Shillong, Nov 12: Wine-makers in this capital of Meghalaya are raising toast and cheer amidst universal romance in the "Shillong Wine Festival".
The annual wine festival is being organised by Forever Young Sports Club (FYSC) is based exclusively on local horticulture products- Passion fruits, Bananas, Pears, Plums, Pine Apple, Strawberries, Gooseberries and Ginger.
Wine connoisseurs as far as Switzerland and United Kingdom and from several parts of the country thronged Swimming Pool near the Crinoline Waterfalls here, today and sampled various home-made wines.
"It's awe-inspiring. I have never got a chance to sip varieties of home-made wine like this," said Bruce Aubry referring the goose berries wine was much better than the branded one.
With Meghalaya's scenic beauty, such festival would cock sure attract tourists to visit Meghalaya. A tourist prefers home-made food and wine, tour operator Radheyshyam Goenka said.
For 79-year-old Ilip Jyrwa, an expert in wine making for five decades, said he would have been one of the 'big shots' by now had the state government allow him to sell his varieties of home-made wines from Passion fruit to Cucumber.
Another wine-maker, Dr Julian Laloo said with Meghalaya rich in Horticulture products, wine will in turn encourage the farming community to concentrate more fruits trees. "It will take us sometime as the young ones will realise the economy of home-made products be it wine or any other products," Dr Laloo added.
Wine makers from Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa are also at the festival.
The prices ranged from Rs. 250 to Rs. 800 a bottle.