Wine is more than a drink—for many, it is a passion and an experience that consumes enthusiasts and amateur sommeliers across the world. In India, from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, vintners have been developing the wine culture, and now in 2022, the Indian wine market is booming. With a plethora of selections available, we’re spoilt for choice.
Homegrown Wine Brands in India
In 1999, India’s leading winery, Sula, was founded by Rajeev Samant. Along with a passion for winemaking, the brand is also committed to sustainability. Their sparkling rosés, like the Brut Tropicale and Source Grenache, have sophisticated yet vibrant palettes, making them some of the best from the wide selection available. The Sula vineyard was the first to be established in the Nasik Valley, which today is the wine destination of the country. The vineyard has become a favourite getaway for those with a passion for wine enthusiasts.
Founded by former banker Ajay Shetty and headquartered in India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru, Myra Vineyards produces some of the finest Indian wines, both white and red. The medium-bodied Myra Reserve Shiraz is the perfect drink to pair with Indian flavours, and it won’t break the bank. Myra launched India’s first unfiltered wine, Misfit, a blend of the Shiraz and the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Fratelli, Italian for brothers, is a cross-country collaboration between brothers from Italy and from India. The Italian craft brought to the subcontinent has created some award-winning wine. Since 2006, the brand has developed various lines, MS, the vegan Noi and even cheese! For those who prefer their wines to be on the dryer side, the Fratelli sparkling is a popular pick. Their J’noon red and white have been greatly appreciated by international sommeliers.
Founded by wine connoisseur Krishna Prasad Chigurupati and microbiologist Uma Chigurupati, Krsma is found on the verdant Hampi hills. The Krsma vineyard is the first Indian vineyard to have been listed as one of the World’s 50 Best Vineyards. Their boutique wines have been developed after a deep study of the soil, and are available in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New York and the Maldives. Beware though, their stocks quickly sell out. Krsma’s Cabernet Sauvignon was one of their earlier bestsellers, still beloved for its fruity tones.
Kanwal Grover’s journey from space and defence procurement industries to wine has led to the creation of Grover Zampa, one of India’s largest wine-producing and exporting companies. For over 30 years, Grover Zampa has amassed a loyal clientele and has collected several awards for their premium wines, including Asian Wine Review’s ‘Winery of The Year’. Grover Zampa’s Art Collection Cabernet Shiraz has the perfect blend of smokey notes with hints of blackberry and plum, making it the right drink for a relaxed evening.
A celebrated winery found in Nasik, India’s wine capital, is the York Winery. Influenced by American, Australian and French winemaking, the vineyard produces some of the finest varieties of red, white, sparkling and dessert wines. The family-owned winery merged with Sula in 2021.
Another luxe boutique winery, Vallonné, is nestled in the Sahyadri ranges of Maharashtra. Founded by Shailendra Pai, the winery uses cutting-edge technologies to produce 13 French-styled labels. The Malbec and Vin De Passerillage are fine testaments to the brand’s passion for the art.
Rhythm fruit wines offer fruity, zesty and fun palettes to those who prefer sweeter tones for their wines. From strawberry to Alphonso and kiwi, there is plenty to choose from, including their premium blends of raspberry and mulberry. The fruits are selected when they’re in season and the fruit-infused wines can be found across Maharashtra.
Inspired by a banyan tree that stands tall near the vineyard, the Big Banyan is deeply rooted in its appreciation for the soil. Their wineries in Bengaluru and Goa transform their harvested grapes into high-end wine. Their merlot suits the warmth and humidity of the Indian climate, though their collection at large has a wine for each season.