India to become member of elite wine club

March 31st, 2010 - 3:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Verona (Italy), March 31 (IANS) India, one of the growing wine markets, will soon become the first Asian country to join the Paris-based International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).
Federico Castellucci, the director general of OIV, said the organisation was looking forward to welcoming India as a full member in a few months.

“We see no problem in getting the membership through… in fact, I will personally welcome members of the Indian embassy in Paris and officials of Indian government to attend some of the events to be held during the interim period,” said Castellucci.

Castellucci was speaking at the 18th Vinitaly Concorso Internationale at Verona, Italy Monday. He expressed happiness that India would be the first Asian country to become the member without becoming an observer.

“India is one of the wine key markets of the 21st century and that it is fundamental that India can participate actively in the international normative process as a plenary OIV Member, both to regulate a sector in rapid development, but also to secure its consumers and facilitate international trade.

“India has medium sized, boutique wineries which will benefit a lot from the membership. You have a country with different cuisines but could be very open to wine culture. We can do a great job in helping you develop the industry,” said Castellucci.

He also acknowledged that Subhash Arora, president of the Delhi Wine Club and Indian Wine Academy, played an important role in this initiative.

China and Japan are also interested in getting the membership of the organisation, but through different provinces or private organisations, which is not allowed as OIV membership is open only through the governments.

Membership of OIV is based on the production volumes of the member nations.

OIV holds an annual General Assembly hosted by different member nations. The next one is scheduled in 2011 and will be hosted by Turkey. India would be invited as a member.

All the wine producing nations - a total of 43 nations - are members of OIV.

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