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.

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