Grape Varieties

Indigenous Grapes

There are numerous varieties indigenous to the indian subcontinent, but the cultivation of Anab-e Shahi, Bhokri and Gulabi is significant from the viewpoint of commercial quality-wine production.

Bangalore Blue and Bangalore Purple, both indigenous to India are V vinifera x V labrusca hybrids, widely used for the production of sub-entry-level wines.
French Varieties have established their dominance in India partly due to the fact that the industry owes its heritage to France, and partly because there are so many French consultants working across India.

The most important white varieties include SAUVIGNON BLANC introduced to India by Shyamrao Chowgule and the late Kanwal Grover, and CHENIN BLANC , brought to India by Rajeev Samant in the late 1990s.Both Varieties are well suited to the climate and express themselves in riper style.The Versatility of styles in which Chenin Blanc can be produced is particularly favourable among the Indian consumers who have a fondness for sweetness. The most important red varieties are CABERNET SAUVIGNON and Shiraz.The blend of these two grape varieties produce what is the classic Indian red Cuvee.When produced as a single varietal wines, Cabernet can be peppery and leaner in style, and requires a great deal more attention;whereas Shiraz tends to give rich, spicy and powerful wines with easy appeal to consumers.

Other French varieties grown with good result but in tiny quantities are Viognier, Marsanne, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Grenache.
As Italian consultants started to work in India at the beginning of the 21st Century and proprietors were looking for alternative varieties, an increasing number of hectares were devoted to SANGIOVESE in Nashik, Pune and the Hampi Hills.The other red variety is NERO D'AVOLA , which produce soft and rounded red wines in the Nashik region.

Grillo was the first Italian white grape to be used in India and initial experiments with VERMENTINO show good potential for the variety in the Bangalore and the South Region.
Three other varieties are planted in sufficient quantity to be listed here: RIESLING, TEMPRANILLO and ZINFANDEL. All three are well suited to the climate and produce good results.

PINOT NOIR is particularly unsuitable for the climate and yields barely any fruit, whilst CHARDONNAY is somewhat more productive, but is hardly commercially viable due to very low yields.