Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Visit to Sula Vineyard at Nashik

Think about wine in India couple of decades back and all that one could think of was our Goan port wine. Champagne Indage was one of the pioneering company of wine producers in Maharashtra in the early 80's but today  Indian wine has captured the imagination of young & old due to India's answer to some world class wine produced by "SULA VINEYARDS" at Nashik.

My visit:  In last 2 years each time I paid a visit to Shirdi, I longed to visit Sula Vineyard at Nashik but the plan would always get postponed. But that was till last weekend, on one of my trip to Nashik & Shirdi we had a whole of Sunday at our leisure, I and papaji decided to pay a visit to Sula. At approx 13 kms from Nashik on Gangapur - Savargoan road, lies this beautiful Vineyard which also allows tour of the facility and tasting of some exotic wines ever produced in India.

The Vineyard complex has around 15acres of land where wine grapes are grown, also they have grapes crushing, fermenting and storing cellars, bottling plant and of course open deck restaurant on first floor where one can sit and sip wine while getting a cool breeze and amazing view of lake and mountains at a distance. Apart from the upper deck restaurant, they have another restaurant LITTLE ITALY and at a distance of 3kms, a resort called "BEYOND" in case if one has plans to stay for a day or two. They also conduct SULA FESTIVAL every year in Jan - Feb when there is music, dance and wine combination.

On our visit to the place, we found that they conduct the tour of the vineyard and wine tasting sessions every one hour till late evening. For a price of Rs 150/- one can get the tour and 4 wines to taste and for Rs 250/- one can get 6 different wines to taste. Its a fun session as you take a walk around the complex with tour guide explaining how the grapes are crushed, fermented with yeast and how wine is produced and stored in huge aluminum and steel cellars before it gets bottled for sale.

The whole process from grapes being crushed till it gets bottled, takes over a month. The grapes crushing season usually starts from November till March. If one plans a visit during this time, one can be lucky to be part of grapes crushing where huge wooden tubs are filled with grapes and one can stomp on the grapes to crush it. We really missed that fun part...

The Vineyard has around 1500 acres of land on which grapes are grown for wine making and to supply the ever increasing demand of Indian wine lovers. The tasting session of different wines is also fun when one is made aware of the different wines like RED, WHITE & SPARKLING and how to taste wine and understand different flavours. The best part about the vineyard is the UPPER DECK restaurant which is open and one can get amazing view of the lake nearby while enjoying the drink.

After spending some time at the place we also visited the lake which is around 3-4kms from Vineyard. On the way, we also came across another winery called YORK Winery which also conducts tour and tasting sessions. We really didn't try but would certainly love to take a tour of this winery as well in future and taste some more world class Indian wines.

The lake located nearby is place worth a visit with water not so deep and dry banks allowing us to drive our car deep inside. The water was just ankle deep at some places and one can enjoy a quite walk in the water with soft sand sinking below your feet.

It was overall a nice experience at SULA and its definitely worth a visit.

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