You cannot talk about passion, you have to taste it,” said Italian oenologist Dr. Vincenzo Vernocchi as he introduced Fusion Wines to diners at La Terrazza, Hyatt Regency, Pune on August 29. Brinda Gill reports. Pictured: Ravish Ahuja Managing Director, Kiara Wines (right) and guest admire the range of Fusion Wines
“Wine making is a long journey. It takes months to produce wines which are then matured in bottles for one, two or maybe three years. By the time the wine is in the market, people have changed, the market has changed and you yourself have changed! But if you put your knowledge and passion in the winemaking process, the product will last through all the changes!”
Based in Emilia-Romagna, one of the largest wine producing regions in Italy, Vincenzo, a winemaker and musician (and equally passionate about both) has been deeply involved in the production of Fusion Wines.
Vincenzo along with Davide Castagnoli has founded Enoica, a wine company that produces wines in six different regions of Italy. Among the wineries it procures wines from is the boutique winery Braschi, which has collaborated with Mumbai-based Kiara Wines to produce Italian-styled Indian wines at Grape City Winery, a co-operative winery at Savlaj, near Sangli in southern Maharashtra.
The beginnings of Fusion Wines go back to 2010 when Diana Patriciello, Export Manager of Braschi made a half-day trip to Mumbai to meet Ravish Ahuja, Managing Director, Kiara Wines who imports wines and winery/refrigeration equipment. In the course of their conversation, he suggested a collaboration to produce wines at Grape City winery.
Things moved fast with Vincenzo making a trip to Sangli after an arduous eight-hour drive from Mumbai. He was pleased with the vineyards and grape growing culture of the Sangli, which is away from Maharashtra’s main wine region Nashik, the winery was set up with Ravish supplying modern Italian equipment and Kishore Unune, Chairman, Grape City Winery, lending unending support. Vincenzo decided to go ahead with the venture.
Over the past two and a half years, Vincenzo travelled to India at different times and set an entire process in place for the harvest, fermentation and maturation. At all times, he regularly communicated with Italian winemaker Matteo who stayed for longer periods, and tasted different wines to get the right blends while sparing no effort to craft wines with an Italian touch. Dr. Vincenzo Vernocchi, pictured second from right, with guests
Before long, as the 2013 monsoons set in and transformed the countryside in soothing shades of green, three of their four wines were ready. Fiorato Sauvignon Blanc; Amoroso, a Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah blend and Vita, a Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah blend.
True to Vincenzo’s approach, the wines are fresh, fruity, aromatic, well-balanced and easy to pair with food, as enjoyed with Italian specialities presented by Executive Chef Manav Koul and his team. For the moment, Ravish is introducing the wines to restaurants to create an interest in the brand, after which they will also be available retail stores.
For more details visit www.kiarawines.com