By Ibochouba Maibam
Imphal, Nov 22: ‘Zawlaidi’ grape wine literally means ‘love pot’ and is locally brewed at Champhai and Hnahlan grape winery Ltd located in northeastern parts of Mizoram state near the Indo-Myanmar border. The product is very visible in the Mizoram markets however as a result of single harvesting of grapes by the Grower Society of Champhai district and Hnahlan District Grape Winery Ltd. demands of people is far above availability.
The Champhai and Hnahlan grape winery Ltd was establish in the year 2007, July 16 however the winery was left paralyzed for three years due to the prohibition on wine production imposed by the government according to Liquor Total Prohibition Act, passed in 1997, however the winery became functional again this year after the Mizoram government revised the Act.
At present this winery is functioning under the supervision of excise and narcotic department government of Mizoram.
In Champhai the Grape Growers Society has 325 families engaged in grape cultivation and harvested 478.5 quintals of grapes during 2009-10 while Hnahlan Grape Growers Society has 670 families of cultivators and their annual harvest during 2009-10 was 6916 quintals.
According to Chunga Chemist, the Manager Champhai Grape Winery Ltd, Mizoram said the demand of this wine is very high but till today the winery is not able to fulfill the demands. The wine is produce only once in a year during harvesting season ,in the month of July and Sept as the Grape grower society is unable to harvest the grape due to climatic conditions.
He further said the grape variety which the growers plant is called “Vitis Lebruska” and they are working under financial fundings from the Mizoram Rural Bank and the product of wine is 650 ml per kg, and per day the winery could produced about 200 to 300 bottle and the bottle is sold at Rs.150 after deducting tax by the different vendors. And added that this year 2010 the wine is not able to product as much expected of concern authority due recent hailstorm.
Chunga Chemist mentioned that they don’t have export permit till today and the wine contain no colour or flavour, no sugar, except 14 percent of alcohol and other pure grape juice which is cultivated under the modern technology by the horticulture department.
He added if such winery is established in Manipur it will somehow benefit the state economic system as the weather and atmosphere condition is good and it can be produced twice a year he added.
It may mentioned Mizoram state has been under dry law for 12 years as the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act was enforced in the state.
There is a old saying that a love potion once existed in the exotic land of Mizoram A potion so powerful that once casted upon a person they fall madly in Love which is the Zawlaidi.