Nashik in Maharashtra, with its gently sloping hills, placid weather and iron-rich laterite soil, has always been ideal for growing large, juicy table grapes. In the last two decades, however, finer, more exotic species of grapes have come to cover several thousand acres of land there, as more Indians entered the business of winemaking. Berries of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Viognier, sourced from France and Germany, are being nurtured and processed into bottles with locally derived names: Kâdu by Sula Vineyards, J’NOON by Fratelli, or Anokhee by Vallonné Vineyards. The winery trails, tasting lessons, vineyard stays and a popular music festival that have consequently sprung up in the region point to a culture budding around this fermented drink in India, slowly but noticeably.
Wine is not customarily consumed in India. Much of the raw material and equipment including grafts, yeast, barrels, corks and machines have to be imported. Sh
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