some wineries said that they have changed their approach to provide relief to farmers.
"We use only wine grapes to make our wine. But table grape farmers were badly affected this season because of the lockdown — they were unable to send their produce to domestic markets. To help them, we have already procured 150 tonne of grapes for crushing in past two weeks. We will procure an additional 150-200 tonne,” Sivaji Aher of Renaissance winery, according to the Times of India.
With a total of 18,000 metric tons (MT) of grapes already crushed, 7,000MT of those were table grapes, according to data from All-India Wine Producer's Association (AIWPA).
“The vineyards growing wine grapes were badly damaged due to the unseasonal rainfall in September and October. We had to reduce our target. However, latter we decided to use table grapes. We crushed 250 tonne of grapes, including 150 tonne of table grapes,” Pradeep Pachpatil of Soma Wines told the publication.
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