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Wanderlust to wine countries

Eno, Latin for wine, has been flowing thickly in the Indian market, and growing at 30 per cent annually, reports Sushmita Bose.

india Updated: Oct 15, 2006 02:57 IST

Francisco Javier Leon de la Riva, the Mayor of Valladolid — the former Spanish imperial capital that is home to Cervantes’ only surviving house — recently visited New Delhi and serenaded Indians, not with the legend of Don Quixote, but eno tourism.

Eno, Latin for wine, has been flowing thickly in the Indian market, and growing at 30 per cent annually. Now, it is translating into a travel trade. Cox & Kings India’s Karan Anand reveals that this trend has just caught on here. “Australia and France are the most popular choices for Indians,” he points out. South America conducts exotic wine-drinking tours too, “but there is low connectivity from India”.

In France, Indians have lately been seen going on “daily wine tours” — from Lyon to Beaujolais. Rhone Alps Tourist Board of India’s Barbara Breheret says, “Vegetarian meals are organised for them from Indian restaurants in Lyon.”

Gonzalo Recio Cordova of Valladolid’s foreign trade department was part of a delegation that came to woo Indians to Spanish vineyards in the Castile region. “It is a new travel proposition here,” he says, “so we are offering deals between 1,800-2,000 euros per person (Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.2 lakh) for a week, including airfare.”

According to makemytrip.com’s Sachin Bhatia, for a customised trip from India — where eno-tourism is part of the package — “a wine day tour could range from US$ 50 to US$ 200”. “A typical example will be to add on a wine tour to a Melbourne visit or to an Adelaide city stay, from where you can visit the Adelaide hills for some wine tasting,” he explains. “Some of these tours also include bottles (as samples) or major discounts on purchase.” Italy, New Zealand and South Africa are also gaining in prominence.

Eno is going to flow in the domestic tourism sector as well, says sommelier Magandeep Singh: “Resorts are being built in vineyards in India, complete with landing strips and golf courses to attract tourists.”