Friday, February 13, 2009

'Our Main Aim is to Promote Brand Goa'

'Our Main Aim is to Promote Brand Goa
to the Rest of the World'

by Christina Viegas

Why is the festival an annual event in the state?

GTDC is celebrating the Grape Escapade as a yearly event to promote tourism and not to promote spirit/alcohol and not to tarnish the image of Goa. This festival is listed as one of the must see events in the event calendar for tourism in Goa. Through this event, we are branding Goa as a lifestyle destination and not just a tourist destination.

The fiesta of flavours is being organised for the fifth consecutive year. Have you accomplished what you aspired for over the years?

As the festival is celebrated to promote tourism, I can say that we have accomplished a great deal. Making this festival an annual event is yet another reason for tourists to visit Goa. Thus, we can build and sustain tourist interest in the culinary aspect of the state in an effort to promote best, the varied offerings of tourism.
How did you come about choosing the showcasing of wines as a major aspect for this festival?

Wine is the soul mate of food and is normally associated with friendship, success and health. There will be exclusive wine tasting sessions conducted on all four days between 7.30 to 8.15 pm, for invitees and wine connoisseurs.
Still, many argue that wine is also an alcoholic beverage. Aren�t you promoting the same through this event?

Why are people only harping about the wines? Firstly, it is a light drink and not a hard core alcoholic spirit. Unlike liquor, wine is sipped and savoured and not gulped or drunk. It is enjoyed and used to raise a toast to an occasion.
Do our residents of the state get a fair chance to participate?

As for the wine makers, the majority are from out of state. We also had organised a special stall free of charge for the small time home wine makers, but unfortunately, they just do not come forward. Somehow, it has just become a fashion for some sections of society to oppose just about anything. This is very regressive.

So, no local participation?

Yes, we do have the artists from the state, who with their wide array of music, dance and act performances will enthral the audiences. We have the participation of great Konkani artists, local bands, spot singers and dance performers. Besides, the fire eaters and the Hoop Hulla, the carnival parades and the pirates will put up some amazing acts and add life to the show. And we have the Goan cuisine.

What's new on the agenda this year?

The new events added this year will be the 'Grape Escapade Queen' with excellent prizes to be won and the 'Fashion Show'. Here again, local talent is involved as the fashion show will be conducted by the famous Monty Sally.
Once again, can we unleash the child in each one of us and stomp and clomp the grapes for the traditional crushing?

We are trying our best to have the stomping of grapes, a tradition of wine making, on the 2nd last day, that is Saturday. Unless some unforeseen problem, in all probability, we will have it.

Your message to our esteemed readers!

Come enjoy the festival This will definitely be a unique cultural experience as the event brings together international wine makers and local patrons, hoteliers, restaurants and professionals from the entertainment, food and beverage industry and lifestyle under one roof. We are bringing the world to our door steps by highlighting our multi cultural influences and artistic passions through the eyes of fine art of hospitality and dining.



The fifth Grape Escape 2009 – a wine and haute cuisine festival will be held from February 5 to 8 at the Old GMC Courtyard, Panjim from 6.30 pm onwards. Being a prominent wine festival, there will be exclusive wine tasting sessions conducted on all four days from 7.30 pm to 8.15 pm. These sessions will be for invites only and for wine connoisseurs.

Also there will be a wide array of music, dance and act performance to enthrall the audience. The event will be backed up by Konkani great artistes Quepemchim Kirnnam, Amelia and troupe, Goa’s topmost bands – Pure Magic, Forefront, Lace, Belinda and Tropicanoes, Big Country Band and Jazz-fusion by Collin D’Cruz.

There will be spot singers like Lulu Fortes, Newton and Nezz and Trio Orlando, dance performances by Dr Martin and Group, Snaden and Shawn and the Versatile who will captivate your heart to top class renditions. Also, the fire-eaters and the Hoop Hulla, the carnival paraders and the pirates will put up amazing acts and liven the show.

The highlights of the festival will be the fashion show conducted by one of Goa’s well-known designers Monty Sally and the selection of The Grape Escapade Queen 2009.

Related Report…


Bailancho Saad in its meeting has strongly condemned the attack of girls in a pub in Mangalore by the Sri Ram Sena and demanded that the guilty be punished.

It strongly protests the curbing of women’s rights under the garb of protecting culture and calls upon the government to take strong measures to stop this culture of violence.

According to Sabina Martins, Bailancho Saad has taken strong objection to holding the wine festival on government premises as promotion of alcohol is against the directive principles of the Constitution.

A representation has been made to the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) not to hold the festival on government premises.

The Saad stated that the government should take the responsibility of educating the public (about) the ill effects instead of promoting alcohol and make the alcohol manufacturing companies accountable for the addiction caused due to aggressive promotion.

The Saad has also decided to intensify the protest against the proliferation of offshore casinos in the rivers as well in low grade hotels and five star hotels. A series of awareness meetings have been held in several villages.

The Saad also took strong objection to the advertisement of gambling all over the state and called upon the government to remove them. If the government fails to curb the advertisements then the organization will have no option but to take appropriate action, Sabina said.

(Gomantak Times dated 4 February, 2009)

The Grape Escape in Goa

The Grape Escape in Goa

By Gasper Almeida

The fifth edition of The Grape Escape, a wine and cuisine festival will be held in Goa from February 5 to 8, bringing together under one roof international wine makers and various stake-holders of the hospitality industry from India and overseas.
Organised by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (GTDC), the 4-day extravaganza in coastal Panjim aims to project Goa as a lifestyle destination. "The idea is to encapsulate the vivacity of Goan lifestyle by highlighting its multicultural influences and artistic passions, thus branding Goa as a lifestyle destination," said GTDC vice-chairman Lyngdon Monteiro while talking to the media last Friday.

Chairman of the GTDC , Shyam Satardekar said, 'as always, the festival promises to be a unique cultural experience as it brings together international wine makers and local patrons, hoteliers, restaurants and professionals from the entertainment, food and beverage and life style industries under one roof.'
Billed as the off-season promotional events, the festival would present culinary delights from across the globe, international fusion cuisine and exotic deserts apart from the wine tasting sessions.
Several wineries including Four Season Wine, Big Banyan, Diageo and Indage are reportedly taking part in the fiesta. Last year Sula, Indage, Nine Hills, Chateau de Banyan etc. had taken part.
'This festival is the biggest wine platform provided in Goa where not only expats and tourists but Indians rush to enjoy the cultural programmes, fashion shows, live music and to taste wines from various participating producers, all without charge. Of course, wines can be purchased at the spot too,' informs Kawaljeet Singh, Head-Sales and Marketing of Big Banyan, the Goa based winery that is a regular participant in the festival. It is a big promotion for the Indian wineries by the tourism department, he says, adding that about 4-5,000 people come to have a good time.

The fiesta is organised at the huge courtyard of Inox Theatre in Panjim.

The Grape Escapade underway

The Grape Escapade underway

PANJIM, FEB 6, 2009

The Grape Escapade, the open-air festival at the Inox Courtyard was opened by Vice Chairman of GTDC Lyndon Monteiro in the presence of Secretary Information Narendra Kumar, Managing Director GTDC Dr Benjamin Braganza, Director of Tourism Swapnil Niak, Nilesh Cabral and other dignitaries. The Grape Escapade opened to a capacity crowd that enjoyed the every experience from sipping fine wines to listening to live music, watching some pretty fancy dancing and of course sampling good food.
After that the festival kicked off with a superb performance from Quepemchi Kirna. Martail Mania by Yello Boyz thrilled the crowd, while a wine-tasting ceremony was conducted by Reveilo in the lounge on the first floor, which was inaugurated by Chairman of GTDC Shyam Stardekar.
The evening wound down with live music and dance.
Day 2 of Grape Escapade featured dance troupes with live band Belinda and Tropicanos and Forefront alongwith Carnival Parade organized by Messias Tavares entertained the crowd.
On February 7, day 3, the organisers promise unlimited entertainment, says a press release.

Local winemakers to showcase talent at The Grape Escapade!

Local winemakers to showcase talent at The Grape Escapade!

PANJIM, JAN 16, 2009

Promising not to make its annual wine and cuisine festival, The Grape Escapade 2009, a platform only for commercial wine makers, Goa Tourism Development Corporation Ltd on Friday committed to an apt platform for lesser-known local wine makers.
Addressing a press conference, Vice Chairman of GTDC Lyndon Monteiro, said they would personally invite local winemakers to the festival so that they could showcase their talent before visiting tourists and other guests.
Maintaining that the festival was a crowd-puller, Monteiro said a separate infrastructure would be created for local winemakers at the Old GMC courtyard where the festival would be held from February 5 to 8.
Answering a question on the status of Geographical Indication for feni, Monteiro said, “The Department of Science and Technology is looking after that, but to promote the local brew we are planning to have a summer escapade festival to showcase local talent.”
Chairman GTDC Shyam Satardekar said leading winemakers would participate in the 5th edition of the Grape Escapade and some of these had already confirmed their participation.
New Managing Director of GTDC Dr Benjamin Braganza said that wine was the soul mate of food and the objective was to promote Goa as a lifestyle destination brand.
Dr Braganza said it needed to be understood that having wine festival doesn’t promote Goa in a bad vain, but helps in highlighting her multi-cultural influences and artistic passions.
General Manager Marketing GTDC L C Kavlekar was also present.
GTDC has contacted leading wineries like Bohemia Wine, 4 Season Wine, Chateau Indage, Sula Vineyards, Big Banyan, Howling Wolves and Seagrams Nine Hills Wine, which are expected to participate in the festival.
There will be exclusive wine-tasting sessions conducted on all four days between 7.30 pm and 8.15 pm for invitees only.
Other than local winemakers who would make their first appearance at the festival, this year selection of The Grape Escapade Queen 2009 would be also an added highlight coupled with fashion show by Goa’s well-known designer Monty Sally.


Kepemchim Kirnam performing at the Grape Escapade at Inox Courtyard.

Photo by Rozario Estibeiro.
Kepemchim Kirnam performing at the Grape Escapade at Inox Courtyard.



Great decibels drown classical notes

Music lovers in Goa fumed over the Entertainment Society of Goa’s poor co-ordination of events within its campus that led to the disruption of a high calibre classical music concert on Thursday evening.
Blame it on the Grape Escapade with high decibel sounds forcing renowned classical musicians to wind up and pack off from the Maquinez Palace where an august audience was relishing tunes of Adagio and Rondo by W A Mozart.
The incident took place on Thursday when two events were permitted in the ESG Complex.
While the classical violin and piano recital was scheduled at 6.30 pm at the Marquinez Palace, the Grape Escapade was simultaneously held at the INOX courtyard.
When the artistes, from Switzerland, Thomas Schrott (violin) and Daniel Bosshard (piano) began the recital, disturbing sounds were heard in the auditorium, initially of loud talking and thereafter blarring recorded music.
On verification it was found that the music was coming from the INOX courtyard.
The western classical music duo stopped playing.
The duo attempted to re-start but the music was too loud forcing the musicians to bring the concert to an abrupt halt.
Members of the PRO MUSICA, an association of music lovers from Goa who organized the violin and piano recital at Maquinez Palace Auditorium, are irked by the incident.
Speaking on condition of anonymity one said, “It is wondered what kind of sound-proofing has been done at the Maquinez Palace ‘state-of-the-art’ auditorium!”
The member said, “This is perhaps a historical first, when a high-calibre musical recital in Goa had to be aborted due to ambient disturbance.”
The biggest disappointment is that the organization of the recital demanded the cumbersome and highly delicate transportation of a Grand Piano from the Furtado Music India shop to the venue with an audience of 200 who had gathered to witness the event.
Another member Shubert Cotta said, “It was really disappointing that the music concert was forced to a halt.”
When Herald contacted ESG, the CEO Manoj Srivastava was unavailable and this paper could not get a clarification on technical issues pertaining to the sound-proof ambience in the auditorium, and on the organisation of two events in the complex at the same time.
Another highly placed official of the ESG said he was not aware of the incident. “But we will examine it,” he said.

-gaspar almeida

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Festival offers platform for young talent

Festival offers platform for young talent

After the three days of grape escapade wine and cuisine festival, the fourth day was a stress-filled one; especially for all the eight participants who participated in the Grape Escapade 2009 queen contest. The contestants seemed anxious until the contest came to an end after the crowning of the winner.

This wine festival brought hoteliers, international wine makers, the local and the international onlookers under one roof. People got the opportunity to taste wines manufactured by different companies and also a chance to listen some great music.
When the contest began everyone�s eyes were set on the stage to see the participants walking on the ramp for the first round. Each participant dressed casually went up and posed before the audience and the four judges present and gave a brief introduction about themselves.

The four judges who judged the beauty contest were fashion designer Monty Sally, Charmaine Godhinho, Harshita Saxena and fashion photographer Prasad Pankar.
Mr Joshua Monteiro, the event head of Miss Grape Escapade 2009 queen contest said, �The contest was held to bring out the talent on the stage. Organising this event was a piece of cake for Joshua as he has many years of experience in organising such events. Probably he looks forward to have more girls participating in the event next year.

Besides Mr Joshua, Mr Armando Duart, manager of events and travels, Goa Tourism Development Corporation, too was actively involved in organising this event.
The second round was the talent round wherein each contestant got a chance to showcase her talent on the stage. Some of them sang while playing a piano but the most unique of all was the poetry recitation by one of the participant. Of course, not forgetting the salsa dancer who rocked the stage by her performance.
As the rounds progressed, the judges' task to select the best three contestants became more and more complex. Pankar said, It wasn't an easy task for us to select three beauty girls but it was our job to do so.

The last round witnessed the judges asking questions to the three selected participants with everyone with their fingers crossed hoping for the best one to win. We got to know the results after about a minute. The comperer screamed loudly to break the silence 'the Grape Escapade 2009 beauty queen' is Ms Joanne D'Cunha. Everyone applauded with a loud clap and the judges crowned the beauty queen.
Ms Shimoga Godinho was awarded the first runner up and Ms Vineeta Freitas became the second runner for the queen contest. Ms D'Cunha said, I wasn't much sure about my success because there where other participants who were really good. -PR