The New Winery In Town

The latest winery to launch in India is Alpine Wineries Pvt Ltd., whose 400 KL winery and 1,250-acre property is located 130 km from Bangalore, off the Mysore highway, near the ancient temple town of Talakad.

Promoter Raghavendra Gowda was bitten by the wine bug in 2005. Though his family has various businesses (spirits, real estate), he wanted to do something different, and started by enrolling in one of the top French institutes to learn about setting up and managing a vineyard (viticulture) and making wine (Oenology).

The Karnataka Wine Policy 2007 gave him the impetus to start the project. His course taught him the importance of having on board people with an in-depth knowledge of both subjects, and he set his sights on Stephane Derenoncourt, the world-famous wine making consultant from Bordeaux. It is significant that two of the most famous winemaking consultants in the world are advising companies in Karnataka (the other, Michel Rolland, has been with Grover Vineyards since 1997).

It has taken 5 years for Raghavendra, Stephane, and their team to put their first vintage into the market. Along the way they’ve established one of the most advanced vineyards and winery in Asia, at a cost of Rs. 125 Crore, and re-defined viticultural and wine-making standards in India.

The first wines are all reds (the whites will take another month to be ready):

VINDIVA ‘Valley of Dreams’ Shiraz Reserve 2010: A deep, dark ruby red, with concentrated berry and spice aromas, soft silky tannins, quite full bodied, also some vanilla notes from the oak casks used. Rs. 875 pr bottle in Bangalore.

VINDIVA Classic Shiraz 2011: Also a dark red, with intense berry and spice aroma, firm tannins that promise longevity and complexity, a medium+ body, and a good long finish. Rs. 685 per bottle in Bangalore.

ORO Cabernet Shiraz 2011: Bright red, with a nice clean aroma of berries and spice and fine tannins, medium bodied, with a clean dry finish. Rs. 415 per bottle in Bangalore.

A similar range of white wines (Sauvignon Blanc) is in the works.

Watch out for these wines, they rock!

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