The experience of visiting a vineyard is unparalleled. Think about it this way, you get to take in the beautiful views, learn about wine, and well, drink wine. What else does one need when they’re planning some time off?
The best part about vineyard visits is that you can turn it into a weekend getaway too! There’s always so much to do at a vineyard. Plus, you get to learn A LOT.
Many of us plan vineyard visits when we travel internationally. But let us tell you, India is home to some great vineyards that are worth the visit if you’re looking for the full wine experience.
So whether you’re an avid wine learner and want to grow your knowledge, or you just want to bask in the sun, bask in the sun, and appreciate some delicious wines, these are 5 vineyards you must visit in India.
Grover Zampa Nashik, source: website
With vineyards hosted in both Nashik and Nandi Hills, Grover Zampa Vineyards is home to some award-winning expressions, and has built quite a market for premium wines in India. The legacy of Grover Zampa started in the 1960s, with Kanwal Grover, who is one of the pioneers in the Indian wine market.
Before stepping into the world of wines, Kanwal Grover dealt in high technological equipment, space program defence production and machine tools. His work involved a lot of travel to France, and with each trip, he fell in love with wine. After visiting wineries across France, he decided to cultivate a sense of wine in India, and hence, Grover Vineyards was born.
In the late 1970s, Grover met George Vesselle, who at the time was the Technical Director of Champagne Mumm Vineyard. During dinner, the two connected on their love of wine, and between conversations, realised that they were born on the same day of the same year. Their friendship brought unique French grape varieties to India, and in 1992, Grover VIneyards was officially set up.
Today, Grover Zampa brings forward a wide portfolio of some great varieties, including Shiraz, Viognier, Chêne (a blend of Tempranillo and Shiraz), Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and many more.
Both the vineyards in Nashik and Nandi Hills offer tours and tastings that take you through the vineyards, seeping in the rich history and winemaking processes of the producer, followed by a wine tasting to dip your toes into.
Fratelli, source: website
With the aim to cultivate a landmark wine region from India on the world map, Fratelli Wines is one of India’s most pronounced wine producers.
The word ‘Fratelli’ means ‘brother’ in Italian, the estate was birthed as a collaboration between the Secci Brothers from Italy and Sekhri and Mohite-Patil brothers from India.
Under the helm of Piero Masi (who passed away in April 2022), Fratelli has been making award-winning wines since 2007. The Fratelli vineyards are known to be India’s largest privately owned wine estate, with over two hundred and forty acres of vineyards.
With a respectable variety of wines under their name, Fratelli also recently launched a canned wine - ‘Tilt’. The brand continues to thrive, creating wines for every drinker out there. The birth of Tilt brought a younger audience towards Fratelli, which has in turn made them one of the Indian brands trying to widen the wine drinking audience in India.
A tour at the Fratelli vineyards is one you’ll definitely want to take. Your tour will take you through the process of winemaking, where you can walk, harvest, and taste along the estate’s endless vines. Whether you’re looking to learn about the wine world or just want to spend a relaxing weekend out in a vineyard, Fratelli never disappoints.
KRSMA Estates, source: World’s Best Vineyards
Situated in Hampi Hills, KRSMA Estates is the only Indian estate to be a part of the World’s Best Vineyards list at number 47.
KRSMA was established in 2008 by the marathon running husband-wife duo Krishna Prasad and Uma Chigurupati. It is one of the most premium estates in the country. With its iron-rich soils, low rainfall, and high altitude, Hampi Hills is known to produce some of India’s best wines, with KRSMA’s expressions at the helm.
A tour to the KRSMA Estates will offer a revolutionary walk through the prime vineyards of India, followed by a wonderfully curated tasting that hosts some of KRSMA’s best wines.
Crushing at Vallonné, source: website
Housed in Maharashtra’s Igatpuri, nestled in the Kavnai village near Nashik, Vallonné Vineyards was established in 2009 as India’s first boutique winery.
Founder and owner Shailendra Pai, wine professional turned vintner brought a decade long expertise in the wine industry when he started Vallonné.
Vallonné is home to some of the most premium, French-styled wines that India offers. The Vallonné vineyards are a sight for sore eyes, therefore, a must visit.
Being a boutique winery, the vineyards only have 4 rooms, and they’re almost always booked. The guided tour includes a walk through the picturesque vineyards, followed by a wine tasting where you get to taste five premium wines.
To top it all off, Vallonné is also known for its restaurant, the Malaka Spice. Malaka Spice is a lake-facing restaurant that serves delectable culinary creations from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Sula Vineyards, source: website
There’s no way that our list of 5 vineyards to visit in India would be complete without Sula Vineyards.
Sula’s wines are not only appreciated in India, but have also created a standing for themselves in the international markets. It’s safe to say that Sula Vineyards played a huge role in building the Indian wine culture to a certain extent, and they continue to do so by making their wine accessible to an array of wine drinkers.
Under the guidance of Rajeev Samant (Founder & CEO), Sula Vineyards are one of the most eco-friendly companies in India. Rajeev firmly believes in preserving the land and sustainable practices, which also reflects on the vineyards and the wines.
From lake view rooms, to dreamy villas and infinity pools, a weekend getaway at Sula Vineyards is the perfect way to unwind. They offer a variety of experiences, including tours and tasting sessions that will help you learn about Sula and wine in general.
Originally published May 31, 2022