“Wine is win with an e on the end”
If you’re Indian and are asked to name a brand of wine chances are you’d say Sula. The meccah of wine production in India is located off Gangapur-Savargaon road at Nasik, 180 kms away from Mumbai. An amazing three hour drive on a beautiful highway along the Western ghats will take you to the sprawling property lined with grapevines and rose shrubs.
The ideal time to reach Sula is around 10:30 am to avoid the afternoon sun and the steady stream of visitors, people of all age groups. It was surprising to see so many families thronging and amusing to see parents getting high on the spirits while their kids created a stir running around the patio.
We bought our tickets for the wine tour and tasting session at 1 pm and were told that all slots till 3:30 pm were occupied. To kill time as well as hunger pangs, we made our way to the patio located on the first floor.
The patio overlooking the endless vineyards had beautiful French decor complete with brightly coloured aluminium chairs. We made ourselves comfortable and called for the menu. While there were plenty of options for spirits for obvious reasons- we ordered four different kinds of wine bottles-the food options were quite limited and the serving sizes were small. Thus, it is highly recommended to have a hearty breakfast before setting out for a day trip to Sula.
Getting back to the wine, we ordered the RaSa Cabernet Sauvignon to start with (all because it sounded fancy) and soon realised that red wine wouldn’t go well with the arid afternoon. We soon switched to chilled white wines which brought much needed respite to our parched throats. A beautiful looking Rose wine followed and we were all set for the tour and tasting session (or maybe not).
Our tour guide greeted us at the entrance of the brewery and narrated the history of Sula. We then entered the wine distilling premises with huge steel apparatus fermenting the grapes at controlled temperatures followed by a room stocked with numerous barrels all holding in them the tens of varieties of wines that Sula produces.
The tour ended with us landing at The Tasting Room where the chirpy lady got us to sample six of their special wines with description about the age,notes, flavours- all that it takes to be a wine connoisseur. Alas! we we’d already had too much wine by now to identify and differentiate one wine from another.
We were let off with a gentle chide of paying more attention to the sessions we attend in the future. But for wine we got at MRP right where it is produced, it’s okay to get a little buzzed, right?
Sula also has a beautiful resort called Beyond where guests can stay and enjoy tours and their drinks at leisure, it is advisable to plan your trip at least a month in advance if you plan on staying there overnight.