The Karnataka Wine Board (KWB) has increased its focus on wine tourism in the state in its bid to boost awareness to increase wine consumption in the state. The body believes wine sales can increase by 20 per cent to 25 per cent each year in the state. "In 2007, we saw wine sales of about 1.3 million litres, but now in 2013, wine sales is estimated at 4.1 million litres. We think this can grow 20-25 per cent annually, and it can double to about 8 million litres in four years," says B Krishna, Managing Director of the Karnataka Wine Board. KWB has embarked on a series of events to promote this awareness. It will begin a 365-day facility at the Heritage Winery premises in Channapatna for those interested in wine tourism. Krishna says, the initiative is expected to meet significant response as the winery is on the road that connects Bangalore to Mysore, popular among tourists. The beginning of the initiative will be marked by a two-day festival at the winery on December 21 and December 22.
KWB expects about 20,000 people to attend the festival in the Ramanagara district. Ten companies, including UB Group's Four Seasons, Sula Vineyards, Big Banyan Wines, Heritage and Myra Vineyards are expected to participate. KWB is also planning an International Wine festival in Bangalore during January. In the last year's wine festival, KWB signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) with 10 companies to set up wineries in the state.