Many wine enthusiasts from around the world are shamefully unaware of the incredible and continually increasing quality of wines coming out of India. Many might still be under the suspicion that wine and other alcoholic beverages may still be prohibited as they once were. In recent times the industry has really began to expand and gain interest among tourist especially since wineries have now opened to the public for visitation. Although the details are somewhat obscure over the history of winemaking in India, historical accounts suggest that vines were brought and... Read More
Many wine enthusiasts from around the world are shamefully unaware of the incredible and continually increasing quality of wines coming out of India. Many might still be under the suspicion that wine and other alcoholic beverages may still be prohibited as they once were. In recent times the industry has really began to expand and gain interest among tourist especially since wineries have now opened to the public for visitation. Although the details are somewhat obscure over the history of winemaking in India, historical accounts suggest that vines were brought and planted in India from Peria as early as the 4th millennium BC. Winemaking and viticulture have occurred throughout most of India's recent history as well but was particularly prevalent during the time of the Portuguese and British colonization of the subcontinent.
Today when conducting a search of the number of Indian wineries exporting their wines, the popular search tool Wine-Searcher yielded 70 different wine producers from India, and that is just a very conservative estimate of the number of labels available. Many modern wineries in India have planed French varieties which are easy for foreign buyers to understand, however, there are indigenous varieties that have been known to produce wines of interest. Anabeshahi, Arkashyam, and Arkavati are just a few of these native varieties. The Turkish grape variety known as Sultana is the most widely cultivated vine in India accounting for around 74,000 acres.
The following are a number of important wine regions to study and examine in your quest for knowledge about India's wine-growing areas and their wineries. The information on India's wines is somewhat scant at the moment, but as the industry continues to prosper and expand, many are now publishing more accurate and up to date facts on the wines being produced in this large and very important country.
Scroll down below the bottle shots for more information on Indian Wines
Important Indian Wine Regions:
KASHMIR VALLEY - The Kashmir Valley is an intermountain basin located in the western Himalayan Mountain in Northern India. The landscape moves from Northwest to the southeast and has a length of 150km and a width of approximately 40km. The region is surrounded on both sides by snow-capped mountains and has an alluvial soil base. Although the Kashmir Valley has a storied history of viticulture and oenology, wine hasn't been under production here since the early part of the 20th century. Mostly fruit, rice, trees, and some table grapes are grown here.
HIMACHAL - The Himachal Region is located in the Northern state in the province of Himachal Pradesh and is interestingly situated at the same latitude as wine regions located in Southern California, Texas, and Northern Florida. There are just a few select wineries that have cultivated vines in this area, but it has been rumoured that a group of well-known names in the Indian wine industry are supposedly planning to set up wineries here.
CHAMPHAI - This Indian wine appellation is located in Mizoram, which is the most southern state of India's seven sister states. It is a mountainous region that has a temperate semi-tropical climate. The cooler climate areas are those with the highest elevations. Grapes were planted and sold here mainly as table grape or for juice up until the repeal of the Liquor Total Prohibition act in 2010. Now grapes are grown for wine production primarily in the eastern part of the state in the towns of Champhai and Hanahan. Other crops grown in the region include fruits and vegetables, palm oil, and bamboo.
DECCAN PLATEAU - This region is definitely the predominant production centre of Indian wines, and can be divided into three sub-divisions. In the northern section resides the town of Nashik where most of the up and coming and newer wineries have laid their foundation. The Nashik Wine Park has aided in this expansion and enthusiasm which allows small producers the option to share winemaking facilities and also to receive a number of really great tax breaks and duty reliefs. One of the most important and largest producer in this area is Sula wines. The central region is located from the northern city of Narayangaon and extends south through Pune to Baramati. This is home to two important wineries called Chateau Indage and Four Seasons Wines. Finally, the southern sub-region of the Deccan Plateau is centred around the wine production happening in Sangli and Bijapur. They have a similar wine park like the Nashik wine park, called the Krishna Valley Wine Park located near Sangli. This wine park also allows smaller producers to come together and save money working together in a close-knit community.
GOA - Located further inland from Deccan Plateau, Goa is primarily a low-altitude coastal region, apart from the eastern side of the state which climbs in altitude to a maximum of 1167m approaching the Ghats. This state was ruled by the Portuguese for over 400 years and through osmosis, the region became a place for viticultural exploits. The region was originally planted with Vitis Labrusca grapes varieties much like the eastern regions of the United States, and they specialized in making fortified port-style wines.
NANDI HILLS - The Nandi Hills region lies around 45km north of Bangalore. It is here where the summer palace of Tipu Sultan was constructed in the 18th century and then a century later became a summer hideaway for officials of the British Raj. Viticulturists are starting to migrate here to benefit from the ideal cooler climate conditions in Southern India. This area offers what more quality wine regions do in that wine grapes can ripen at a slower rate and develop physiological ripeness of the vine without becoming baked and too full of sugars. Leading the charge in Nandi is Kanwal Grover who founded his winery called Grover Vineyards in 1988. Grover's estate has some 160 hectares planted to native French varietals and produces some of India's most prized wines. Following his example, other growers have begun to take advantage of the region's ideal climatic conditions and we can look forward to seeing this part of India start producing more world-class wines in the future.
You must be 18 years of age or older to view page. Please verify your age to enter.
Your access is restricted because of your age.