Wine tourism is hit hollow due to the consecutive dry days that followed the riots in the district. Right after the incident, the excise department had declared dry days from Wednesday to Friday.
The wineries in Nashik wore a deserted look through the week as the number of tourists dropped by 98%.
Known as the wine capital of the country, tourists visit the vineyards here and taste wine in the tasting rooms. This week was a huge disappointment for tourists as they could visit the wineries but not taste any wine.
Vice president of Sula Vineyards, Neeraj Agrawal said, “The number of wine tourists have sharply declined in the last three days due to the dry days. We support the government’s decision of declaring dry days, but it has affected wine tourism adversely. There was a rush of tourists due to Dasara holidays, but people have not come after that due to the riots and the dry days.”
“Around 1,200 tourists visit our winery in the weekends and average 700 tourists on other days. But, very few people visited our winery in the past three days,” Agrawal said.
The owner of Vallonne Vineyards, Shailendra Pai said, “On an average, 50 people visit our winery daily. But, the recent riots, along with the dry days, badly affected our business.”
While the tourism business of wineries was badly affected, tourists dropping in to Nashik were more disappointed. “I have a taste for good wine and was planning to visit Nashik with my family. Coming all the way from Bangalore, I was highly disappointed as I did not get to taste any wine,” said Rajesh Sharma, a tourist.
Of the total 95 wineries in the country, 77 are in Maharashtra. Of which, 39 are in the Nashik district alone. Maharashtra accounts for almost 90% of the total wine grape production in the country and Nashik contributes 80% of the total wine production in the country.
Three consecutive dry days from Wednesday to Friday have badly affected wine tourism in the district in past three days.
The excise department of the state government had declared dry days for three consecutive days from Wednesday to Friday following cases of arsons and riots in the district on Sunday and Monday, which broke out following alleged rape on a minor girl by a teenage boy at Talegaon village near Nashik. This affected wine tourism in the district.
Nashik, which is known as wine capital of the country in past decade, has also emerged as wine tourism destination in the country as thousands of tourists visit to Nashik’s wineries daily. They visit wineries, vineyards and also taste wine in the tasting room there. But wineries have worn a deserted look as numbers of tourists have declined sharply by 98 per cent. Some tourists visited wineries, but were disappointed as they could not taste wine here.
Nashik-based Sula Vineyards has been a major wine producer in the country as it shares over 60 per cent market share. Moreover, its winery in the city has been an attraction to the tourists not from across the country, but also from across the world. Thousands of tourists are visiting the winery and tasting the wine daily.
Neeraj Agrawal, vice-president, Sula Vineyards said, “Wine is a new thing and people coming here taste wine. But numbers of wine tourists have sharply declined in past three days due to dry days announced in view of the unrest in Nashik. We support the government decision of declaring dry days, but it has also affected wine tourism. There had been rush of tourist by Dusshera due to holidays, but people didn’t come thereafter for three days due to riots and as well as dry days.”