- Until Sula came about in 1996, Nasik, though most appropriate in terms of climate for wine grape cultivation, hadn’t been considered for it!
- Cue: Enter Rajeev Samant who decided to convert his 30 acre family estate into a winery. India’s first. Cue: Applause.
- The wine grape plantations would see as you enter are planted in the north-to-south direction. Not east-to-west. This is so that the shadow of one plant does not fall on the other (which apparently isn’t a favourable proposition). They are also placed at a distance of 3 feet from each other and grow up to 3.5 feet in height. And are grown organically.
- Gigantic containers – separate ones for red and white wine – used to separate out the stem, seed and skin are a part of the wine tour.
- That wine grapes cannot be consumed the way you dunk or stuff (whichever is your preferred style of eating) your face while eating regular grapes was information leaves a ‘no friggin way’ reaction on your face - until of course you realise that wine grapes are a whole different species from your regular grapes. #Awesome
- Then you hear the barrel story. Part of the wine tour involves being taken to the wine cellar where you learn of the oak wood barrels being used as a way of adding flavour to the wine.
- It’s called champagne only if it was made in Champagne, France (that’s how the name came about. Think Scotch from Scotland). Else it should simply be called sparkling wine.
- It all sounds like a fab story until the last leg of the wine tour which is the wine tasting bit. For INR 250 you can taste up to 6 different varieties of wines (and 4 for INR 150. If you only want to tour around its INR 100). During the wine tasting new skills get added: See. Swirl. Sniff. Sip.
- Here you learn that:
- When you ‘See’ you realise that the colour of your wine tells you its own story. The lighter the colour, the younger in age is your white wine. However the lighter the colour, the more mature is your red wine.
- You don’t ‘Swirl’ your sparkling wine. It kills the bubblies. And when you swirl your wine – white and red – the pace at which the ‘tears’ come down tells you how high in alcohol content it is.
- You can ‘Sniff’ green apples, litches, peaches, berries and even the oakwood in your Chiraz’ and Merlot’.
- And ‘Sip’ – well, we all know about that
You can spend the rest of the day sitting in front of the vineyards sipping wine, enjoying the cool breeze, birds chirping and fluttering about while Mozart and crew are jamming on a player somewhere near you. Now who wouldn’t want that!
P.S.: There’s a French restaurant right next door that has a rather delectable spread. Recommend the Parrmentier de poulet fermier, reduction de syrah Dindori, oignons grelots caramelises et olives noires (aka Free range chicken cooked in Sula Dindori Shiraz, potato puree with olive oil and caramelized baby onions). It is as yummilicious as it can get!