The Perfect Mid-Week Getaway : SULA Vineyards
There are very few wine brands from India who have excelled not only in India but also caught the attention of international markets and SULA is one of such brand. It must have done something differently and once you visit the magnificent 30 acres property in the serene outskirts of Nashik you witness why it has stood out of the crowd. The company appreciates wine with heart and likes it’s guests to experience the same in their guided tours, gourmet and luxurious and elegant stays. The hospitality witnessed here is surely addictive and ambience is as serene as it gets.
History of SULA
SULA, a unique name which has its origins after founder and CEO Rajeev Samant’s mother name “Sulabha”. Rajeev who was an engineering student from Stanford University had quit his job in the Valley to return back to his native land. He chose to plant wine grapes on his father’s estate but that wasn’t his plan at first. His idea was to plant mangoes instead of grapes but as they say “God had other plans”, he met Winemaker Kerry Damskey in California on one of his trips to the states and they decided to start a winery at the 30-acre estate. In 1997, they planted French Sauvignon Blanc and Californian Chenin Blanc, which was a first in India. Soon in 2000, the first Sula wines were acclaimed as the best India wines. They expanded to the second winery in 2004 and third in 2006. From then to now SULA Vineyards is one of the largest wine producers in the nation and one of the world’s premium wine tourism regions.
Coming back to my experience, I was booked on a 6.30 am flight from Delhi to Mumbai. Luckily the flight was on time even after the heavy rains in Mumbai, once I reached Mumbai a car sent by SULA was waiting outside the airport. We start at around 9.30 from the airport and made out way through the jam-packed waterlogged roads of Mumbai. The route itself was so serene and beautiful that the destination seemed even more desirable. If you are a road trip junkie like myself then you will love every mile of this journey, the green hills surrounding the roads, occasional small ponds around and finally you see “SULA 1 km” milestone. The gigantic Sula sun at the entrance welcomes you with a smile. The trail leading to the estate which has wine grapes on either side makes you forget all the tiresome from the 4-hour long drive. After absorbing the beauty of the place and taking pictures of the same, we moved to the ground floor which has the tasting hall and the souvenir shop where you can buy wines at an exclusive discount, chocolates, wine accessories and beautiful souvenirs. Moving to the balcony which houses the 2000 sq ft Tasting Room – a mosaic balcony bar with a horizon view of the vineyards surrounded by the hills and Gangapur Lake, designed by architects Andy Hope and Laurel Roth. The 34 ft. the bar runs from the room to the balcony. Kitsch kind décor and wine lamps give the area a classy yet quirky look.
Then came to tasting session, the sommelier made us familiar with each and every wine in the menu from Blanc to Shiraz. He carefully explained the wines and its distinct characteristics. Once the tasting session finished we started with the property tour to understand the process of winemaking. It was just so overwhelming to realize that how grapes are pressed, fermented in tanks and then filled in barrels and kept in barrel room to turn into this nectar we know as wine. Those who are wondering if SULA has anything more to offer? The answer to that is , OFCOURSE! SULA has an annual two-day music, wine and food fest named – SulaFest which is in its fifth year. Sula also offers two variety of cuisines via its specialty restaurants – Indian Cuisine in SOMA and Italian in Little Italy. SULA also offers SKYVILLA, which is premium property located at the edge of Gangapur Lake a few minutes away from the vineyards. This elegantly designed abode, has 3 suites, all overlooking the lake. The rooms are tastefully designed to provide a luxurious experience. An infinity pool and enjoy a glass of Sula and sheer beauty of nature that surrounds you is what we are talking about. As we were told the villa comes with a personal caretaker who is at your service throughout the time of your stay. The stay includes delicious home style breakfast. Additional perks include rooms be stocked with the best of SULA wines all the time. We sadly couldn’t witness this beauty as it was reserved for guests.
While writing this I am already reminiscing about the Mid-week getaway to SULA Vineyards. If I have to explain the entire experience in one word then it would be PERFECT!
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