When we left Vipassana center at around 2 PM, we were quite excited to make it to Sula Vineyards. It was a matter of just a few minutes drive. Since next day being a working day, we didn’t want to waste any time. So, we raced in our cars to get a feel of nice intoxicating smells of wines.
My Belgian friend had heard the name of Sula Wines, had found it quite good and wanted to buy some [She bought three big cartons comprising of 12 bottles each ;)].
I didn’t know they are quite a known brand in Europe. My purpose was different. I wanted to compare this vineyard with the one I saw abroad.
We were on Nasik Highway (NH-3) heading towards Nasik. Sula vineyards is around 2 kms from Nasik city.
The worst thing about Sula is, though it is world famous brand, on the entire stretch of road we could not find a single board guiding us the directions. We were already short of time, scratching our heads for the right directions, were on the main road checking every five ten minutes from local people. It seems the local people also didn’t know about it or probably they know it by some other name. Every time it was 200 meters pudhe / maaghe (front / back) from that particular point.
What I observed was no one speaks or even tries to speak in Hindi. Since now I have a fair knowledge of Marathi words, I was acting as navigator also.
So from Naveen Nasik to old one, District court, CBS, Mahanagar Palika, some malls, finally on Gangapur road and after 10-12 Maaghe-pudhe we reached our destination.
After reaching there I took a small interview of the tasting room manager & he responded well !! It is spread in a vast area of 250 acres. At 25 kms from there they have another 300 acres of farms. Their production has increased so much that they have to buy grapes besides growing. Sula is just 7 years old but famous worldwide. With wines called Marc Anthony and Etu Brutus from Sailo, they are India’s only makers of sweet red wine.
Sula’s late harvest premium wine, ideal for dessert is called Chenin Blanc. It is dry white wine with a sweeter taste. Sula has also released its first reserve red wine, the 2003 Dindori Reserve Shiraz.
The bar tender told us of the intricacies of wine and wine tasting. There were five wines for tasting for a mere hundred bucks but since we were to buy cartons of wine, he allowed us to taste six ! A white wine has to be served chilled and the glass should be held by the stick, else the body temperature warms the glass and in turn the wine. Before, having a sip, you have to experience the aroma first. Then take a sip of wine. You taste the wine from different parts of the tongue.
None of us was really interested as we all knew much more than that including when and with what kind of food we should take white or red wine. Well, my experience about alcohols may not be very good but being in formal dinners abroad has taught me all the nitty-gritty of this world.
The view from the first floor patio was beautiful. Green grape plants spread over a seemingly limitless area.
One regret – Could not see the beautiful city Nasik but there is always a next time. Can anybody tell me what is the best time to visit ? I want to combine it with visits to many temples in surrounding areas.