My Sunday morning was just not the regular one this time! No laid back coffee sessions, no catching up on all the sit-coms I had missed, no lazing all day long in bed! Infact, It was a super frenzied morning with last minute packing, running around helter-skelter to finish small errands and making sure nothing was left behind. I was heading out of town for a 2-day retreat! Any guesses? Well to give you an idea its called the ‘Wine Capital of India’ Still confused? This region is most popular for a festival is holds every February! Yes, I’m road tripping to the Sula Vineyards!
To say that the 3.5 hours road trip from Mumbai was hectic and fast paced is a bit of an understatement. I had more fun than I’ve probably ever had. Good roads and barely any traffic with picturesque views of the mountains, I was already craving some down time and a relaxed atmosphere. Deep down I was hoping that the Sula Vineyards would provide just that and I felt the moment that we drove into Nasik.
Finally we reached Sula by noon. The entrance to the winery was a long beautiful driveway curving through the vineyards. The smell of fresh earth with a hint of zesty citrus welcomes you with every breath you take. I just could not get my eyes of the lush green creeper cover of the grape vines, which extended till my eyesight could see! Acres and acres of vineyards under the winter sun was one of the most spectacular sights I had witnessed in a while.
We were greeted by a very charming lady from the public relations team, Ms Kadambari at Sula and taken straight to the Italian Restaurant Little Italy to grab some lunch. There is also an option for Indian food at their specialty restaurant Soma. We left the ordering to her and indeed within a few minutes there was a feast on our table. Bruschetta’s with farm fresh chopped tomatoes, mushrooms in truffle oil, three-cheese risotto and a super delicious Sicilian pizza and off course some wine! As we gorged on the food we were updated on the entire story behind the vineyards. I was amazed to learn that it was established in 1999 and is one of the most eco-friendly companies in India, with a significant amount of its resources committed to sustainable winemaking practices and ensuring fair livelihoods for Sula’s community of farmers across Maharashtra.
We were then escorted on an excursion of the entire property. We toured through the production areas, Amphitheatre, perused the gift shop, and ventured among the vines. We sipped on reds and whites, and then sipped on some more. When we discovered a wine that we really liked, we would take a bottle or two from the in-house wine store with us, and enjoy it later that night. I ended up wandering around the property, and enjoying the peace and quiet, just staring at the vineyards on the hills in the distance. It was perfect!
Come sundown, it was already time for our wine tasting session with their in-house wine expert. During this hearing, I for the first time learnt the 4-S’s of drinking wine. SEE-SWIRL-SNIFF-SIP! Wondering what this means? The first step is to SEE the colour of the wine. The lighter the colour, more mature is the red and younger is the white. Darker the colour, newer is the red and aged is the white! When you SWIRL the wine you are removing all the tiny air bubbles. SNIFF lets you experience the aromas of the wine and finally SIP!
Sula Vineyards gained popularity due to its Sulafest that takes place every year in the month of February. Its the month for grape harvest so one can stomp their way through the barrels of grapes just like in the movies. There are live bands, curated food stalls, great artist line ups, electrifying atmosphere and lots and lots of vino!
When it comes to creating amazing wines, no region does it better than the Sula Winery. People come from all over India to take a Sula winery tour to have a taste of what the region is best known. I can officially say that I am now a big fan of Sula wines, and will be hunting them down at my local wine shop. I now understand why people dedicate entire trips to visiting Sula Winery and wouldn’t be surprised if I return just for that aspect alone. Aside from the wineries themselves, the Sula property provided the most relaxing environment of the entire trip, and in all likelihood, any trip I’ve ever been on. From fine wine and gourmet food to elegant accommodation and fabulous events, a Sula Winery getaway offers a taste of the good life and a warm country welcome!
Until Next Time