Craft wine policies further liberalized in Maharashtra; This way

In an effort to support grape farmers, the Maharashtra government has decided to liberalize its policy for fruit/flower-based naturally fermented pure wines. These wines are also popularly known as craft wines.

In a recent announcement, the minimum area restriction for craft wine bars has been lifted. Earlier, the criterion was to be 16 sqm or 172 sq ft. Also, now anyone can apply for a wine store license. This was not possible earlier.

times of India Excise Principal Secretary Valsa Nair Singh was quoted as saying that the decision was an attempt to increase the reach of craft wines.

Craft wine, a popular drink, is extensively manufactured in Maharashtra. The process involves fermentation of fruit juices, flowers, rice or bananas using yeast without adding any foreign ingredients.

Further, Singh said that cans of not less than 1 liter and not more than 5 liters would be available for purchase at exclusive liquor shops. He said that the right to issue license has been given to the district officer.

The government plans to promote these special walk-in shops from 71 sqm to 600 sqm where tasting areas will also be available. The intention, officials said, was to “turn the liquor buying experience in the city like duty-free imported liquor markets” at airports.

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