Sula Vineyards

Sula Vineyards, Mumbai, India

article_Rajeev-Samant-Sula-BrutThe Mondavi of Mumbai

The Stanford University alumni magazine published an article about Samant a few years ago, calling him the “Mondavi of Mumbai,” a reference to Robert Mondavi, who was also a Stanford graduate.  It was a bit of journalistic hyperbole then, but the title is not without merit today.

Samant seems to have followed the Mondavi blueprint in many ways, both in breaking new ground in wine production and promoting his products and the region through wine tourism. The Sula Vineyard winery includes attractive hospitality facilities and hosts concerts and festivals, too.

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BELIEFS: Sula Vineyards’ winemaking philosophy is very simple and straightforward: it takes great grapes to make great wine.

Rajeev Samant began Sula Vineyards in 1997. After graduating from Stanford, he returned home to India with winemaking on his mind, turning his attentions to a family-owned plot of 30 acres in Nashik, India’s most important table-grape growing region. The terroir and climate there were, in fact, ideally suited to growing wine grapes, but nobody had really considered the idea as a viable business proposition. Rajeev teamed up with Kerry Damskey, a leading winemaker from California’s Sonoma Valley, and planted the first vines in 1997. Despite a great deal of initial resistance—the wine business in India was practically nonexistent, and getting a winery license was difficult—Rajeev’s distinctly Californian philosophy of a winery open to the public has sparked a wine revolution, leading to an excellent atmosphere of cooperation between the growing number of wineries in the area.

The Wines:

Sula Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 

Sula Vineyards Chenin Blanc

Sula Vineyards Shiraz

Sula Vineyards Dindori Reserve Shiraz

Sauvignon Blanc

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Sula Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

Sula Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

DESCRIPTION: India's first Sauvignon Blanc is a complex and crisp wine with flavors of cut green grass, bell pepper aromas with hints of spice and gooseberries. This bright, pale green-colored wine also has a racy acidity with a wonderful long finish. Most of the grapes come from two different vineyards, with the major share from the one near Dindori, about 50 kilometers away from the estate. This particular vineyard has red soil with lots of gravels and small loose rocks. The other vineyard at the estate has a sandy clay soil. The vines are pruned in the first week of October. The canopy characteristics at the two vineyards varied only slightly with all vineyards using the open U-trellis system.

GRAPE VARIETY: 100% Sauvignon Blanc

FOOD PAIRINGS: Spicy Indian food, especially coastal and Southern coconut-based curries and dishes flavored with coriander. Also pairs well with spicy Oriental food.

TASTING NOTES: Aromatic and grassy, New World-style. Floral, crisp and dry with a hint of green peppers and a touch of spice at the finish.

India's first ever Sauvignon Blanc

Silver Medal - Sommelier India Wine Competition 2009

Silver Medal - Decater World Wine Awards 2011(UK)

Silver Medal - Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2012(HK)

Gold Medal - Indian Wine Consumers Choice Award 2012 & 2013

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Chenin Blanc

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Sula Vineyards Chenin Blanc

Sula Vineyards Chenin Blanc

DESCRIPTION: This is India's first Chenin Blanc. The grapes come from different vineyards with differing soils of clay, sandy clay, fine gravel, and differing microclimates, all within a radius of 50 kilometers from the estate. The vines are pruned in the first week of October. The canopy characteristics varied only slightly between all vineyards. The wine was cold fermented in stainless steel vats and finished in a semi-dry New World style.

GRAPE VARIETY: 100% Chenin Blanc

FOOD PAIRINGS: As an aperitif; pairs well with salads and cuisines that have a hint of sugar and spice, as in Chinese, Southeast Asian and Gujarati dishes.

TASTING NOTES: Light, fresh and fruity, with mellow flavors. Best served at 6º-8ºC (42º-46ºF).

India's first ever Chenin Blanc & best selling white wine

Silver Medal - Sommelier India Wine Competition 2009

Silver Medal - Decanter World Wine Award (UK)

Gold Medal - Indian Consumer's Choice Award 2012

Commended - Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2012 (HK)

Silver Medal - Indian Wine Consumers Choice Awards 2013

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Shiraz

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Sula Vineyards Shiraz

Sula Vineyards Shiraz

DESCRIPTION: The Shiraz came mainly from the areas of around Dindori, which has hills and gentle rolling slopes with light to medium soils with good drainage. These grapes were hand harvested and the yields were controlled. The vines are irrigated by drip irrigation and are trained high on wires using the open U trellis system.

GRAPE VARIETY: 85% Shiraz and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

FOOD PAIRINGS: The Shiraz pairs well with Mexican food and herbaceous Pasta dishes. Also great with Indian dishes such as Chicken Tikka Masala.

TASTING NOTES: Our Shiraz has a deep purple core and a full body with soft, ripe and rounded tannins. It has medium intense aromas of red fruits, cinnamon, blackberries, cacao and spice. This wine is richly structured with lively jammy flavours of red fruits and herbs mixed with pepper and hints of vanilla spice. It finishes in a long length.

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Dindori Reserve Shiraz

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Sula Vineyards Dindori Reserve Shiraz

Sula Vineyards Dindori Reserve Shiraz

DESCRIPTION: Grown on the hills of the Dindori estate and aged for a year in new oak, Sula’s Reserve Shiraz is fragrant, elegant, and smooth, with lush berry flavors and silky tannins.

GRAPE VARIETY: Shiraz

FOOD PAIRINGS: Goes beautifully with grilled meat, preferably lamb, also delicious with hard cheeses.

TASTING NOTES: A fragrant, elegant, and smooth-tasting wine with lush berry flavors and silky tannins.

Silver Medal - Sommelier India Wine Competition 2009
Bronze Medal - Cathay Pacific HK International Wine & Spirits Competition 2011
Commended - Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2012 (HK)

 

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