Madikeri: Home-made wine has been popular among visitors and holidaying crowd in Kodagu.
However, some unscrupulous persons have begun unfair practices in making and marketing the product by using additives for the ‘kick’ effect. The excise department says that high alcohol content has been found in many samples taken by it for analysis.
Wine is made by the process of fermentation, while alcohol is made by brewing and distillation. Hence wine is expected to have low alcohol content and is considered less hazardous to health.
There have been many instances of people who consumed wine in Kodagu having fallen ill. There are also reports that some tourists who drank wine bought from roadside shops in the district met with road mishaps.
Now the department of excise has started pasting warning notices at strategic points to remind the citizens that wine-making at home was subject to holding a valid licence.
While the dates of manufacture and expiry are mandatory, the wine bottled in Kodagu does not carry this information. The excise rules make it obligatory to mention the ingredients used in the product, with percentage mentioned. The officials have warned the wine-makers of strict action if the rules are violated.
Many visitors have complained about the sub-standard wine they drank and how they got into health problems. Their complaints are being verified by the deputy commissioner. Action will be taken on the basis of his recommendations, say the officials.
The department of tourism has also urged the buyers to purchase wine from officially-approved and hygienically-prepared wine from authorized outlets and also cautioned visitors and tourists over the hazards of spurious product.