Wine Regions of India

Nearly 2,500 hectors of vineyards spread across India's seven wine regions in four states, from the landlocked Madhya Pradesh in the north to Lush and green Tamil Nadu in the south along the coast of Bay of Bengal.

MAHARASHTRA

The coastal state of Maharashtra accounts for two -thirds of the national wine production and is home to the best known Indian wineries, Mumbai, the state capital previously known as Bombay, is India's commercial capital and offers easy access to the wine regions of Nashik and Pune. The substantial coastline on the Arabian Sea and the north -south range hills known as the Western Ghats (or the Sahyadri in this state) influence climatic conditions greatly, and impact on viticulture practices.
NASHIK, the wine capital of India, is in the centre of the eponymous wine region on the banks of the river Godavari. Only 190 kilometres, or 3 to 5 hours drive north-east of Mumbai. It is ideally located for metropolitan wine lovers and international travellers to indulge in the wine country experience.

The rugged Sahyadri borders Nashik on the west and the region stretches out on the slopes and valleys of the Deccan plateau in the north -easterly direction, encompassing the sub-regions of Igatpuri, Gangapur dam backwaters, Dindori, Ojhar, Niphad & Geeta Kunj, Vinchur and Charose.

Through Nashik enjoys a hot tropical climate, the diurnal temperature variation in the winter is such that Cabernet Sauvignon may take up to 185 days to ripen, just as in other Cabernet regions of the world. annual precipitation varies between 3,500 and 500 millimetres across the region, with the western -most hills receiving the bulk of it and the majority of the wine region receiving an average of 700 millimetres. Rain, however, is concentrated in the period between July and October, hence irrigation is necessary.

Major producers: Chandon India, Charosa Winery, Chateau D'Ori, Good Drop Wine Cellars, Grover Zampa Vineyards, Nine Hills, Reveilo Wines, Soma Vine Village, Sula Vineyards, Vallonne Vineyards and York Winery.
Pune, a hub for IT and automotive industries is located 155 kilometres, or 3 hours drive south east of Mumbai in southern Maharashtra.

Atop the Deccan plateau, the city of Pune is situated at an altitude of 500 and 600 metres. The vineyards of Burkegaon are only 30 kilometres east of the city and it takes another two hours of travel to reach the sub-regions of Roti and Baramati, both just off Highway 9, Akluj, the newest sub-region is officially within the administrative district of Solupar, but from a wine perspective it's is considered to be part of Pune region.

Top quality growers take a great deal of care to understand sub -regional differences and have concluded that crisp white wines are best produced from grapes sourced from Roti area, whilst the SHIRAZ and CABERNET grown in Baramati will yield lush and ripe fruits. Akluj, with its extreme low soil fertility and low rainfall, opens up a new horizon for winemaking with varieties such as Sangiovese, Muller Thurgau, Gewurztraminer or Chardonnay.

Major producers: Deccan Plateau Vineyards, Four Seasons Vineyards and Fratelli Wines.

KARNATAKA

A vastly expansive state, Karnataka offers an incredible variety of microclimates from the hot-tropical in the north to the mild-tropical in the south. The distance between the vineyards of Bijapur in the north and Mandya, near Mysore, in the south equals the distance between the Rheingau in Germany and Piedmont in Italy.
BANGALORE & THE SOUTH is home to the largest swathes of vineyards and most of the top producers in the state of karnataka. Formerly a summer retreat of the british Bangalore enjoys a benignly moderate climate due to the higher altitude of 800 and 950 metres, whilst the peak of the Nandi Hills is at 1,479 metres.

Kanwal Grower, the pioneer of the indian wine industry, established his first vineyard in the valley surrounding the Nandi Hills. Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet thrive around here. With the swelling population of Bangalore, the vineyards are right on the doorstep of the city, attracting visitors to the cellar doors.

The loamy soils, scattered with gravel. limestone and gneiss granules at places, north of Bangalore, provide for good drainage and ensure the production of high quality Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. On the banks of the river Cauvery, south of Bangalore, Marsanne, Vermentino, Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Franc and Tannat enjoy the clay rich soils.

Major producers : Alpine Wineries, Bangalore Soma Vineyards, Grover Zampa Vineyards and SDU Winery.
HAMPI HILLS, with a breathtakingly beautiful landscape of rolling stones, is the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located at the confluence of the river Tunga and Bhadra, at an altitude of 590 metres. Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc thrive in particular.

Major Producers : KRSMA Estates
BIJAPUR & NORTHERN KARNATAKA is a region strategically located close to GOA, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, important consumer markets in India. Most vineyards surround the city of Bijapur and spread out in the Krishna valley.

The hot tropical climate exerts its influence, so this inland region enjoys warmer and drier weather, yielding highly ripe grapes. Most major producers headquartered in other regions source grapes from this area to supply the surrounding domestic markets with their mid -level brands.

Major producers: Elite Vintage Winery and Nisarga Vineyards.

OTHER WINE PRODUCING STATES:
MADHYA PRADESH, GOA, AND TAMIL NADU

Both Madhya Pradesh, located inland on the subcontinent half way between New Delhi and Mumbai, and Tamil Nadu, on the southern tip of India, are home to only one winery each.

The Ratlam region in Madhya Pradesh is akin to the mediterranean regard to climate and with approx 900 mm of rain per annum is still to fulfil its potential for good quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
The Theni region of Tamil Nadu, on the other hand. is a lush green tropical area where the mercury never drops below 20 C and rain is distributed almost evenly throughout the year, with not a single month truly dry. Muscat of Alexandria is said to be grown for wine production, though the grapes seem to resemble rather Bangalore Purple, a non -vinifera indigenous grape of India.
Goa, the smallest state in India, has rich Portuguese heritage, including grapes and wines. Today, it significant as a consumer market, though it produces large quantities of substandard PORT wine too, mostly imbibed by the low income domestic consumer groups only.

India has a diverse mix of climates and, as you would expect from a country of its size, as many as six climatic subtypes. These include extremes of the alpine tundra of the lower Himalayas, the deserts of Rajasthan, and the humid and lush tropical belt of Kerala. There are regions, however, that beautifully combine the tropical microclimate with the perfect elevation, soil, and microclimatic conditions to be superbly suited to vineyard plantations. Nasik Valley, with arguably the best conditions for wine-grape growing in Asia, is one of them.


(approx. 3/4th of Indian wine production)

Nasik Valley - The heart of Indian wine production. A region blessed with, some claim, the best terroir in Asia. Moët Hennessy produce their Domaine Chandon here.

Narayangaon & Baramati Belt - The region was home to Omar Khayyam, India's largest selling sparkling wine in the 1990s.

Bijapur & Sangli Belt - Further south of Nasik, this region enjoys some interesting grape growing areas.
(approx. 1/4th of Indian wine production)

Goa - A low altitude coastal state blessed with world renowned beaches. Most wine produced here is Port style fortified wine using Vitis Labrusca varieties like Bangalore Blue

Kaveri Valley - A new and upcoming region in the state of Karnataka.

Nandi Hills - Around 50km north of Bangalore, and a region known for its temperate weather all year round.
(very small proportion of Indian wine production)

Himachal Pradesh - The northernmost grape growing region of India.

Mizoram - The region's vineyards in this beautiful state are centred around the town of Champai.