Header image courtesy of Vallonne Vineyards
As you drive away from Mumbai, through the national highway 848, the view from your window seat gets progressively dreamier. Greenfields and lush landscapes envelop you in their beauty. There is a sense of calm that transpires around you. That’s when you know, you’re on your way to the Wine Capital of India—Nashik.
Funnily enough, Nashik is also known for its temples and significance in Hindu mythology. It’s said that this city was the abode of Lord Ram and he chose to spend 14 years of exile here while he was banished by his father. On the other hand, drinking and brewing alcohol has been a taboo in India since time immemorial—so it was surprising to see the destination that is revered for religious reasons in the country, would later come to be known for its unparalleled vineyards. Here’s a round-up of all the vineyards that can raise your brows and show you the good side of life.
The best time to visit Nashik is between November to March. The drive through the western ghats together with the city’s winding lakes, religious sites, and cultural escapades makes it worthy of a visit. But the wine—it’s more than words can explain. You can also plan a visit in the monsoons—this ensures that the drive is particularly enchanting. However, if you want to do the wine tours, it’s better to plan the visit in the Indian winter.
In 1999, India saw a vision come to life. It was the advent of Sula, Nashik’s first winery—and the one that created a revolution in India. Following the success of this vineyard, 35 others cropped up in the region. It was here that jobs were created for winemakers and farmers in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. It was a journey from grapes to glasses—fresh from the barrels. You can choose to sign up for personalised wine tastings and wine tours, and also to reside in Sky Villas—the luxury vineyard property—complete with an infinity pool and more. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, The Source at Sula is your best bet. Bicycle tracks, organic dining options, and beautiful views come with this experience. You can also plan your visit during the iconic Sula Fest, which happens to be India’s biggest vineyard music festival. This is where you can participate in some grape stomping activities and lie by the lawns listening to some eclectic bands, all in the same place.
Sula Vineyards, Gat 36/2, Govardhan Village, Off Gangapur-Savargaon Road, Nashik 422 222, Maharashtra, India | (+91) 2532202424/ (+91) 2532202400
This boutique vineyard opened its doors in 2009. The minute you enter the property, you are swept away by a gentle breeze. A large expanse of green fields encircles you. Windswept trees and an in-house restaurant called Malaka Spice is sure to make your mouth water. There are just a handful of rooms at the vineyard resort, so if you plan to stay here, it’s best to book your accommodation in advance. This cosy little vineyard allows you to make the most of personalised experiences. The wine tastings and tours are held for smaller groups and the hospitality is unbeatable. Their dessert wine is one to reckon with. They also have a recreation space for kids with indoor games, and a bicycle track as well. The view of the Sahyadri range is sure to make you miss a heartbeat—ideal for romantic getaways.
Vallonne Vineyards, GAT 504, Kavnai Shivar, Near Sanjegaon, Taluka Igatpuri, Nashik 422 403, India | (+91) 98191 29455 / (+91) 9272227773
If you are looking to experience the luxe life, the private villas at Some Vineyard Resort are your go-to destination. Soma Vine Village is also home to the Regenta Resort, which is a plush 29-room property complete with a vineyard pool and a view of the Sahyadris. It is one of the few five-star resorts in Nashik and has proven to be the ideal choice for the discerning traveller. At Soma, wine-sampling and grape-stomping are abundant. A designated sommelier educates you about the process of winemaking, in case you want to take a step closer to becoming a connoisseur. There is enough and more for everyone. Wine is not just a drink at Soma, it is an elixir that brings you the best of what life has to offer.
Soma Vine Village, Survey No. 1, Village Ganghavare, Gangapur-Ganghavare Road, Nashik 422 222, Maharashtra, India | (+91) 7028066016