Who would have thought 2020 with its nice, round sound would turn out to be such a challenging year, causing so much disruption and suffering worldwide — an annus horribilis. But as we shift gears for a new normal, it wasn’t all bad. SI kept me going: a new issue every three months without missing a beat along with the wines I drank at home in the company of family and a friend or two.
This is what wine is about, drinking moderately but well. So many fine labels saw the light of day from the dark recesses of my wine chiller that I need to restock now!
Braving Covid restrictions with two friends early in November, we visited the major wineries in Nashik and stayed at Sula’s Sky Villa, which makes a perfect vineyard getaway far from the rest of the world. Our stay, unfortunately, was much too short to make the most of its unique location. (Plan for three full days, not counting travel time).
However, we did manage to pack in visits to several wineries — Grover Zampa Vineyards, Vallonné Vineyards, York Vineyards and Vintage Wines in the district of Niphad — and came back feeling very optimistic about the outlook for Indian wine. There are many changes a-foot and the wineries have great plans for the future, starting with Sula Vineyards. Read how far they’ve come on p20.
Even if we cannot leave our shores to travel abroad, my hope is you’ll find something of interest to read in this issue. If you are looking for new wines to buy or read about, look no further.
You will find ample information in this issue about different wines and vineyards to visit. The hills of Veneto beckon (p26) as do Bolgheri and Elba (p40). Regarding specific wines, Raymond Blake’s pen portraits are a delight to read (p28). Even if you can’t get these wines in India you can buy imported wines listed in our Best Buy Wine section (p16).
As we step into 2021 there’s so much to be positive about. We can still eat out, for example, (try Estella in Mumbai, p80) and fine dining is back. Lapis at the Oberoi Bangalore (p76) is an outstanding example.
So let’s look forward to a happy year ahead and a healthier 2021!