If you’re like us and love wine and want a few days of absolute peace, leisure and vinous excitement we suggest you head straight to Nasik, the country’s wine capital. It’s only a three to four hour drive from Mumbai and the drive itself is beautiful.
We love the monsoon season to go there, it seems like everything has been painted fluorescent green and in the cooler months from November onwards, nights can get quite chilly. Perfect for a glass of warming Reserve Shiraz!
There are plenty of options for stay, we like the Taj Gateway or Express Inn, both about a 20 minute drive from the region’s most popular vineyard Sula – which is a hop skip and a wine away from York winery. You could of course stay at Beyond, Sula’s 21 room resort.
Tours at wineries usually include a walk through the vineyard, interesting information on how wine is produced, a visit to the winery building to take a look at the fermentation tanks and bottling plants and a tasting session. The scent of fermenting grape juice is extraordinary. Make sure you go to the cellar room to barrel sample some of their wines.
First stop on your wine trail is Sula. Take a few minutes to walk around in the vineyard by yourself, have a look at the different grape varietals, the soil and the vines. Everything you’ve read or heard about wineries and vineyards will come to life here!
Spend a few hours on the deck of the winery, overlooking the vineyards with the rolling hills and the lake in the background. A chilled glass of their Rose with some charcuterie in the afternoon should have your vineyard experience going in fine style.
Next, head to York Winery, a 5 minute drive from Sula. This family owned winery produces award winning wines and we recommend you stock up on them when you get there. The view from their Tasting Room is simply gorgeous. They have interactive guided tours and a kitchen just in case you’d like to stay for lunch or supper. We love the local cuisine that’s part of their menu.
You could create your own picnic basket and drive or cycle down to the nearby lake.
About 20 minutes away from the hotels is Vallonne Vineyards, a French style boutique winery. They don’t have a restaurant or rooms currently, but they are a passionate winery and produce some very good wines for your drinking pleasure.
Another fantastic winery to look out for on your visit to Nasik is Vallee de Vin. Their tasting room lies nestled amongst rows of barrels of some of their finest wines. Sampling wine around a long tasting table amid the barrels is reminiscent of tastings in Chianti!
About an hour east of Nasik, off the Aurangabad Highway you will find Vintage Wines. It is a hundred acre vineyard and winery set up by the father-son team of Suresh and Yatin Patel. Don’t miss tasting their wines which are renowned for being very high in quality!
About an hour away from Nasik is the up and coming Charosa vineyards, it isn’t quite ready yet but we have seen what their upto and it looks exciting.
For our friends in Pune, we highly recommend a visit to the Fratelli Winery in Akluj, a two to three hour drive from Pune city. The winery is a state of the art structure inspired by the Ferrari factory in Northern Italy. Fratelli has a beautiful guest house with four spacious rooms for their visitors with traditional Maharashtrian food and even entertainment if you like. The outdoor tasting point overlooking the vineyards is just spectacular!
It’s exciting to see this marvel unravel in our very own backyard so easily accessible. The wineries are warm and hospitable and look forward to seeing you there. All you now need to decide is when you want to go!