6 vineyards to enjoy the best wine in India
About 10 years ago, Indian wines and wineries were almost unheard of. They existed, but did not have a presence. Today, this has changed quite drastically with Indian vineyards and wineries gaining popularity across the country, especially in Nasik and Karnataka. Indian wines are making waves and gaining recognition, not only among locals but internationally as well.
India’s main wine region is Nashik which is about four hours northeast of Mumbai, in Maharashtra. There are, however, also some reputable wineries scattered further south in India as well.
You can plan a week trip in and around Nashik and Pune to visit our suggested vineyards to enjoy the best wine in India.
Sula Vineyards is India’s most popular winery. From humble beginnings in 1999, Sula Vineyards has admirably developed into a world class winery with a market share of more than 70% in India. It has much to offer visitors ,an ambient tasting room has been architecturally designed, with a balcony affording expansive views over the vineyard. The wine bottle lights suspended from the ceiling are a unique touch and emit a warm glow. The tasting room is open from 11.00 a.m to 11.00 p.m., daily except dry days. This makes it a wonderful place to watch the sunset and spend the evening. For added entertainment, there’s a pool table and lounge bar as well. The restaurant at the vineyard serves delicious Italian cuisine to complement the wine.
The harvesting months of January to March are the best times to visit Sula Vineyards. You’ll be able to participate in wine stomping. The hugely popular SulaFest music concert is held during February as well, in the outdoor amphitheater, and offers camping in the vineyards.
Sula Vineyards has a 32 room vineyard resort and spa, called Beyond, which visitors can stay at or the nearest place would be Nasik.
Location: About 170 kms north of Mumbai in Maharashtra
Grover Zampa Vineyards is formed as a result of a merger between Grover Vineyards Ltd (GVL) and Vallee De Vin Pvt Ltd (VDV) (producer of premium wine brand Zampa) in 2012. The group produces around 100,000 cases. Currently the No.2 wine company in the country, Grover Zampa Vineyards is poised to emerge as a strong contender to the market leader, Sula Vineyards
Established as a family business in 1988, Grover Vineyards has expanded to over 410 acres. The winery focuses on producing premium wines, with the standout being its award winning La Reserve brand of oak matured Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz reds. There are extensive wine trails across the property, and it’s also possible to visit the winery’s barrel room. Three and a half hour tours followed by lunch start daily at 10.30 a.m. You can enjoy a variety of wines, including Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and sparkling Rose and Brut.
Location: About 50 kms north of Bangalore in Karnataka.
York Winery and Tasting Room
York Winery is founded on the dream to produce the finest Indian wine backed with family values and commitment. It is a picturesque six acres expanse with a hill on the southern side and a lake on the north. The natural slope of the terrain allows good drainage of water in the soil contributing to the quality of fruit. The red soil is apt for growing grape varieties like Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Modern viticulture practices of growing, pruning, spraying and management techniques to ensure that the fruit harvested is of the best quality.
The characteristic flavor profile of our wines are a product of the different microclimates and soils of their other vineyards of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc & Chenin Blanc that are scattered across the Dindori region of Nashik. The unique blend of the fruit from these vineyards along with winemaking practices make York wines distinct in the Nashik valley.
The tasting room is open daily from noon until 10 p.m. Tours are also offered from 12.30 p.m. until 6 p.m. York Winery has won a range of awards for its wine varieties, both red and white, however most impressive is its new Arros reserve blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, released in late 2014. York also released its own sparkling wine, York Sparkling Brut in 2014, made from 100% Chenin Blanc grapes.
Location: About 171 kms north of Mumbai, Maharashtra. Just a 10 minute drive from Sula, on the outskirts of Nashik, off Gangapur-Savargaon Road, 20 minutes from town.
Chateau d’Ori had its first harvest in February 2007 and is the second largest winery in the Nashik region after Sula, with 400 acres of vineyards. This winery is an adaptation of the latest concept in winery designs in Bordeaux, France. It is a huge circular building that can accommodate 72 large stainless steel tanks for fermentation and storage.
Besides the winery,it houses a laboratory, a 3000 bottles-an-hour bottling and labeling plant, a tasting room with a state of the art laboratory, a temperature controlled cellar accommodating over 500 French oak barrels for fermentation and maturing of high end wines and an elaborate berries sorting room.
The winery produces some top quality red wines and has won a number of awards for them. According to some, Chateau d’Ori’s Cabernet Shiraz blend matches Grover’s La Reserve. Its rare straight Merlot is notable as well. Chateau d’Ori also produces Myra wines under contract with Myra Vineyards, headquartered in Bangalore, and the reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are very drinkable. There’s a luxury guesthouse on the property which sits by an artificial lake in the middle of a vast expanse of grape vines, making it the perfect destination to get away from it all.
Location: About 195 kms north of Mumbai, Maharashtra. Just a 30 minute drive from Sula, at the base of the picturesque Nhera-Ori hills at Dindori.
Charosa Vineyards is the first Indian Wine Brand named after the Charosa village in Nashik, the wine capital of India. It is set up on a sprawling 230 acres in the Dindori-Niphad-Satara area of Nashik boasts of the finest wine-friendly weather and soil where every drop of wine created here is a delight. Featuring 5 of the finest quality, Charosa Vineyards brings to you the delightful world of fruit flavoured new-world wines: Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.
It targets the premium segment and has three different labels at various price points: Reserve, Pleasures, and Selection. Charosa introduced Tempranillo, a grape of Spanish origin to the Indian market, for the first time. Its Reserve Tempranillo has drawn many accolades and is perhaps the pick of the wine. Their Sauvignon Blanc, however, is refreshingly good for a white wine in India and Charosa produces the best Voignier too. It’s possible to visit the vineyard and sample the wine, although lack of decent roads from Nashik is a limiting factor; it is a narrow, winding journey to get there.
Location: About 220 kms north of Mumbai, Maharashtra. Charosa village is around 55 kms from Nashik in the Dindori district.
Fratelli (meaning “brothers” in Italian) was started in 2007 by three pairs of brothers from Italy, Delhi, and Maharashtra. Collaboration between three families alongwith the viticulture and wine-making expertise of Piero Masi, master wine maker from Tuscany, the partnership aims to bring in Italian wine making tradition coupled with the best that the Indian wine terrain has to offer.
This remote vineyard produces some excellent reserve wines on its 240 acre estate. The outstanding Sette Reserve red is amongst the best red wine in India. Its introduction has been followed by the launch of two reserve white wines in 2014 – Vitae (a Chardonnay) and Vitae Tre (a blend of Muller Thurgau, Gewürztraminer and Chenin Blanc).
Location: About 168 kms from Pune, Akluj, in the Solapur district of Maharashtra. It is approximately 300 kms (6 hours) from Mumbai.