It’s a truth universally acknowledged (or at least should be by now) that there is no greater means of being blissfully intoxicated than by a bottle of wine. Grapes have been the traditional offering to the wine Gods but why write off the infinite potential of other fruits to please oenophiles? Earlier last year, India witnessed the launch of the first ever chikoo wine - an unprecedented innovation that was well-received throughout the country. Now, we have our very own organic Kiwi wine - India’s very first yet again.
‘Naara-Aaba’, the first ever pure Kiwi wine in India, was launched in October, 2017. Unlike most wineries and vineyards that are located in the Western half of the country, Naara-Aaba hails from the Northeast. In the hills of Arunachal Pradesh is Asia’s second largest village called ‘Hong village’, near Ziro in Subansiri district. Hong is inhabited by one of the major tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, the Apatani people. In 2016, 26% of the 9,428 tonnes of kiwi fruit produced in the country came from Arunachal Pradesh. So it was only natural that the people of Hong village used the available technology and the vast lands to create something new. And hence, India’s first organic Kiwi wine was birthed.
Named after Tage Rita’s late father-in-law who had a special place in his heart for local wines, the kiwis that are used in the production of Naara-aaba are completely organic and free of any chemicals. Moreover, it has contributed significantly to the livelihood of the farmers in the area. The machines used at the winery come from all over the world.
“The wine is an indigenous innovation of a man who could foresee a beautiful end of his imagination in a divine fruit called KIWI. For the hardworking and fun loving people of Ziro valley, its a gentle wake up call to learn new and modern ways to utilise their vast lands”, reads the official website of Naara-Aaba.
However, owing to the lack of connectivity and development of Arunachal Prahesh vis-a-vis the rest of the country, Naara-Aaba is still not available everywhere in the country. This delicious and fruity wine checks all the boxes as far as quality and taste is concerned. It’s top notch. But the bad condition of the roads makes it difficult to transport Naara Aaba to other parts of the country. Something Tage Rita Takhe particularly struggled with while trying to find the right bottle for marketing the wine. After much research, she found imported Chinese bottles, which were considerably more expensive but less delicate.
Currently, Naara Aaba is only available in Arunachal and Assam. It is priced at INR 1200 in Arunacha; and INR 1500 in Assam. The smaller bottles are priced at INR 600 and INR 800 respectively in both the states.
Feature Image Courtesy: The Hindu
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