Kinnaur’s wild apricot and grape wines to get licence for commercial sale
SHIMLA: Exotic wines made from wild apricot and grapes by Kinnauri tribals are likely to hit the markets soon, with the government deciding to issue licences to winemakers next year to sell it commercially.
Planning to generate revenues from wines that tribals make with chulli or wild apricots and grapes for personal consumption and not commercial use, the government will also incorporate winemaking in its excise policy from the next financial year. Microbreweries will be set up in the main fruit growing areas in Shimla, Kinnaur and Mandi district “to increase the state’s income,: said Sanjay Kundu, additional chief secretary and principal secretary to Chief Minister Sanjay Kundu.
The varieties made here include the light and fruity chulli, which sometimes includes dried apple and is quite popular among the locals of Kinnaur region. Angoori is a potent wine made from fermented red and green grapes in the Ribba region of Kinnaur. It’s said to be a remedy for cold related ailments .
Wild apricot, especially the oil extracted from the kernel, is believed to have many medicinal properties and is good for the skin. It was given a geographical indication (GI) tag last year, which is used for agricultural, natural or manufactured products originating from a definite geographical region and indicative of quality and distinctiveness.
“The government should have done this many years back though its not too late . Visitors coming from different parts of the country often demand angoori and chulli wine,” says Arun Negi who runs a guest house in Sangla.
Himachal Pradesh is the first state in the country to formulate a policy for registration of GI under policy guidelines issued by the state government.
Chulli oil, produced by many societies in Kinnaur, is sold at rates varying between ₹1,000 to ₹1,500 per litre. Registration under GI tags prevents unauthorised production as well as misuse of the name of these products . The government is already conducting awareness programmes in Kinnaur to apprise stakeholders of its future plans.