Biggest international tasting of Indian Wines hosted by Rajeev Samant in Nashik

DSC05595.jpg You often hear it said that Indian wines have come a long way, which they have indeed when I think of the plonk we used to drink in the 70s and 80s, when there was not much else available. However, Indian wines still have a long way to go before they can be rated among the best in the international arena. Left: International experts taste Indian wine at Nine Hills Winery, Nashik

In early November Rajeev Samant invited seven leading international winemakers and wine experts for the first and biggest-ever international tasting of Indian wines at the Sula Vineyards at Nashik. Below: Rajeev Samant at his vineyard in Dindori. Sula is experimenting with new varietals in Nashik such as Tempranillo.

The panelists were already in India for the final phase of the India Wine Challenge 2008 organised by Robert Joseph and included Gina Gallo (Gallo of Sonoma), Drs John & Brigid Forrest (New Zealand), Vanya Cullen (Cullen Wines, Australia), John Quarisa (Australia), Roberto Bava (Italy) and Mike Ratcliffe (South Africa). DSC05626.jpg

Vikram Doctor from the Economic Times Mumbai and Alok Chandra were also there. I specially flew in from Delhi with my husband but unfortunately arrived late, and was able to taste only some of the wines prior to the panel discussion that evening.
Altogether 45 wines were tasted in 10 different categories from wineries in and around Nasik, representing nearly 75% of all wine labels, but not including wines produced elsewhere in the country such as Indage, Grover and Big Banyan.
The panellists were restrained in their critical comments but offered some valuable insights into winemaking in India, where we stand today and the road ahead. Read Alok Chandra’s detailed report in SI –The Wine Magazine, January 2009.
— Reva K. Singh

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