the new kids on the block
Yes wines are actually made in India and in many cases they are bloody good. India is not the first country that comes to mind when it comes to winemaking and vineyards I’ll grant you that. However despite the initial impression we may have the Indian wines are varied and they use lots of the grape Varietals you may be familiar with.
Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are just some of the styles that are being successfully cultivated in India.
One of the better known growers is Sula Vineyards. Situated in Nashik, India’s largest grape-growing region, Sula Vineyards was set up in 1997 by Rajeev Samant & Kerry Damsky.
Nashik is located approx 2000 feet above sea level, to the north of Mumbai, in The Western Ghats mountains. The climate is mild with winters reaching 8-10C and summers 35C, rainfall is high. Similar in climate to the Loire and South Africa.
Sula Vineyards pioneered the French grape varieties Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc which were first released in 2000 to wide acclaim as India’s best white wines.
Sula now cultivates Shiraz and Zinfandel amongst other international varieties and broadly recognized as India’s premium wine producer.
They produce two main styles of wine. The standard versions and the reserve options. Almost all are single varietals. The reserve options are aged in French and American oak to add complexity and finesse to the wines.
A superb example of their wines is the Dindori Reserve Shiraz. This remarkable wine is aged in both French and American Oak for 1 year and benefits from gentle pump over of the juice and skins. It is a wine that astounds many people when they first try it and the shock on their faces when they realise this is an Indian wine is priceless.
The whites are just as good and one of the most sought after is the Sula Sauvignon Blanc. This wine displays all of the usual characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc but it doesn’t have the citrus attack you get with New Zealand Sauvignon. this makes it far easier to drink and you are more likely to go back for a second glass, or a third!
So the next time you are hosting a wine tasting or need a special bottle to impress a wine expert grab a bottle of Indian Wine and watch their face when they try it.
For more information on Sula Wines please visit their website http://sulawines.com/