“You can tell me, it’s wrong, but I love wine, women an’ song!”
The Whitesnake song blared on my mobile as I rolled off comfortably on a day’s road trip, along with a group of writers and photo-geeks. I burst out laughing at the timeliness of the song, as we were headed to Grover Zampa Vineyards in Nashik, India’s wine capital. Mumbai to Nashik is an easy three hour drive and perhaps one of the most scenic driving routes of India. If you are a wine connoisseur or at best a wine lover, like me, who claims to have tasted wines across each country I have visited, then you probably realize that India’s still relatively a “newer wine country” and at best a restless young upstart with some lovely home-grown brands. Off-course best wines are counted in years, even decades or centuries, made with tales of color, appearance, flavourful air and fertile earth. So when the folks at Grover Zampa Vineyards, extended an invitation celebrating 25-years of wine-making in India, it could hardly be a moment, I could have missed!
Unlike my first trip to Nashik on another Vineyard, this was a day’s trip and specifically focused on learning about Viticulture, the wine making and bottling process and off-course wine tasting. As of now, Grover Zampa doesn’t offer any accommodation options and food amenities for travelers who might want to stay over. Considered as one of the pioneers and one of the most prestigious wine-makers in the country, their vineyards in Nashik are spread across 33 acres. Unfortunately, I visited the vineyards, high after the harvest season and while I couldn’t see any swollen grapes around, the team at Grover Zampa still ensured that we had a gala time with crackers and wine! We were escorted through the Vineyards, understanding the workings of a grape plantation and how the wines are christened, musing on big black grapes for red wines and how white grapes are more apt for the white. We got acquainted with the origins of the Grover family, their tryst with grapes, the association with Michel Rolland, future business plans.
Here are a few glimpses from my day spent at their Nashik Vineyard:
Disclaimer: I was invited by Grover Zampa to visit their vineyard at Nashik.