Fewer tourists as a result of the Mumbai terror attacks last year has been blamed for a 60% fall in Indian wine sales by volume in the last nine months.

The November Mumbai attacks and a 5% rise in value added tax on wine, to a rate of 25%, are the main reasons for the fall in sales in the nine months to the 30 June, the Indian Grape Processing Board (IGPB) said this week.

The IGPB, formed in February 2009, held its first meeting this week to discuss the crisis.

Chairman SG Chougule said: "The body as a priority has decided to build a database of all the stakeholders associated with the wine industry and has apprised the state government and concerned ministries of the problems faced by the wineries.

"Small wineries fear they will not be able to crush any grapes in the 2009-10 season or they could crush but would not be able to pay farmers contracted rates" added Chougle.

Nashik in the state of Maharashtra, which has Mumbai as its capital, houses 60 out of India's 66 wineries.

Many wineries in Nashik will not buy grapes in the next harvest,  due to excess stocks of unsold wine, according to the IGPB.