Lisbon: Delhi-based wine expert Subhash Arora, founder-president of the Indian Wine Academy, was honoured with the prestigious Merite de l'OIV by the International Organization of Vine and Wine at its 34th World Conference held in Porto, Portugal.

He is the only Indian to be given such recognition by the Paris-based OIV which has its roots going back to 1924 and has 44 member states, including practically all wine producing nations such France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile and Argentina. The award was presented during the 9th General Assembly of the OIV that ran concurrently with the World Conference that was attended by 800 participants from June 20-24.

India is likely to become a member of the UN styled international inter-governmental organization soon.

Earlier, while releasing the annual report of the global performance of the vine and wine industry from 2001-10, OIV Director General Federico Castellucci observed that India was the ninth biggest producer of grapes worldwide and will benefit from the OIV membership by having access to all scientific information available with it. OIV is globally recognized for its competence for work concerning vines, wine, wine-based beverages, table grapes and raisins.

(Agencies)