Ginger, mulberry fruit, strawberry, litchi, pineapple, passion fruit, blackberry, plum, banana, jackfruit or even cashew apple, name it and they have been fermented to produce a sensual variety of wine by some wine buffs.
Around 12 home-made wine makers from all over the country descended in Shillong to give wine enthusiasts a unique opportunity to raise a toast to the coming chill as the hill city kicked off the only-of-its kind festival on Saturday.
Raghuvendra, who is into fish processing, has come all the way from Andhra Pradesh with a unique wine made from cashew apple. "Cashew apple is not a relished fruit. People generally tend to discard it. I have made this wine from cashew apple for the first time in May with an aim to showcase it in this festival," Raghuvendra said.
He has made three types of wine aerobic, anaerobic and bio-reactor. Himself a teetotaller, Raghuvendra said the manufacturing cost of his wine was very low and could be a good take once it was marketed.
Pankaj Awasthi of Arunachal Pradesh has come with his unique home-made wine based on banana, pineapple and grapes for the second time to take part in the festival. "Bananas are available in plenty in the local market, so there is no dearth of raw material," says Pankaj, who has named all is wines after his wife Ritu, as he offers his 'Valley and Hills' brand of wine.
"Our wine will not have any sediment at least for 10 years," guarantees Pankaj, who has done his degree in alcohol technology from the National Sugar Institute, the only institution of its kind in Asia.