Sula also presents a fest annually wherein you can enjoy many events of art, music, food, and dance and grapes stomping are most approachable part of this fest. In Sula fest, they arrange lots of activities and cultural events and of course more classy wines. We have visited in the month of May and missed some of Sula perks.
The trip to Sula vineyard was a sudden weekend plan, I was very excited to visit a vineyard for the very first time. Sula is the pleasurable place for the wine lover and nature lover.
The Sula"Sula Vineyard" is the beautiful winery and vineyard built on 30 acres of land which is located at the Gangapur area near outskirt of Nashik, Maharashtra. 'Nashik' is called as the wine capital of India, which is a very proud thing for all nashikkars. Sula Vineyard is the major contributor to owe this title. Hotel "Beyond By Sula" entitles stay facility, located a short distance from the vineyard with beautiful lake views of Gangapur. Another one is "The Source at Sula" with unbeatable scenic views, relaxing at poolside, rejuvenating at spa these all add for a tiny bit of luxury.
How to reach SulaSula is tucked at gloomy greenery vineyard and away from the chaos of Nashik city. We all in total 10 people and we drove down right from Navi Mumbai to our destination Sula Vineyard. We have taken Toyota Innova and Tata Hexa to travel all the way to Sula. The distance from Navi Mumbai to Sula Vineyard is 180 km, google map navigation helped us out to reach there. No need to enter the Nashik city, road signs were pointing towards Sula vineyard and made the way easier for us.
We started at 7:30 AM from Navi Mumbai drove via Mumbai-Nashik expressway and reached around 11:30 AM, in mid of the way we halt twice for breaks and grab some tea and snack. Journey took complete 4 hours to reach Sula.
The roads were little steep and with shabby lanes. For a fleeting moment serene view of Nashik lanes taken my breath away. With each passing road signs to Sula, my excitation goes up. Finally passing through a small lane we entered into the parking lot of the vineyard. After parking the vehicle we could see Sula's logo of bright yellow color with a unique tilak(U shape) on a sun forehead and with the twirled mustache on a sun face.
The TourWe have taken many snaps at the entrance with different poses and girls as usual ready with sassy boomerangs and selfies. Lazy reception greeted us to enter the booking area and souvenir store.
The tour to the whole Sula Vineyard taken by their staff guides into batches of around 30 people.
The Sula Vineyard tour ticket cost depends upon your choice to only tour or tour with tasting wines. If you want to go with tour guide plus tasting session then it will cost you Rs 450/person otherwise if you choose only tour guide then Rs 150/person. We were placed for 1 to 1:30 PM batch for tour guide plus wine tasting. Till then we got refreshed and taken shoots, some in cameras and some in DSLR.
Tour of factory runs every hour between 11:30 to 5:30 for an exclusive guide to a winery. The tour guide took us from an entrance to manufacturing area of wine explaining their brand name came up, a brief history about entrepreneur behind Sula, dismissive wave of the hand towards Sula Vineyard, etc.
Next, he explained the process of winemaking and storage. The tour guide started from harvesting, pressing, the extraction process, explaining big machinery for the same, and fermentation process. During fermentation how yeast converts sugars in grapes into alcohol and barrels used to keep the fermenting product to mature for months or years. A quick walk through all brewing room explaining the process side by. Maintaining fermentation temperature around 15-19 degree Celcius and this temperature varies on types of wines. There were two types of barrels shown to us, one French oak barrel and another one was American barrel. We came to understand hat each of those barrels costs around 80,000 to source and gave the glimpse for bottling area. The cost to make different types of wines estimated, different preparation techniques previously used, the difference between mild and strong wines, bottling procedure for wines, etc. these all nugget of information was worth gaining in this tour.
I have clicked these pictures so that will help my blog readers to understand winemaking process better.
Tasting of winesHere comes the most interesting part of the tour "Wine tasting session". They allowed us to taste all six wines, 4 were Still wines and 2 were Sparkling wines. Wine types included white wine, red wines, and transparent wine. If you had never been to a winery or this wine tasting is your first-time experience than first try white wines or lighter wines unless you like red wine personally.
Recommended to read: Wine as a belly fat burner
Wine pourer began teaching us wine etiquettes like holding a wine glass(hold the glass by the stem, not by cup), give each wine poured a little swirl, sniffle, and sip. Swirling of wine place an important role as this allows oxygen to get into wine and brings the bouquet of stored aromas up from the wine. Among all six I liked Sparkling White wine during the tasting or else I can say that I can bear only sparkling white wine for long. After taking wines into mouth I wished there was spittoon around😝.
Evergreen VineyardAlluring vineyard filled with lively grape vines all over the land. Multiple long rows of wines ended with some rose bushes which gives the indication that grape wines need more attention or not. This is because rose bush is easily susceptible to plant diseases than grape vines. If the rose bush isn't healthy than this grape wine needs immediate attention to prevent from diseases or damages. If the rose bushes are healthy than it indicates a more good quality of grapes. In short, rose bushes act as the saviour of wines.
RestaurantRestaurants at Sula Vineyard comprehended of "Soma by Sula"- the Indian restaurant and "Little Italy by Sula"- serving Italian cuisine. Instead of visiting these nearby restaurants, one of our friends from the group recommended visiting his known restaurant "Aaichya Gavat". This restaurant serves typical Konkani cuisine and mesmerized us with their spicy Konkani taste. The staff of the restaurant chit-chatting with us more or less about Nashik beauty and other wineries in Nashik. After lunch there, we paced straight to the market for the main highway and headed towards Mumbai to return to our home.
I am grateful to live in a digital world, especially when it comes to navigation apps which helped us to reach home as early as possible.
I hope my tour to Sula Vineyard helps you to give a guide and glance of it if for the first time you go. For more such pictures of Sula Vineyard please visit my Instagram account- @pram_s20
Most important tip for you - have fun!!