Wine Dine and Play: Sula Vineyards (सुला वाइनयार्ड्स)

Sula Vineyards (सुला वाइनयार्ड्स)

Indian Wine with An Indian Meal
एक भारतीय भोजन के साथ भारतीय शराब
Nashik, Maharashtra, India  नाशिक, महाराष्ट्र, भारत
Wine Style: Sauvignon Blanc   वाइन शैली: सॉविनन ब्लैंक
Average Price: $ / ₹₹₹₹₹
Overall Rating:  89 points
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
सीन ओवरपेक (सीएफई)
Glossary of wine and restaurant reviews:
शराब और रेस्तरां की समीक्षा की शब्दावली:

वाइन, भोजन और प्ले का पालन करें:

Vineyard Owner:
Rajeev Samant  राजीव सामंत

Kerry Damskey

I was first introduced to Indian wines when back in 2012 I dined at Mr. Todiwala’s Kitchen in London. I drank a Sauvignon Blanc by Sula Vineyards which went perfectly with the Masala Dosa dish. Prior to this meal, I didn’t know that India had a wine-growing region or several regions in fact along the western side of the country. There are 54 wineries across the country out of which 52 are in the Maharashtra Provence. Maharashtra accounts for almost 94% of the country’s wine production, and Sula Vineyards sold 129,000 nine-liter cases in 2007 and continued growing at over 35% annually for three to five years before leveling out.

Nearly 80% of the demand for wine centers in the following major cities of the country - New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, and Bangalore. India ranks 77 in terms of wine consumption in the world. Commercial wine grape production in India has only been in existence since the 1980s.

The following factors have contributed to India’s low wine consumption:
निम्नलिखित कारकों में भारत की कम शराब की खपत में योगदान दिया गया है:
• Poor storage;
• Poor transport facilities;
• Lack of promotional activities for wine consumption in the country;
• Unfavorable rules for the domestic marketing of wines except in few States;
• Stringent and regressive government rules with different taxation across various states

The following factors are adding to the higher consumption of wine in India:
निम्नलिखित कारक भारत में शराब की उच्च खपत को जोड़ रहे हैं:
• Rising incomes of Indian population;
• Changing demography;
• Exposure to a new culture;
• Growth in foreign tourists;
• Loosening of Government regulations and policies

After the launch of its first wines in 2000, Sula expanded from its original 30-acre family estate in Nashik to approximately 1800 acres across Nashik and the state of Karnataka. They currently hold a market share of almost 70% in the Indian wine Industry. Over the last sixteen years, Sula has established itself as a pioneer and leader in the Indian wine industry, with milestones across its winemaking, tourism and business ventures. In 2014 the Dindori Reserve Shiraz rated #25 in Wine Enthusiast’s list of Top 100 wines of the year, and in 2015 they launched the production of JANUS, India's first 100% premium grape brandy. In 2016 they were the first Asian winery to win Drinks Business award for Best Contribution to Wine & Spirits Tourism. Other firsts on their list include exporting to Europe and the United States, and the very first tasting room to open in India. There are two restaurants on the property called Little Italy At Sula - an organic farm-to-fork concept, and Soma at Sula with vibes and hues of traditional Indian cuisine.

They focus a large effort on Sustainability through vineyard management and using solar power, rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation, conservation, recycling, and Vermicomposting. 40% of the fertilizer needs are met by using homemade organic compost through vermiculture. The ultimate aim is to replace all traditional fertilizer requirements with a mix of vermicompost and farmyard manure.

Nashik is also known as India's Napa Valley, and is home to Sula's Estate Vineyards, along with York Winery, and others. Nashik's soil is of volcanic origin, ranging from weathered basalt to red laterite to heavy clay. The heavier soils are closer to the Godavari river beds while the lighter crumbly weathered red soils are closer to the northern hilly part of the region. In 1999, Rajeev Samant established Sula Vineyards, Nashik's first winery and paved the way for the emergence of India's Wine Capital, with almost 35 other wineries the following suit in the region over the next decade. 

The name "Sula" came from his mother's name - "Sulabha" - and symbolized the rich, Indian heritage of his wines. This was a wine that took pride in being Indian, being the first company in the country to use an Indian logo. Deeply influenced by his travels and his personal values, Rajeev Samant firmly believes in being a steward of the land and in sustainable business practices. Under his guidance, Sula is one of the most eco-friendly companies in India, with a significant amount of its resources committed to sustainable winemaking practices and ensuring fair livelihoods for Sula's community of farmers across Maharashtra and Karnataka. 

A large number of Sula's workers come from disadvantaged communities and have seen a significant change in their standard of living through their employment with the company; this has been nothing short of a revolution in the surrounding villages. Samant is also a leading advocate for India's wine industry and is actively sought out to represent the interests of India's wine producers and farmers to national and state Governments.

Wine and Grape:
Nose (Bouquet):
Palate Experience:
Sauvignon Blanc
Winemaker Notes:  
Herbaceous, crisp and dry, with aromas of bell peppers, intermingled with tropical fruits like passion fruit and gooseberry

Winemaker Notes:
Racy, zingy finish. The classic accompaniment to seafood and dishes containing greens like asparagus and spinach.

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See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

A Few other Old World Favorites:

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See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

Final notes, review basics, and observations:

I refer to myself as an oenophile though, oenophilia is defined as “a disciplined devotion to wine, accompanying strict traditions of consumption and appreciation.” In a general sense, oenophilia also refers to the enjoyment of wine, often by a layman - which I am, and not qualified as a professional. I just enjoy drinking it, so my rating is based on enjoyment and the overall experience, not the science of an expert.

Overall Star Rating:
88 points
 4 of 5 Stars: 
An Outstanding Tasting Experience
Wines Produced
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Red Blend, Dindori

White: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Dia White, Sparkling wine

Other: Grapeseed oil
Maharashtra NWB - National Wine Board

Bottle Prices 
(excluding taxes)
$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricy)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)
**Currencies reflect the world’s major wine countries and connoisseur’s** 

Wine Selection:
Currency rates in the top wine producing & wine purchasing countries:
Price Chart :
(750 ml)

Indian Rupee (INR)
United States Dollar (USD)
Australian Dollar (AUS)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
European Union (EUR)
New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
South African Rand (ZAR) 

Currency rates as of July 2017 

Sula Vineyards:

Gat 36/2, Govardhan Village, 
Gangapur-Savargaon Road, 
Nashik, Maharashtra 
422222, India

गत 36/2, गोवर्धन ग्राम,
गंगापुर-सावरगाव रोड,
नाशिक, महाराष्ट्र
422222, भारत

Tasting Room Information:

Tasting room:
+91 253 302 7777
Email or Website Contact:
Tasting Room hours:
India Standard Time (IST)
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC - BST Offset + 5:30)
Monday - Sunday: 

11:030 am - 6:30 pm

Social Media:

Facebook Link                

The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…
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“I like cooking with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food.”


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