India's got the wine bug and I finally got to try an Indian wine last night. It almost sounds counterintuitive, a wine made in India? For many it is, most of India is too warm to grow premium wine grapes, yet nestled into a handful of pockets a few trailblazers are working hard to prove otherwise.
The 2005 Sula Zinfandel Rose took me by surprise, quite literally. We were at a new local Indian Restaurant and the bottle was cheaper than a single glass of wine at some other restaurants in the neighborhood, so we decided to give it a whirl.
The wine had beautiful color, a dark; deep pink that perfectly matched the spring air. It tasted a little sweet, with a strong Strawberry flavor and something spicy towards the back. In fact, it was the perfect match to our very spicy food.
Sula Vineyards is a relatively new winery, started in 1997 by Silicon Valley transplant, Rajeev Samant. In the early 90's, Rajeev pioneered wine growing in the Nashik district (180km north of Mumbai) with the planting of Sula Vineyards, a step that spearheaded the Indian wine market. The Nashik district is located near the river Godavari, the river has a major influence on the temperate climate and makes grape growing possible. The majority of the world's premium wine grapes are grown between the 30 & 50 degree latitude marks, Nashik falls at the 20 degree mark, were it not for the river, grape growing may not be possible. Sula Vineyards is also committed to sustainable vineyard practices and supporting the local heritage and economy.
Unfortunately I could not find the Rose at a nearby store, only at my nearby restaurant, however; these two stores carry the brand and would likely order a bottle for you