Situated in Nashik, India’s largest grape-growing region, Sula Vineyards was set up in 1997 by Rajeev Samant & Kerry Damsky. They pioneered the growing of the French grape varieties Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, which were first released in 2000 to wide acclaim as India’s best white wines. Sula now cultivates Shiraz and Zinfandel amongst other international varieties and is broadly recognised as India’s premium wine producer. At Sula, they believe in being a steward of the land and follow sustainable practices. As an eco-friendly company, a significant amount of resources is committed to sustainable winemaking practices and ensuring fair livelihoods for Sula’s community of farmers across Maharashtra and Karnataka. A large number of Sula’s workers come from disadvantaged communities and have seen a significant change in their standard of living through their employment with the company; this has been nothing short of a revolution in the surrounding villages.
The 2021 was a good vintage, with excellent conditions throughout the growing season. The summer was dry, with sufficient rainfall prior to pruning to refresh the vines and replenish ground water. The vines were largely disease free, producing moderate yields of fruit which showed superb balance. The resulting wines are aromatic, structured with good fruit concentration.
The Viognier grapes come from the hillside vineyard in Dindori with gentle slopes and free-draining gravel red soils rich in iron and calcium; with heavier, clay soils of red laterite and basalt rock higher up the hillside. The unique microclimate at this site is due to the presence of a huge lake which encourages a uniform ripening. Green harvesting took place to allow a handful of grape bunches to remain and reach optimum maturity with concentrated flavours. The vines are trained high on an Open U or Lyre trellis system.
The grapes were manually harvested after careful selection in the vineyard. The whole clusters were gently pressed and the juice was chilled to approximately 6°C. The juice was clarified and inoculated to allow a slow, cool fermentation. Fermentation was carried out in stainless steel tanks to preserve the purity of fruit and lasted between 25 to 30 days. The wine settled for a further 45 days, after which the tank lots were blended, fined, stabilised and filtered.
Exotic aromas of peach and lychee lead to a full bodied palate. Rich and opulent, with vibrant tropical fruit flavours and a distinctive mid palate sweetness through to a long mineral finish.