As many as 700 farmers are eager to share the profits of the wine industry and have applied for stakes in the much-talked-about proposal of making farmers stakeholders in a winery at Baramati. Four Seasons Wines Limited,a part of the UB Group headed by Vijay Mallya,had come out with the proposal.
UB Group sources confirmed the registrations and said they were in the process of shortlisting and approving them with the company interested in issuing shares to the farmers by April. United Spirits Limited,the spirits division of the UB Group,will hold 51 per cent in the winery and the remaining shares will be issued to investors and farmers,said company officials. This is the first time in the Indian wine industry that a large business house is offering equity participation to its local partners.
Four Seasons Winery will be starting its second crushing season in another two weeks and crushing around 2,000 tonnes of grapes to make around 1.5 million bottles of wine for 2010-11.