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‘Wine’ away your time

Time:2019-08-21 14:17wine - Red wine life health Click:

Your time Wine Away

Express News Service

BENGALURU: If countless visits to Nandi Hills seem boring, it is certainly time for a change. Amidst a picturesque view on the city’s outskirts, just 36 minutes away from the hilly hotspot and about an hour’s drive from the city, lies Grover Zampa Vineyards, the oldest existing winery of India established in 1988.

Set up by Kanwal Grover – also known as India’s wine pioneer – the place is a must-visit for all wine enthusiasts.  The day tour consists of a trip down the vineyard where a guide will explain the process of grape farming under perfect weather conditions, a visit to the wine processing factory, a wine-tasting session and a decent lunch. Food will be provided only on prior booking.

Upon reaching Grover Zampa around 10 am, the ambiance took my breath away. With soft music and reclining chairs with a canopy beside a stream with a shoal of fish swimming in the same direction, the vineyard has set up an amazing welcome for visitors.

‘Wine’ away your time

Vineyard tour, wine tasting and a visit to the wine making factory are the highlights at the oldest functioning winery of India

As we set off on the vineyard tour, Vipin Singh, hospitality manager, Grover Zampa Vineyards, was an excellent host who gave us a detailed insight into what goes on to bring out the fine-quality wine that we pour into our glasses. “This area is most favourable for grape cultivation because we get warm days as well as cooler nights. Warm days give out the aroma and help in sugar condensation, while the nights help in generating acidity. Also, we are almost at an elevation of 1,000 metres from sea level and have red gravel soil, which plays an important part in grape cultivation. It is the perfect blend of clay, gravel and sand,” he said, adding that the worst soil of the world is the best for wine-making grapes.

Taken on lease from farmers, the vineyard stretches across acres, where the wine grapes are grown in small patches. With farming techniques like ESP, wine grape cultivation is a long process that takes years to get good quality grapes for the next step – processing. We saw a few farmers working on the field, smiling at us, making us feel connected with nature. At a distance, we saw hills playing hide-and-seek with the clouds – a magnificent sight during rainy season. We walked almost a kilometre through the field, and reached an elevated platform that gave us the view of the whole vineyard. A much-recommended platform to go to.

Next, we went to the wine processing factory where workers were busy working to bring out our favourite wine bottles. With different chambers like fermentation, collection and use of technologically advanced machines, it is an quite interesting watch. “Green berries go to the bigger machine at the corner. We extract the core juice from the berries without pulling out the skin...,” Singh patiently explained us the process till the collection point.

It was time for the wine-tasting session and we had reasons to be excited. We were given tastings of some of Grover Zampa’s limited-edition wines like Insignia, which is not available in the market and can be bought only at their store. Of course, all of us had our own preferences among red and white wines, but the overall experience was a memorable one.

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