Award-winning brands that make wine from the best, handpicked grapes in the country.
By Shweta Gandhi
Indian wineries are slowly but surely emerging on the global map, especially the ones from the Nashik and Karnataka region. These top wine players have over the years gathered quite a following in India, and often there are new brands popping up to keep them on their toes. Here are six Indian wineries that make it to our list.
#1 Sula Vineyards
One of the leading producers of wine in India, Sula was founded by Rajeev Samant in 1999, and has since gone ahead to become India’s largest wine company. Sula’s wines are produced with grapes harvested from its Nashik and Dindori estate vineyards as well as from local contract farmers.
Signature wine: Its Rasa Shiraz is the finest red wine on offer from the brand. It has a full-bodied taste and aroma of peppery red fruit. Touted as Sula’s most excellent, Rasa Shiraz is only produced during the best vintage years. It won the silver medal at the international competition of best Shiraz wines at Syrah Du Monde, France, in 2014.
#2 Grover Zampa Vineyards
Grover Zampa’s advantageous dual locations in Nandi Hills, Karnataka, and Nashik valley, Maharashtra, allow the brand to have grapes of quality. Founded by Kanwal Grover in 1992, most of its processing equipment and tanks are imported from Italy. The entire wine-making method is monitored by world-famous wine consultant Michel Rolland.
Signature wine: Zampa’s Chêne Grande Reserve is India’s most expensive red wine (Rs 1,700 for 750 ml), using a grape blend of Tempranillo and Syrah. It won the 2013 Hong Kong International Wine Award and was awarded a bronze medal at the 2012 Decanter World Wine Awards, UK. This wine has an intense ruby colour and fruity aromas like blackberry, currant and ripe plums, which are complemented well by a hint of spices and oak bouquets like vanilla and roasted coffee beans.
#3 Four Seasons Vineyards
Started in 2006, this vineyard located in Baramati, Pune, is part of United Spirits Limited, one of the biggest producers of spirits in the world. The classic Four Seasons range is known for its zesty texture—Zinzi appeals with its fruity notes, the smooth-tasting Ritu is exported to European and Asian markets, while the premium Barrique Reserve Collection is famous for its velvety feel and complex taste.
Signature wine: Barrique Reserve Shiraz is the brand’s finest full-bodied dry red wine with an inky red colour. It has an aroma of blackberry and dry spices, and leaves an intense smoky and earthy flavour on the palate; it goes well with mature cheeses.
#4 Fratelli Wines
Set up in 2006, Fratelli is based out of Akluj in the Solapur district of Pune and grows grapes of 12 varieties, all imported from France. Fratelli uses age-old Italian wine making traditions provided by renowned winemaker Piero Masi, creating Indian wines that meet international standards.
Signature wine: Sangiovese Bianco is a unique wine with an unheard of concept — a white wine made out of red Sangiovese grapes. This gives the wine a fresh and crisp flavour while having the body of a red.
#5 Charosa Vineyards
Another vineyard from the Dindori-Niphad-Satara area of Nashik, Charosa uses open tank fermenters, which ensure a unique wine making process. Launched in 2013, this one’s new in the business and is making waves already.
Signature wine: Selection Sauvignon Blanc is a rich and balanced mid-palate wine with intense flavours of tropical fruits gooseberry and orange. This delicate, dry wine is best enjoyed with appetisers, salads and light seafoods.
#6 Chateau d’Ori
Founded by Ranjit Dhuru, the vineyards of Chateau d’Ori and their viticulture practices are exactly like those employed in Bordeaux, Europe’s oldest wine region. Celebrated oenologist from Bordeaux, M. Athanase Fakorellis overlooks the cultivation and the winemaking process here.
Signature wine: Cabernet Merlot is a deep red wine made from the two famous grapes of Bordeaux—Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It is appreciated for its spiced and candied prune notes, and the smoothness produced by the strong tannins of the Cabernet which combine well with Merlot.
Photograph courtesy: John – Creative Commons
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