Shillong Wine Fest 2012


This year, the Shillong annual Wine Festival held at crinoline swimming pool took place on the 10th November 2012. The festival kicked off at 12 in the afternoon and it was followed by a performance of local band Colors.   Amidst the festivities and flow of wine made from different local fruits, our editor caught up with the founder of the festival Mr. Michael Syiem for an insight on how and why he started out such a fest and what his plan is for the future concerning the fest.

Upon asking him about how the concept came about he explains; “In our state different types of fruits, herbs, vegetables and saps grow through the year in different seasons and many a times especially in the rural areas, people feed their pigs with these fruits and careless about the value of such rich production o these fruits.” With regards to that matter, Mr. Syiem said he was tickled by an idea and he quoted;  “Why not add value addition to them and represent them in the form of wine?” He further added that ever since this concept had come about, there has been an active participation from different wine makers of the state and these days the wine makers are even experimenting when it comes to the process of  manufacturing wine with the usage of a variety of available fruits. More so, according to him he looks at this as an opportunity to the formation of proper cottage industries whereby the people in the rural areas can make a comfortable living with additional income through wine making.

The cost and expenditures to this venture does not cost much of a great fortune but very reasonable and people can get themselves engaged into it with the ability of a decent investment if starting from scratch. When asked about how the fest has evolved throughout these years, he went on saying ; “Now we are at the tenth year of the fest and it’s amazing to see that there has been a lot of improvement not only in terms of wine quality but also the bottling and arrangements and even the participation has undergone through some massive changes in the sense that there are more people who are now into making wine and they’re taking the business more seriously.”

However, Mr. Syiem argues about the fact that wine making is not legalized here in our state. He’s more than keen on urging the government to legalize wine making as our neighboring states like Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh has done so back in the days; because according to what he’s seen in the past years at the fest in the context of wine making, there is an enormous scope here in our state for the wine industry. Hence he gets back to the point where he opines that this concept of a wine fest is to encompass a shape, elevation and conditions for the production methods and a unique industry wherein there would be producers of mass-production and where consistency shall prevail and this can be a part of a new potential entrepreneurship venture here in our state.

The Shillong 10th wine festival saw wines made from different ingredients and usually the wines are named after the fruit or vegetable (strawberry,plump,ginger,blackberry, raspberry etc) from which they are produced. A number of attendees enjoyed a taste of their preferred wines and this festival marks evidence that there is truly a possibility for an extensive industry here in our state. If these beverages, which seem to be valuable business returns there is no doubt that in the long run we see the dreams of Mr. Syiem turning into reality. You like some fine wine? You ought to be there at the next year’s edition of the fest. Check photos below.


Chameleon Press Staff

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