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Review of Sula Vineyards Nasik

A World Class Winery Near Nasik in India

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Review of Sula Vineyards Nasik

Entrance to Sula winery, Nasik.

Sharell Cook
Sula Vineyards in Nasik is perhaps India's most popular and most accessible winery. From humble beginnings in 1997, Sula Vineyards has admirably developed into a world class winery. The winery is open to visitors, who can enjoy a tour, tastings, courses, and fun events. It's a pleasant surprise to find a winery of this standard in India, and it's obvious that a great deal of inspiration has gone into creating it.

Sula Vineyards Location and Setting

Sula Vineyards winery is located on the outskirts of Nasik, around four hours northeast of Mumbai, in the state of Maharastra. For wine lovers, Sula Vineyards makes an enjoyable side trip from Mumbai. It's easily reached by frequent Indian Railways train services, buses, or even by taxi.

The winery is set on a 35 acre vineyard. For the amount of wine that Sula produces, the property wasn't as large as I expected it to be. However, that's because Sula has an additional few hundred acres of vineyards spread elsewhere in the region.

Sula Vineyards Attractions and Facilities

Outlook from Sula tasting room.

Sharell Cook

Sula Vineyards has much to offer visitors. Its very ambient tasting room has been architecturally designed, with a balcony affording expansive views over the vineyard. The wine bottle lights suspended from the ceiling are a unique touch and emit a warm glow.

The tasting room is open from 11.00 a.m to 10.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 11.00 a.m to 11.00 p.m Friday and Saturday. This makes it a wonderful place to watch the sunset and spend the evening. For added entertainment, there's a pool table and lounge bar as well.

150 rupees ($3) will entitle you to a 30 minute escorted tour of the winery, including the processing rooms, and tasting of six wines. The tours take place hourly between 11.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m., and provide a good insight into the wine making process.

For more serious wine connoisseurs, Sula offers a one day wine appreciation course every Thursday for 1,600 rupees ($35). The cost includes a one hour food and wine matching session. The matching session can be undertaken separately for 600 rupees ($12).

Sula also has an enticing range of wine related merchandise available for sale. I couldn't resist Sula's uplifting sun symbol (complete with Indian mustache!) and went a bit overboard, buying a t-shirt for 250 rupees ($5), silver wine cooler bucket for 350 rupees ($7), and wooden wine rack for 450 rupees ($9).

The harvesting months of January to March are the best times to visit Sula Vineyards. You'll be able to participate in wine stomping. The Sula Fest music concert is held during February/March as well, in the outdoor amphitheater.

Sula Vineyards Accommodations

Sula Vineyards has a 32 room vineyard resort and spa, called Beyond, which visitors can stay at. Room rates start from 5,000 rupees plus tax during the week, and include breakfast, a vineyard and winery tour, and wine tasting session.

Alternatively, staying in Nasik is a convenient option for visiting Sula.

Decent Nasik hotels that won't break the bank are Ginger and the Hotel Sai Palace. For those who aren't concerned about budget, the The Gateway Hotel at Ambad (formerly the Taj Residency) is highly recommended. There's also the Tiger Hill Resort, owned by Chateau Indage Vineyards, for those who want to continue enjoying Indian wines. You can read my review of Tiger Hill Resort here.

Sula Vineyards Food and Wine

Sula food and wine.

Sharell Cook

After my tour of the Sula winery, it was time for me to settle in and enjoy the views, one of Sula's premium wines, and some light snacks.

I was looking forward to relaxing with a chardonnay. However I was disappointed to discover that Sula Vineyards is yet to grow chardonnay grapes. The knowledgeable staff assured me that there are plans afoot for it to start happening in the next three years though.

Never mind, there were plenty of other tempting wine varieties to choose from. These included chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, and zinfandel. For those in the mood to celebrate, Sula produces sparkling wine as well. The average price of the wines is around 400 rupees ($12).

Most of the Sula wines are young wines. However, Sula does make a Dindori Reserve Shiraz, which is aged for a year in oak. I quite enjoyed it during the tasting, but since it was a hot day I selected the Sauvignon Blanc.

To accompany the wine, I ordered a 250 rupees ($5) platter of assorted cheeses, crackers, olives, nuts and dried fruit.

Gazing out across the horizon, feelings of contentment came easily.

For those with an appetite, who are in the mood for something a bit more substantial to eat, there's a Little Italy restaurant on the Sula property. The Little Italy chain is well regarded across India for its fine Italian cuisine. It's open for lunch and dinner, with a meal for two costing 500-1000 rupees ($10-20).

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Sula Vineyard visit by IIAS reviewed by Edgar, Member Edgardsouza

After almost 18 hours of journey from Goa, a midnight birthday celebration in the coach, a brief check in & stop at the Royale Heritage Hotel in Nashik and then began the daunting hunt for the way to Sula Vineyard. After a couple of hilarious incidences during seeking directions, we finally made it to Vineyard. Everyone was excited about the beautiful scenery beholding the vineyard. Set against the rolling green plains around Nasik, a sort of Napa Valley in western India, we approached the Sula Vineyards, one of India’s largest wine producing wide varieties of whites, reds, roses and dessert wines to offer the wine lovers. The Sula vineyard was not as large as I expected it to be (only 35 acres), but it turned out that they had around 350 acres located somewhere else too I guided my 23 member team from IIAS School of Management, Goa, we registered and then proceeded for the famous and knowledgeable guided tour of the vineyards and winery, uncovering the mysteries of the winemaking process from grape to bottle. It truly was extremely interactive session with detailed process being explained in depth right from “vine” to the end product “wine”. Our tour guide took us to around. He started by showing us the vineyard, explaining about the viticulture process right until the harvest. He then guided us towards the winery and explained the varied process starting from sorting the grapes, removal of stems & leaves and their transfer to the grape crushing machine. The main difference between red and white wine is that grape juice used to make red wine contains skins, seeds, and stems. This is significant for by leaving juice to mix together with the woody bits (known as maceration) causes the finished product to contain a deep red colour and tannins. Ultimately the guide explained how the juice ferments into wine. This was followed by the racking of wine, the process of transferring the wine while separating the residues from one container to another. Some of the Sula wines are then aged for a short period before being bottled. We ended our tour in Tasting Room. The Tasting Room over seeing the lush green vineyards and the beautiful Gangapur dam water body is an eye soothing view. I must say you can expect all pleasant surprises. It sure was an experience of a different kind to most. The wine tasting room where we were led through the proper steps to see, swirl, sniff, and sip wine. We assessed the wine’s taste characteristics by checking for its Sweetness (or dryness), The acidity of a wine causes a tingling sensation in the mouth, Tannins derived from grape skins, seeds, and stems and the other things to look for when tasting a wine which include mouthfeel (weight/body of the wine in the mouth), alcohol levels, finish and aftertaste (can be short, medium or long). They have all the Sula wines available by the glass, a few also by the half bottle and bottle. There are maybe a dozen options in all. Prices are a bit below what we pay for retail in. All their wines are also for sale to take with you as well as various merchandise. My most favorite wine was “The Sula Late Harvest Chenin Blanc” which is a sweet smelling white wine. It also has the highest alcohol content among all Sula wines and I must second that fact. Sula Vineyards is an Amazing place to spend your evening over wine. If you are a wine lover, then for sure you are bound to enjoy the place. Wines are of excellent quality can match the par of any other Californian Wine. All in all, I thought the Sula experience was pretty great. Environment was classy, wines were good (if very sweet), and very beautiful and relaxing. I would recommend it to anyone.

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