Hyderabad Grape Festival Showcases Rich Heritage and Cutting-Edge Viticulture

Hyderabad Grape Festival : The annual Hyderabad Grape Festival at the Grape Research Station in Rajendranagar has become a cornerstone event, combining tradition, innovation, and the rich history of viticulture in the region. This year’s festival, which opened on February 12, promises visitors an immersive experience in the world of grape growing, flavor exploration, and the groundbreaking research conducted at the Grape Research Station.

Hyderabad Grape Festival Showcases Rich Heritage and Cutting-Edge Viticulture

Hyderabad Grape Festival Showcases Rich Heritage and Cutting-Edge Viticulture
Hyderabad Grape Festival Showcases Rich Heritage and Cutting-Edge Viticulture

Diverse Grape Varieties and Immersive Experiences

Hyderabad Grape Festival, spread over 3.5 acres of organic gardens, features an impressive array of 62 grape varieties, including the golden Thompson Seedless, deep black Sharad Seedless, and the rich amber-hued Anab-e-Shahi. Visitors are handed a blade upon entry, allowing them to pluck and taste grapes to their heart’s content. Families and children roam the vineyards, sampling grapes straight from the source. Prices for the freshly plucked grapes range up to Rs 300 per kilogram.

Hyderabad Grape Festival Showcases Rich Heritage and Cutting-Edge Viticulture

A Glimpse into Cutting-Edge Research

The Grape Festival goes beyond the tasting and plucking experience. It serves as a platform for showcasing the groundbreaking work of the Grape Research Station. Visitors can delve into the nuances of grape cultivation, learn about the latest varieties developed by the Grape Research Centre, and understand strides being made towards sustainable farming practices. The festival allows attendees not only to taste and purchase freshly plucked grapes but also to get a glimpse into the cutting-edge research and advancements happening in grape cultivation in Telangana.

Hyderabad Grape Festival Showcases Rich Heritage and Cutting-Edge Viticulture

Public-Private Partnership and Education

The Grape Research Station extends its expertise to student researchers and collaborates with national and multinational companies through paid trials, fostering a fruitful public-private partnership. Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for plant, soil, and water analysis, as well as raisin making, the Grape Research Station serves as a hub for innovation and excellence in the field of viticulture in Telangana.

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Comprehensive Grape Research and Sustainable Practices

The station diligently examines the performance of diverse grape varieties and hybrids within local agro-climatic conditions. Beyond assessment, it evaluates grapes for their utility in various forms such as table grapes, raisin production, and juice extraction. A key focus lies in developing cost-effective agricultural techniques conducive to high-quality grape cultivation. The station also conducts assessments of novel chemical molecules aimed at effectively managing significant pests and diseases affecting grape cultivation. Through rigorous screening processes, the station identifies grape varieties and hybrids resilient to pests and diseases, contributing to the advancement of sustainable grape cultivation practices.

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Hyderabad Grape Festival Showcases Rich Heritage and Cutting-Edge Viticulture

Historical Significance and Legacy of the Grape Research Station

Hyderabad boasts a rich history in viticulture, with the Grape Research Station standing as the sole facility dedicated to grape research in the entire state of Telangana. In 1969, the city set a world record in grape production, showcasing its prominence in the field. Renowned viticulture scientist Dr. H.P. Olmo celebrated this achievement, emphasizing Hyderabad’s significance in grape cultivation. The story of Anab-e-Shahi, a popular grape variety, traces back to its introduction by Abdul Baquer Khan from the Middle East around 1890. Its name, meaning “grape” and “royal,” was bestowed by the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1943. The late Shankarpillay, a horticulturist during the Nizam era, played a pivotal role in commercially cultivating Anab-e-Shahi from the 1960s onwards, marking the beginning of commercial viticulture in the region.

In 1956, the responsibility for grape research was entrusted to the Agriculture Department of Andhra Pradesh. With the establishment of Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University in 1965-66, the Grape Research Station became part of the university. Presently, as part of Sri Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticultural University, the Grape Research Station has actively participated in fruit improvement programs since 1975 under the All India Co-ordinated Fruit Improvement Programme (AICRP). Located in the Southern Telangana Agro-climatic region, the station continues its legacy of grape research, contributing significantly to the advancement of viticulture in the region.

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FAQs: Hyderabad Grape Festival and Grape Research Station

 

1. What is the Hyderabad Grape Festival?

The Hyderabad Grape Festival is an annual event held at the Grape Research Station in Rajendranagar. It showcases a diverse array of grape varieties, offering visitors an immersive experience in grape growing and flavor exploration.

2. How many grape varieties are featured at the festival?

The festival boasts an impressive array of 62 grape varieties, ranging from the golden Thompson Seedless to the deep black Sharad Seedless and the rich amber-hued Anab-e-Shahi.

3. What can visitors do at the Grape Festival?

Visitors can pluck and taste grapes directly from the vineyards using a provided blade. Families and children can enjoy roaming the organic gardens, sampling grapes with no entry fee. Freshly plucked grapes are available for purchase, with prices ranging up to Rs 300 per kilogram.

4. What makes the Grape Research Station significant?

The Grape Research Station is the sole facility dedicated to grape research in Telangana. It conducts extensive research on diverse grape varieties, hybrids, and rootstocks, aiming to advance grape cultivation practices and contribute to sustainable agriculture.

5. How does the Grape Research Station contribute to sustainable agriculture?

The station evaluates grape varieties and hybrids for their resilience to pests and diseases, minimizing the need for pesticides. It also focuses on developing cost-effective agricultural techniques conducive to high-quality grape cultivation.

6. What educational opportunities are available at the Grape Research Station?

The station extends its expertise to student researchers and collaborates with national and multinational companies through paid trials, fostering a fruitful public-private partnership. State-of-the-art facilities for plant, soil, and water analysis contribute to the educational experience.

7. What is the historical significance of Hyderabad in viticulture?

Hyderabad achieved global recognition in 1969 by setting a world record in grape production. The Grape Research Station played a key role in this achievement, highlighting the city’s prominence in grape cultivation. The history includes the introduction of the popular grape variety Anab-e-Shahi from the Middle East.

8. How has the Grape Research Station evolved over the years?

Initially under the Agriculture Department of Andhra Pradesh in 1956, the Grape Research Station became part of Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University in 1965-66. It is presently part of Sri Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticultural University, actively involved in fruit improvement programs since 1975.

9. What is the significance of the Anab-e-Shahi grape variety?

Anab-e-Shahi, introduced by Abdul Baquer Khan in the late 19th century, earned its name meaning “grape” and “royal” in 1943 from the Nizam of Hyderabad. The late Shankarpillay played a crucial role in commercially cultivating Anab-e-Shahi from the 1960s onwards, marking the beginning of commercial viticulture in the region.

10. How can visitors participate in the Grape Festival and learn about grape cultivation practices?

Visitors not only get to taste and purchase freshly plucked grapes but also have the opportunity to delve into the nuances of grape cultivation. The festival provides insights into the latest varieties developed by the Grape Research Centre and educates on sustainable farming practices.

Conclusion : Hyderabad Grape Festival

The Hyderabad Grape Festival, with its blend of tradition, innovation, and historical significance, stands as a testament to the vibrant viticulture landscape in the region. The Grape Research Station’s continuous efforts in research, education, and sustainability underscore its commitment to excellence, ensuring a fruitful future for grape cultivation in Telangana. The festival not only celebrates the rich heritage of grape cultivation but also provides a platform for farmers, researchers, and enthusiasts to come together and explore the diverse and evolving world of grapes.

 

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