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Best vineyards of India

Wine tourism in India has seen a boom in the last 5 years, with almost all the big players opening their doors to patrons from around the country. To start with Indians have started taking active interest in local wines. Since people have started taking interest and now they want to know their wine, it is steadily becoming a classical adult obsession.

People now want to know what wine to drink with which food, and how to pour it, serve it and enjoy the experience. A "wine getaway" also conjures up very posh images on social media and wine brands have decided to cash on it. Major brands in have plush properties, with good food and open spaces, making them a great weekend trips for couples as well as families. Wines brands also need engagement with their customers, and wine tours, grape stomping, food pairing and wine tasting sessions are the best introduction to the brand's product bouquet.

Indian Vineyards are home to some of the finest destinations for wine tourism of our country and known to be one of the best of wines. Nashik is one of the major wine region in Maharashtra and known as wine capital of India. Also referred to as India's own Napa Valley, under an azure blue sky and surrounded by picturesque Western Ghat mountains, Nashik has ideal weather for cultivation of vines, with warmer days and cooler nights, gentle slope, fertile landscape makes it make a perfect setting of a great wine country. Lavish vineyards and well-developed winery infrastructure make Nashik the perfect wine tour destination.

We at Tappas Voyages would be happy to be your "Wine Guru" and help you unravel the mysteries surrounding wine and wine making. A wine tour takes one through the vineyards and will gives interesting inputs about wine tasting and the intricate process of winemaking. Below are the major vineyards in India.

Sula Vineyards:
Sula is India's largest wine producer, exporting to over 30 countries, and with a winery spread over 3000 acres. It was born in 1999, when engineer Rajiv Samant along with Californian wine-maker, Kerry Damskey dug around the Nashik region. The name "Sula" came from his mother's name "Sulabha" and symbolized the rich, Indian heritage of his wines. This was a wine that took pride in being Indian, being the first company in the country to use an Indian logo.

Situated in the Western Ghats, at an altitude of 600 metres above sea level, Nashik's soil is of volcanic origin, ranging from weathered basalt to red laterite to heavy clay. The heavier soils are closer to the Godavari river beds while the lighter crumbly weathered red soils are closer to the northern hilly part of the region. Vineyards in proximity to hills or rivers have markedly different microclimates - the best example being Dindori, which further reflect in the quality of the wine produced here. These vineyards can be reached through trains as well as by road as they are located 180 kms from Mumbai and 210 kms from Pune.

Sula Vineyards' hospitality has three properties: The Source - a 23-room resort with tree houses, courtyard rooms, suites, tower suites, spas, restaurants and infinity pools, Sky Villa - a private villa for an intimate group of 9-10, with personal catering services and other amenities and Beyond by Sula (7 rooms). Sula has already received 100,000 visitors, and is on track to hit a record number of 300,000 this year.

Sula is an approved program provider for WSET courses. The Wine and Spirits Educational Trust (WSET) is the world's leading provider of wine education, providing both introductory diploma-level courses as well as more in-depth training on tasting theory as well as wine and spirits knowledge.

Over the years, Sula has gained nation-wide recognition and produces wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel and Merlot, along with Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Rieslin. The vineyards are open to public educational tours, wine tastings and even offer accommodation, not to forget the awesome Sula Fest.

Chateau d'Ori Vineyards:
Chateau d'Ori is the creation of an unusual entrepreneur and wine lover, Ranjit Dhuru, a very successful business man in his own right. His passion for wines has led him to set up India's first state-of-the-art winery incorporating features like gravity flow and a fully automated bottling plant.

The Chateau d'Ori establishment consists of a single piece of well-developed estate measuring one hundred acres at the base of the twin hills of Nhera-Ori at Dindori, Nashik. It is approximately 20 kms from Nashik and about 2 kms short of Dindori town. An ultra-modern winery is situated at the further end of the estate. Across the other end is a beautiful four bedroom farm house complete with a Jacuzzi and swimming pool. Three artificial lakes dot the landscape. These lakes trap rain water flowing down the twin hills and help in increasing the water table under the estate. Behind the farm house is a lush plantation of silver oaks and coffee shrubs which form a picturesque backdrop.

Chateau d'Ori has always believed that the production of great wines begins with the correct growing of the vines on the most suitable soil. This philosophy has guided the selection of the land and the proper cultivation of the vineyard before any thought was given to the production of wine. The vineyard occupies over 65% of the acreage of the estate. The balance is mainly occupied by three artificial lakes, the winery, the farm house and a network of access roads. Like the winery the vineyard has also been modeled after the methods and style used in Bordeaux. Throughout the year the vines and the vineyard itself have to be maintained in pristine condition. This involves the regular use of fertilizers and a variety of pesticides to prevent plant affliction and the spread of weeds. At Chateau d'Ori the use of organic fertilizers and pesticides has increased to 90% and hopefully in the next few years will reach 100%.

Chateau D'ori perhaps has the largest Merlot plantations, along with thriving vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. Like all the other vineyards, they too offer tours and stays.

Fratelli Winery:
The word Fratelli translates to mean 'Brothers'. It refers to the coming together of the Secci brothers, Andrea and Alessio from Italy, along with Sekhri brothers Kapil and Gaurav and the Mohite-Patil brothers, Ranjitsinh and Arjunsinh. The name was adopted to represent the desire that each of the promoters nurtured in their hearts - to create a product of truly international standard but one that was made in India using centuries-long Italian wine making traditions.

Made from grapes grown in their own vineyards and not source grapes from vineyards over which they had no viticultural control, their modern winemaking facility in Akluj, a town in the Solapur district, about 170 kms south of Pune is an example of the dedication towards art of wine making where long, neatly planted rows of vitis vinifera adorn the Fratelli owned estate covering an expanse of about 240 acres across three different sites at Motewadi, Garwad and Nimgaon.

The winery is equipped with 58 multi-capacity tanks especially imported from Velo, Italy. In 2009, Fratelli came up with its signature brand 'SETTE', a barrel-aged red wine matured in french oak for 14 months that earned many admirers in and outside India. It is the fusion of top one percent of sauvignon and sangiovese grapes grown in the Fratelli's vineyards. Later came another popular brand-'Vitae'. The Fartelli wines provide with the overnight stay as well as the day visit packages, that has become quite popular among people as both weekday / weekend getaway destination.

Fratelli have been recipient of Decanter Asis & World wine awards multiple times in 2012 & 2013. They have also won International Wine Challenge in 2012.

Fratelli Wines is amongst the best red wine in India is a premium wine brand and has most closely associated itself with Italy. Their main wines are known as Reveilo Chenin Blanc,Reveilo Chardonnay,Reveilo Syrah and Reveilo Cabernet Sauvignon.

Grover Zampa Vineyards:
The Grover Zampa brand was created due to a result of the merger between the Grover Vineyards and Vallee de Vin. The vineyards at Nandi Hills are situated 920 metres above sea level and make for a stunning sight. They are approximately 30 kms from Nashik and can be easily accessed by road from Mumbai and Pune. Grover Zampa Vineyards work on principle of believing that a wine should bring out the most faithful expression of its grape varietal and terroir. Respect for the soil and the climate where the vines are grown makes the excellence of the production. To reach this high quality, the essence of grapes is captured carefully through international techniques and practices reliably brought to India. Grapes are hand-harvested, and meticulous grape selection on sorting tables also helps us maintain a high level of quality and to follow the path to quality until the wine finally bottled.

Grover Zampa vineyards are located at Nandi Hills in Karnataka and Nashik Valley in Maharashtra. Natural protection of Nandi Hills and terraced slopes of Nashik offer fresh climate, fertile soil and perfect conditions for vine growing. Winemaking is done in different tanks according to the different kinds of grape and of plots of land where the grape has come from in order to respect the specificity of each terroir. Most of the wine processing equipments and tanks are imported, mainly from Italy, which is known for being one of the best manufacturers of stainless steel cellar equipment.

Their win tours start from visiting the vineyards followed by winery tour that includes visiting grape receival area followed by understanding of processing, fermentation, filtering, storing, bottling, labelling and packing of wine bottles. One can also visit their barrel room where ageing is done, this is followed by wine tasting and lunch. They also arrange accommodation at The Gateway Hotel, Nasik and Lily Sarovar Portico.

Grover Zampa is multiple award winning vineyards and have received prestigious awards such as India Wine Awards 2017, Saukra Japan Women's Wine Award 2017 and Asian Wine & Spirits – The Silk Route.

Their main wines are Insignia, Chene, Soiree, OTH, Sante, Raya and La Reserve.

Four Seasons Vineyards:
Four Seasons Wines Limited (FSWL), incepted in 2006, was no exception. A part of the formidable United Spirits Limited (USL), FSWL is a company backed by a rich legacy. Today, USL is one of the biggest producers of spirits in the world, an association that will only enhance the magic of their wines. Their wines originate in Baramati, a town rich in poetry and history, both of which are essential ingredients in winemaking. Their viticulturists are passionate about their craft, which means every grape is sorted and picked with care to bring you some of the finest varietals in the world, the winemakers ensures that reds, whites, and rosé contain the essence of excellence, the strength of a legacy, and that spark of abandon which makes them such a pleasure to savor.

The winery is cutting edge ISO 22000 certified facility that has technologically advanced, winemaking equipment imported from France and Italy. The Pneumatic or Inertis Press is used to crush grapes in oxygen-free conditions with the right amount of pressure to ensure that the wine always tastes perfect. The stainless steel tanks have a capacity of 1.2 million liters. The basements of the winery maintain the same rustic charm as the rest of the chateau, showing the terrain of the region with stone walls. All our wines are bottled at our fully automated bottling plant that produces an impressive 2,500 bottles per hour.

Set amidst the Sahyadri valley, the Four Seasons vineyard bursting with ripe grapes dappled with sunlight is a balm for sore eyes. There are 50 acres of vineyard to explore. With temperatures ranging between 12 and 37 degrees celsius, moderate rainfall, warm days, cool nights, and a well-drained, rich soil, the grapes grow to perfection. The property comprises 14 rooms, a swimming pool, a spa and a party deck and terrace. It can hold up to 1,000 people, in case one is thinking of planning a get together.

The vineyards are located approximately 75 kms from Pune and is well connected to Mumbai and Nashik. Their main wines are Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Barrique Reserve Shiraz, Merlot, Shiraz, Chenin Blanc, Blush, Viognier etc.