The Wine Society recently took its much anticipated day-trip up to Nashik, to wander around a few of its finer vineyards, and learn more about the winemaking process. The four-hour journey to Nashik from Mumbai is best covered by train, being more reliable than the roads, which are prone to accidents, traffic jams and delays, writes Piyush Gadkari.
Above:The Wine Society of India team
We opted for the early morning train from Victoria Terminus, which gave us the entire day at Nashik.
All of Nashik’s vineyards are outside city limits, and at least a 45-minute drive from the Nashik Road railway station. While it is easy to get transport from the railway station to any of these vineyards, it is impossible to get a ride back. It’s best to coordinate with a local transport operator, who might charge you considerably more, but will ensure a comfortable journey across Nashik.
Many wineries will not see you without appointment. It is impractical to visit more than three a day, as they’re spread quite far apart from one another. For our day-trip, we chose to visit Sula and York, which are within five minutes of one another. Sula and York do not need prior appointments for you to visit. A tour of the winery cost Rs 150 per head.
Most vineyards will charge you a nominal amount for a tour of the winery and its vineyards. These tours are comprehensive, covering the lifecycle of the vine, harvesting of the grapes, fermenting procedures for red and whites, how sparkling wine is made, and how some wines are aged and then bottled. Some of the vineyards even have tasting rooms, where one can sample wines from recent vintages, and even buy wine and wine accessories at reduced prices. More vineyards are in the process of setting up holistic packages that will include a tour, a tasting, all meals and an overnight stay.
If you decide to spend the night in Nashik, the nicest option would have to be Sula’s 3-bedroom villa, “The Beyond”, which overlooks the vineyards. The villa has its own chef, and an infinity pool too! However, The Beyond cannot be booked by the room and the charge for the entire bungalow is Rs 18-22,000 per night. Other options are the Taj Business Hotel and the Ginger Hotel, both in town, yet conveniently located.
The Wine Society regularly books trips for its members to Nashik. Call us at (022) 4345 9100 for more information.