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Arunachal woman’s kiwi wine becomes raging hit

Tage Rita is the first woman kiwi wine brewer (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@RajeshThakur_)

A woman entrepreneur named Tage Rita from Arunachal Pradesh has made ordinary folks as well as the business community at large look up as she is offering something novel to drink – India’s first kiwi wine called Naara Aaba.

An engineer who took to entrepreneurship established the first winery in Lower Subansiri district’s Ziro Valley in 2017 achieving the singular distinction of becoming the country’s first kiwi wine brewer. Sharing with the media as to what inspired her to do so, she said despite kiwi fruit growers in the region having abundant production of quality fruit, they were not getting proper price.

Realising their plight, she decided to make wine made from the kiwi which were grown organically, ensuring sustainable livelihood for them.

The going was not easy as to create an infrastructure to make the wine in the mountainous terrain was tough. Apart from logistics issues, she had to make the local growers aware of the potential of turning kiwi into wine.

Interestingly, the wine has all the natural vitamins and minerals that are present in the fruit.

The process of wine-making begins with picking and choosing the fruits manually, then cleaning and sorting them. Based on the study done in the inhouse laboratory, the quantity of ingredients like sugar and yeast to be added is decided.

Though the wine tastes a bit tangy, she does not add sugar to the mix, ensuring that the taste remains natural and all the nutrition of the fruit is kept intact making the drink a healthier option.

Now the winery has become a tourist attraction as about 400 visitors come to the place every month for a tour and tasting the wine. This has given a fillip to wine tourism in the region.

Going beyond kiwi, she is now making wine from wild apples, pears and plums. Currently the wine is available in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Assam but Rita intends to make it available not just in India but also abroad in the future.

In 2021 Rita received the Nari Shakti Puraskar from the Union Women and Child Development Ministry while the State Women and Child Development Department gave her Women Achievers Award 2021-22.

Recently she received funding from Vineeta Singh and Vikas D. Nahar in Shark Tank India Season 2 programme. This made her the first entrepreneur from the North east to get finance from Shark Tank.