Ever since we settled in Pune, Nashik Vineyards was in our top five lists of places which we wished to visit. But every year somehow it didn’t work out. Finally in January, 2014 it happened. Nashik is the home of the finest Indian wines.
Whether you are just a tourist or a true wine enthusiast, there are enough reasons for you to come to Nashik. The lavish grape vines, luxurious accommodation, well developed infrastructure and the picturesque backdrop of the Western Ghats – sounds like a perfect wine tour destination? Truly it is.
We planned to visit York and Sula among others. The wine experts will take you through the vineyards, explain each and every small detail about wine making, and give you interesting information about wine tasting.
Getting the firsthand experience of the growth story of the finest wines in India was really enriching. We stayed at Hotel Ibis Nashik, which I highly recommend. You can reach the wine tour destinations in less the 20 minutes. The hotel will provide fee passes for each family to visit the vineyards. I followed the experts and noted all the interesting inputs as a meticulous geography student.
Good quality grapes require a perfect combination of geographical and climatic conditions. The undulating terrain assures good drainage. Stagnation of water is not conducive. Wine grapes are different from the ones that we eat. The harvesting time for wine grapes are the most critical as they are perishable. Grapes are planted in rows leaving ample space for further pruning which is absolutely essential. And the quality of the wine (primarily red wine) depends on the ripeness of the grapes while harvesting. Earlier I used to think that white wine can only be made from white/green grapes. But that’s not true. All grape juice is white. The color of the red wine comes from its skin which contains most of the pigments. The skin and pulp are separated in the first go.
Do you have any idea about companion planting? I had no idea. Many plants have some natural substances in their roots and leaves which may attract and/or keep away insects. This may be beneficial for the other species. Sunflower is considered to be a very good option for grape vines.
Here goes the Sula and York Vineyard Tour…
Aging the wine is very significant and makes it smoother and better. Wooden barrels are appropriate for that because it ensure ventilation. Aging cannot happen in air-tight containers. In most cases wine is left in wooden barrels to age for 6-8 months. The various chemical changes during that time make the taste better.
Unlike the classical wine producing countries in the US and Europe, the harvesting season for grapes in India is from February to April. February is the best month to enjoy the wine tours. Harvesting is marked by festivals in most of the vineyards in Nashik. Among all the Sula Fest is most popular. Every year organize the 2- day festival on the first weekends of February. Being one of the largest vineyards in Nashik, Sula is more crowded and commercialized. But it has its own appeal and beauty. If you want to have some good wine and food with tranquility, visit York for sure. Both offer 5 types of wines (both red and white) for tasting as a part of the wine tour. Now it’s time for some wine tasting. As they say See, Swirl, Smell and Sip the wine.