Sula to set up world class nursery for grape plantation in Nashik

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Mumbai, Nov 12 (UNI) A world class nursery for grape plantation is being set up in Nashik in a joint venture with a French company, with total investment of Rs five crore over the next two and a half years.

Sula Vineyards, producer of premium wines, will be setting up the project across 150 acres. ''It is the need of the hour to set up a nursery to ensure that grape plantations are virus free. This will ensure consistency in wine production and eventually lead to enhancing the quality of wine produced in years to come,'' Rajeev Samant, Founder and Managing Director of Sula Vineyards said in a company release issued here today.

Besides, the nursery, the company has also announced this year's investment plan of Rs five crore for acquiring a wine factory.

The company recently bought Pimpane Co-operative India Ltd, based 30 km from Nashik. ''The 15-year-old facility has been taken over in an open and transparent tender process and it will be restarted within three months,'' the release said.

Sula has three wineries in Nashik with a total wine capacity of 1.75 million litres and with the acquisition of Pimpane, its capacity will rise to two million litres.

The company has acquired an additional 500 acres of vineyard this year and the total acreage under ownership and contract farmers has increased from 700 acres to 1,200 acres.

Mr Samant said as a major boost to wine industry, retailers will be shortly allowed to sell wine in super markets. ''We have also tied-up with Food Bazaar as their preferred wine partner and are currently assisting them with the licensing process. You will soon be able to walk into a supermarket and walk out with a bottle of Sula wine along with other groceries,'' he added.

Sula's Sauvignon Blanc 2006 has already received four out of five stars in La Revue du Vin de France, a leading wine magazine in France, the release added.

For the last three years, the wine industry was growing at a rate of 30 per cent and 25 per cent growth was expected every year for the next three years, Mr Samant said.

Maharashtra will add 3,000 acres of wine grapes this year to cope with the increasing demand and an additional 4000-5000 acres has to be planted over the next five years, the release added.


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