India is a land of colourful spices, vibrant cities, and age-old customs. This is what I have been taught to write every time my class teacher has given me an essay to write about India. As I grew up and became old enough to consume alcohol, my journey with wine began. Movies like Sideways and Wine Country also helped shape my knowledge and views on wine. As soon as I started reading about wine in India, I discovered that India has something for every kind of wine enthusiast.
A subtle revolution is brewing in the vineyards of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and other regions. A visit to one of these vineyards will show you how it is not your average tour of a European chateau with the usual Cabernet Sauvignon and well-kept lawns. For wine enthusiasts, India is a sensory experience, or more like an earthy investigation of a place where modern viticulture blends with ancient history. Take, for instance, visiting sun-drenched plateaus in Karnataka, where they gently extract Shiraz grapes from volcanic soil.
Put aside your notions of spotless tasting rooms and boring cabernets. India is waiting, not with a well-chiselled Petrus glass but with a clay cup brimming with tales waiting to be savored. We have listed some of the best vineyards that are worth travelling to for every kind of wine enthusiast.
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One of my favourite Indian wines is Fratelli. It also happens to be the first wine my sister and I had at the dawn of the first day of the new year, but that’s a story for another time. Located in the town of Akluj along the banks of the Nira river in Solapur district, Maharashtra, lies two hundred and forty acres of Fratelli’s vineyard.
There are several things for you to do when you are travelling for wine to Fratelli vineyards. You can go on a guided journey through the sprawling vineyards, learning about the different grape varietals, soil conditions, and meticulous care that goes into each bottle of Fratelli wine. Witness the transformation of grapes from vine to bottle during the winery tour, gaining insights into the fascinating world of winemaking.
Treat your taste buds to a symphony of flavours at La Terrazza, which is their own fine dining exquisite restaurant. Chef Prasad Metkar’s menu celebrates the bounty of the region, with fresh, seasonal produce dancing on the plate in perfect harmony with Fratelli’s wines. Enjoy panoramic views of the vineyards while indulging in culinary masterpieces like the succulent lamb shank braised in red wine or the melt-in-your-mouth ricotta gnocchi with sage butter.
While travelling around Fratelli vineyards, you can step back in time at the ancient Pandavleni Caves, carved into the Sahyadri mountains centuries ago, and marvel at the architectural beauty of the Ram Mandir, a temple dedicated to Lord Rama. If walking for miles and miles does not sound like the best idea to you, cycling is the next best option. Fratelli offers guided cycling tours, allowing you to explore the estate at your own pace and an opportunity to reconnect with nature. You might even spot some peacocks flitting through the vineyard, adding a touch of magic to your ride.
For a truly unique and romantic stay, consider wine and dine in a machan with a panoramic view of our vineyards. This elevated platform with a thatched roof offers breathtaking panoramic views of the vineyards and surrounding hills. It’s perfect for couples or solo travelers seeking a secluded and intimate getaway. Prices may vary depending on availability.
Stay And Travel
Weekday rates start at ₹ 6,500 per person per night, including accommodation, all meals, and one wine tasting. Weekend rates start at ₹11,000 per person per night, including the same inclusions as weekdays. If you’re in Mumbai and want to get to Fratelli Vineyards in Nashik, It is approximately a 6-hour-long car ride away.
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When you enter Vallonné’s verdant vineyards, you cannot do anything but feel the warm earth beneath your feet and inhale the sweet scent of ripening grapes. Guided tours reveal the secrets of varietals like Chenin Blanc and Shiraz, while interactive workshops let you try your hand at grape stomping and barrel tasting. It’s an immersive experience that connects you to the heart and soul of winemaking and makes your travel for wine worth it.
Wine tasting at Vallonne Vineyards is the most obvious activity, and it’s worth doing. One of the best vineyards, Vallonne Vineyards, is known for its award-winning wines, and they offer a variety of tasting experiences. You can take a tour of the winery, learn about the winemaking process, and sample some of their delicious wines.
Around the vineyard, you should explore Nashik, a historic city with a lot to offer visitors. You can visit the Trimbakeshwar Temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, or the Pandavleni Caves, a group of Buddhist caves dating back to the 2nd century BC.
There are some great hiking trails in the area, including the Ratnagiri Fort trek and the Gangapur Dam trek. You can also explore the area on two wheels by renting a bike. For animal lovers, there are several wildlife sanctuaries in the area where you can spot tigers, leopards, and other animals. If you are a group of people on a trip where you can relax, you have to enjoy the beautiful scenery of one of the best vineyards by having a picnic lunch or dinner. Take a cooking class if you want to learn how to make traditional Maharashtrian cuisine, as well as enjoy your time there.
Stay And Travel
Vallonne Vineyards offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets, with rates starting at ₹4,651 per night. The cost of your stay will depend on the room type you choose, the time of year you visit, and any special offers or packages that may be available.
Chandon India is more than just a winery; it’s an experience. It’s a celebration of French heritage, Indian terroir, and the art of living life to the fullest. Whether you’re a seasoned oenophile or a curious beginner, Chandon promises a journey that will tickle your taste buds, awaken your senses, and leave you with memories that sparkle as brightly as the wines themselves. Nestled in the picturesque valleys of Nashik, Maharashtra, this iconic French winery’s Indian outpost beckons travellers with an experience as effervescent as the award-winning sparkling wines it produces. From the vibrant Brut Rosé to the elegant Blanc de Blancs, Chandon India offers a spectrum of sparkling wines to tantalise your taste buds. Each sip is an explosion of fruitiness, balanced by a refreshing acidity that leaves you wanting more. Indulge in a guided tasting session, unveil the secrets behind the bubbles, and discover your new favourite tipple.
Immerse yourself in the world of sparkling wine with a guided tour through the vineyards, followed by a tasting session of Chandon Brut, Rosé, and Délice. Learn about the grape varietals, the unique terroir, and the meticulous winemaking process. If you are visiting Chandon, you must learn and experience as much about wine as you can. Chandon offers specialised masterclasses on topics like sparkling wine production, food pairing, or blind tasting. Get hands-on experience in workshops like grape stomping or sabrage.
After you have learned enough, you can proceed to the Sunset Celebration, where you can celebrate the golden hour with a special “Own the Sunset” package featuring breathtaking views, music, and curated appetisers paired with Chandon’s sparkling wines. Combine your love for art and wine with a unique tour of the wine gallery and watch educational videos.
Stay And Travel
To enhance your Chandon experience, choosing the perfect accommodation is key. Here are a few options to suit your preferences are, Evolve Back Luxury Resorts, a stunning resort adorned with colonial-era charm. Lush vineyards, cascading waterfalls, and a private pool . There is also Vineyards Resort, where stone cottages and sprawling gardens create a haven of peace.
It is a 3-hour drive from Mumbai and a 5-hour drive from Pune. The winery is well-signposted and there is ample parking available. The nearest railway station is Nashik Road and the nearest airport is Nashik Airport, which is about 20 km from the winery.
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The first winery in Nashik, Sula Vineyards, was founded by Rajeev Samant in 1999, and it helped to build India’s Wine Capital. Sula is currently the top wine firm in India and is leading the global push for Indian wine. Since he is a fervent environmentalist, sustainability and environmental protection are the guiding principles of this vineyard. Sula is a champion of sustainability, committed to environmentally conscious practices. From rainwater harvesting to organic farming, their efforts resonate with travellers who value responsible tourism.
Sula is more than just a winery; it’s a vibrant hub of activity. Indulge in art appreciation at the SulaFest Art Village, explore the whimsical amphitheatre, or groove to live music under the starlit sky. There’s something for everyone, be it a relaxing spa treatment at the Elysium Spa or a thrilling adventure at the Sula Vineyards Adventure Camp.
This is the cue to dive headfirst into the magic of winemaking with guided tours through the sprawling vineyards. You get to explore and learn about the unique Indian grape varietals and the meticulous care that goes into crafting Sula’s award-winning wines. Get your hands (read feet) dirty with a grape-stomping experience, a delightful reminder of the human touch behind every bottle. Pair your wine experience with a culinary journey at Sula’s renowned restaurants. Enjoy panoramic vineyard views as you savour fresh, locally sourced ingredients, creating a memory that lingers long after the last course.
Stay And Travel
York Winery Resort is located right next to Sula Vineyards, this resort offers comfortable rooms and dorms at affordable prices. They also have a restaurant, a swimming pool, and a games room. A great option for backpackers or solo travellers. Rates start at Rs. 1,500 per night. The Source Resort This boutique resort features tastefully designed rooms and cottages, an open-air restaurant serving delicious Maharashtrian cuisine, and a swimming pool overlooking the vineyards. A great option for couples or small groups. Rates start at Rs. 8,000 per night.
Travelling to Sula Vineyards is convenient and simple. Nashik Airport offers connections from major cities like Delhi and Mumbai. From the airport, it’s a short 40-minute taxi ride to the vineyards. Nashik Road Railway Station is the closest railhead, with trains running from various Indian cities. From the station, it’s a comfortable 30-minute cab ride to Sula. You can drive from Mumbai (4 hours) or Pune (3 hours) via picturesque highways. Sula Vineyards provides ample parking space for your vehicle.
India’s wine country may still be young, but its charm lies in its vibrant, uncharted nature. Each sip is a glimpse into a land whose ancient roots embrace bold innovation. So, you wine lover! Raise your glass. Let the warmth of Indian sunshine infuse your soul; let the melody of monsoons echo in your palate. Travel not just for the vintage, but for the journeys. Let India’s wine country, with its tapestry of flavours and hidden stories, unveil its magic. The adventure awaits, one swirling sip at a time.