Indian Palates Being Trained to Love Wine (by

Posted: December 26, 2012 by wynmaker in Cellars, Vintage, Wine, Winemaking, Wineries, World wine news
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India’s vineyards draw city tourists.
In the bar overlooking the twisting vines in India’s answer to Napa Valley, a group of friends from Mumbai enjoy a weekend getaway – and a chance to brush up on their new wine-drinking hobby.

“I’ve been teetotal all my life, but quite recently I started to drink wine. It’s a growing trend,” said 30-year-old housewife Jol Kapadia, sipping on a glass of chenin blanc at Sula Vineyards.

The winery is based in the fertile western district of Nashik, India’s grape-growing capital and a three-hour drive through the mountains from the teeming metropolis of Mumbai.

Boasting India’s first vineyard resort, billed as an “antidote for stressed-out city folk,” Sula is luring crowds of urban middle-class tourists who are eager to learn more about wine.

“Our Indian palates are still being trained,” said retired colonel Pratap Nair, on a tour and tasting session with a group of fellow ex-officers and their wives from Pune, another city a few hours away.

Traditionally, Nair explained, quaffing wine in India meant downing cheap port to get drunk. It was a “man’s thing” and not associated with a healthy lifestyle or even with having dinner – unless you were among the tiny elite who could afford imported vintages.


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