Wine Made In Mizoram Is Inbound, And We're Here For It
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Mizoram is one of the dry states in India. And as is the case with most dry states, political turmoil over the sale and export of alcoholic beverages had stifled the growth of local wine manufacturers. But on August 30th, this year, the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) government under Chief Minister Zoramthanga implemented The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Draft Rules, 2022. They concluded that the prohibition law which they brought into effect in 2019 after their post-poll win, would continue to be followed strictly, although the sale and production of wine has been allowed. According to a report in the PTI, processing will be allowed only if the wine is brewed from ‘fresh grapes harvested locally by farmers under the prohibition law.'

The primary grape-growing regions in Mizoram are Champhai and Hnahlan. Since 2001, with the funding of the Horticulture Technology Mission, the grape growers in the region had been planting and sowing grapes. In May this year, government officials shut down a fair number shops in the region on charges of selling imported liquor. Shop owners and producers were beyond enraged because their homemade local wine was part of the raided seizure items. Ever since then, the grape grower’s societies remained adamant in their demand of change in the legislation to brew wine and return the seized bottles of homegrown liquor.

State excise and narcotics minister Dr. K. Beichhua was quoted saying that ‘approval of the wine rules would facilitate sale of grape wines produced in the Northeastern parts of the state for sacramental wines and beverages.’ Although under The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Act, consumption and export of liquor or any drink containing alcohol is still prohibited, the restrictions on sale and production of local wine has been lifted and that must come as a sigh of relief for farmers or grape growers in Mizoram who aim to cash in on this golden opportunity.

Wine consumption in India is very less compared to other countries in the world. Wine grape production in India only started in the 1980s. There are five major wine producing regions in India now which includes Nashik, and Pune in Maharashtra, and Bangalore, Hampi Hills, Bijapur and Northern regions of Karnataka. Nashik currently holds the title of the Wine Capital of India due to the number of wineries that are established there which amounts to fifty percent of country's overall winery count.