The one thing I've realized staying in Bangalore my entire life is that there's never a phase where you'd run out of places to visit and try out something new and exhilarating! I'm sure every Bangalorean has their own list of weekend getaways to visit after a hectic work week.
We'd seen pictures of this beautiful vineyard around Bangalore called Big Banyan Winery, which opened quite recently and we knew we had to go right away. India’s wine industry is still relatively nascent, so it’s hard to believe that the roots of viticulture in the country date back millennia.
Sunny days make everything glisten in the most beautiful way possible. The weekend started off perfectly with a long drive and it took about 1.5 hours to get there. It is located 5 km away from the delightfully popular tourist spot that the brand shares its name with - Dodda Aalada Mara (Big Banyan Tree).
We opted for the Wine Tasting package which included the wine tour as well. We entered this beautiful, spacious and well lit Tasting Room where the table was aesthetically arranged to host up to 40 guests. Everyone got their own personal notepad and pen to make notes of the distinctive features of the wines we liked and would want to purchase later, an assortment of cut cheese and of course 5 variants of wine that we were going to be tasting.
We tried a wide range of wines starting from the reds, whites, rosé and a very unique one that you don't get to try in any of the other vineyards - dessert wine! The experience was beautiful as our host was extremely enthusiastic and ecstatic throughout the whole process. Feel free to swirl, smell and taste the wine while you get your spirits high!
After the wine tasting we headed to the vineyards which was just a short walk from the tasting room on the other side of their property. You can take a walk around the winery and vineyard as you hear the story of wine to bottle. The well maintained landscaped open areas around the winery made the views even more scenic.
As the rest of the group decided to split their own ways to explore the large vicinity of this place, we took a walk to discover that they had a tiny farm area with all kinds of farm animals ranging from turkeys, chickens, various breeds of birds, ducks, swans and even rabbits! They don't have any restrictions and we walked in to feed the animals and birds - a totally unexpected but fun experience!
We also discovered a pretty water body running through the vicinage. I mean, none of this was even mentioned on the sites we referred to before getting here, it was just a cherry on the cake we ended up discovering on arriving! With so much to explore, it was extremely hard to keep track of time and we ended up getting late for lunch and headed towards the Ranch right away.
The food and wine were excellent. The ambiance of The Ranch was really relaxing with a laid back atmosphere in the middle of nature. We ordered pizza, pasta, french fries and a bottle of wine and weren't disappointed at all. The staff were super friendly as well and helped us with finding a place to sit as the place was packed! My recommendation would be to go for lunch right after the wine tour and keep the rest of the sight seeing for after.
A trip to the see the nearby Big Banyan tree on the way back completes the day. Definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys short drives and day trips. The food is amazing and the ambiance is warm & welcoming. If you're looking for a day out of the chaos in the city, this is it!
Address: No. 8/1, Chunchunkuppe, Tavarakere, Near Big Banyan Tree, Bengaluru, Karnataka 562130
For booking: bigbanyanwines.com
Total cost: Rs 3500
Have you been to the Ranch? Tell me about your experience in the comments below.