Cultivating a wine region in India


NASHIK

In India, where whiskey is the alcoholic drink of choice and teetotalers exist by the legions, a wine culture has been almost nonexistent. Nashik (also Nasik), a picturesque area with deep green rolling hills about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Mumbai, is finally changing that perception. More than a half-dozen wineries with attractive tasting rooms and, in some cases, restaurants and accommodations, have opened here in the last several years and are turning this fertile valley into a popular oenophile destination for trendsetting Indians.

For centuries, farmers cultivated high-quality table grapes and a handful of other crops on the hundreds of acres around Nashik, but local entrepreneurs as well as some from Mumbai caught on to the fact that the sunny, moderate climate and the paucity of rain — save for the monsoon months of May and June — make an ideal wine-producing environment. Today, more than 25 grape varieties grow here including chardonnay, malbec, viognier and sauvignon blanc.

Full report here New York Times 

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