It's Wine O'Clock: Make These Indian Brands Your Partners In Wine!

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    Constantly "wine-ing" about the lack of Indian brands that make some kick-ass wine? Well, in the real spirit of being #vocalforlocal we know how important it is to drink local too. So, we've rounded up homegrown labels that understand and make wines that could knock any international brand off their throne! Bookmark this recommendation right away, educate yourself on brands that catch your fancy and order a bottle or two from them. 

    Grover Zampa Wines

    One of India's oldest wineries, Grover Zampa has vineyards at Nandi Hills In Karnataka and Nashik Valley in Maharashtra. These premium dual locations allow the brand to extract only the best that the country has to offer. They also use internationally accepted techniques, sustainable practices and selective hand harvesting to pick grapes. Another highlight is that Grover's entire method of winemaking is orchestrated and monitored by world-famous wine consultant Michael Roland. This gives a discrete style and balance to Grover Zampa wines. 

    Popular wines: Grover La Reserve, Grover Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection, Grover Chene Reserve.

    KRSMA Estates Wines

    Run by a husband-wife duo, KRSMA is a popular wine brand from Karnataka that you've probably already heard of given the number of awards this winery has under its belt. Their unique terroir is located in Hampi Hills just 70kms from the World Heritage Site. All KRSMA Estates' wines are single varietals, made from only the best grapes from each harvest. Personal touch also forms a big part of this brand's winemaking, as the Founders decide on the exact time of harvest themselves. They taste the fruit from every plot every day, during the ripening period, and the yeast, too, is personally selected after trials on test ferments.

    Popular wines: Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, KRSMA K2.

    Sula Wines

    At Sula every bottle of wine sees its journey from grape to glass happen at Nashik Valley, touted to be the Napa Valley of India. We also love this company for its eco-friendly and sustainable winemaking practices. Sula also ensures a fair livelihood for its community of farmers across Maharashtra and Karnataka. Upon harvesting premium grapes from their estate vineyards and local farmers, a distinctive Indian-style of winemaking to produce wines. To find which Sula wine suits you best, you can take a flavour profile test on their website. Read more here.

    Popular wines: Chenin Blanc Reserve, Riesling, Dindori Reserve Viognier.

    Fratelli Wines

    The sprawling Fratelli vineyards at Akluj, South of Pune boasts of an expanse of 240 acres. This Indian winemaking label is a labour of love by seven brothers -- hence, the name Fratelli literally translating to 'brothers.' Fratelli is known to produce world-class International standard wine made using Italian expertise. Their artisanal wines are made from single grape varietals employing Piero Masi’s sustainable and minimal viticultural mantra. The result are wines that offer a broader diversity of wine styles with bold, strong flavours. Read more on their vineyards here.

    Popular wines: Sette, Gran Cuvée Brut, Sangiovese Bianco.

    Early Dark Wines

    Early Dark wines may be new on the block but cater to a huge untapped market. These wines are produced in France but are bottled for India. Yes, this Bengaluru-based wine brand is known for vino that pairs perfectly well with Indian food. Adhering to winemaking processes and standards, these wines make mention of the grapes and the varietal on the labels. And most importantly, these wines are quality certified by the French government. In terms of flavour profile, they're easy to drink, so something the Indian market will appreciate. Read more here.

    Popular wines: Cabernet Merlot, Chardonnay, Rosé.

    Big Banyan Wines

    Big Banyan is another label from Namma Bengaluru that crafts premium wines with an Italian finesse. Their vineyard is a short drive from a 400-year old Banyan Tree located on the fringes of the city, this sloves the puzzle of their name. The brand seeks expertise from Italian winemaker, Lucio Matricardi and uses only the choicest grapes. This is hand harvested and transformed into wine at Big Banyan's wineries in Bengaluru and Goa. Read more about their vineyard in Bengaluru here.

    Popular wines: Rosa Rossa, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc.

    York Wines

    Just ahead of Sula is York Winery, an emerging Indian wine brand that is known for its top-notch quality wines. The characteristic flavour profile of their wines is a product of the different microclimates and soils at their Nashik estate. York also uses a winemaking style that is a combination of modern Australia and South African practices with some old world French influence to set their wines apart.

    Popular Wines: Sparkling Rosé, Arros, Chenin Blanc.

    SDU Wines

    Bang for your buck seems to be the theme at this Bengaluru boutique winery. And despite being young in the market, SDU has managed to carve a niche in the market, especially with its Deva brand that produces some premium quality wines at affordable prices. The brand works with a visiting Italian winemaker, Andrea Valentinuzzi with a focus on producing easy drinking wines for the Indian palate. SDU also imports its bottles, screw caps and labels from Italy, but the label design is done in-house, keeping the look wholly Indian.

    Popular Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserva Syrah, Reserva Chardonnay.