A taste of Kolhapur Wine Festival


The quaint town of Kolhapur recently played host to the two-day long Kolhapur Wine Festival. Organised by Hotel Tourist, a hotel operational for the last 42 years in Kolhapur, the event brought together different wine producers and wine connoisseurs to increase awareness and consumption of wine in the city.

 EE spoke to Festival Director Nakul Patankar to discover more about the event.

Can you shed some light on how and why the festival came into being? 

Hotel Tourist was the first begin operations in Kolhapur. This year we entered our 50th year of operations, and to celebrate this milestone, we have planned multiple events for our guests. The first of these was the Kolhapur Wine Festival.

We wanted to hold a festival, which was unique to Kolhapur, and the intended audiences were our patrons.

 We also wanted to create more awareness about the excellent wines available in India, and dispel some myths about them. So this was an ideal platform to get the interested guests and wine companies together to increase awareness about wines in Kolhapur.

 Who was the festival for? How was the turnout like? 

The festival was for the people of Kolhapur, who were interested in knowing more about wines. Along with this, it served as a platform for the wineries to present their product to the attendees.

 We specifically targeted the most prominent citizens of Kolhapur, members of prominent clubs and organisations as our audience. Approximately 750 guests visited the festival over 2 days, despite unseasonal rains and the ongoing General Elections.

 A few wineries that participated in the festival were Charosa Vineyards, Sula Vineyards, Pause Wines, Seven Peaks Winery and Seagram’s Nine Hills.

Take us through some of the activities you planned at the festival over two days.

The festival seeks to bring together good wine, good food and good music. We had Indian and Italian Live Food Counters. The Italian counter was put up by Little Italy, Kolhapur and the Indian Food Counters were hosted by Hotel Tourist.

 Hotel Atria Grape Stomp was brought on board to bring some fun and excitement to the event. We had noted Classical singers from in and around Kolhapur participating in the event.

 Did you collaborate with any brand or agency to put up the festival?

No, the entire event, from its inception to execution was managed by Hotel Tourist & Hotel Atria, Kolhapur. The principal organiser of the Kolhapur Wine Festival is Mr. R A. Patankar, and the event was planned and organised under his guidance. He is also the Chairman of the Kolhapur District Cricket Association (KDCA), and the Managing Director of Hotel Tourist & Hotel Atria, Kolhapur.

 Now that the festival is over, what are the learnings you’ll take away from this edition?

Kolhapur is a city rooted in tradition. We actually expected a lukewarm response to such a different event. But the turnout was overwhelming. We found that there are a significant section of people who are extremely knowledgeable and well informed about wines. Wine companies selling out all their premium selections on the first day of the festival were indications that they also possess purchasing power.

 We observed that a large segment of our audience have always been interested in knowing more about wines, but were held back as there was no one to explain the different types of wines, glassware to use, and what food goes with which wine. A sommelier to explain more about wines and it's pairing with food (especially Indian food) to the audience would have complemented the event very well.

 Are you planning more events in the near future?

Yes, we are planning the KWF to be an annual event, and we expect to hold the 2nd edition at the end of December 2014 or early January 2015. Since, this was the first time such an event was held, we were not sure of the response and interest for wines in Kolhapur. That was the reason we decided to hold this on a small scale, and restrict the participation to 5 companies. But, with the response we have received, both from the wine companies and guests, we hope to make the 2nd edition bigger and better!

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festival Kohlapur music wine

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