Winemaking in Bengaluru

May 2, 2022

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Winery tour and wine tasting

Introduction

In India, the history of producing wine goes back to several years with the coming of European traveller in Mughal Courts. It gained popularity during the Portuguese rule and later during the British rule.

Wine grape

Wine grape production in India warmed up only in the 1980s. Wine consumption is very less in India compared to other countries in the world. Two major factors for that are the prohibition enforced earlier and higher prices of alcoholic beverages. Over the last decade, the Indian wine industry has been growing consistently as wine is increasingly becoming an important part of metropolitan Indian households. With a rich history, an indulging process, a luring taste, no one should miss the exotic experience of a winery tour.

Winery tour

A winery tour is truly a wonderful experience. The ambiance of such a place imbibes a sense of royalty in your personality. These tours make you a true connoisseur of wine who knows the art and mastery of crafting one of the finest drinks one has ever sipped before. The wine tasting tour starts with a brief introduction about their chief winemaker and the intriguing winemaking process. After this introductory session, you get a chance to taste some of the most savoured and tantalizing wines right from their collection of exotic and distinctive wines – like white wines, vintage red wines, and other varieties.

Wine varieties of Karnataka

Bengaluru and the south Karnataka are home to many of the top wine producers and vineyards of Karnataka. Due to its higher altitude this region enjoys a moderate climate Kanwal Grower, who is a pathfinder of the Indian wine industry, developed his first vineyard in the valley of Nandi Hills. Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet are the two popular varieties of this region. High-quality Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are majorly produced because of the soils of this region are scattered with gravel, limestone and gneiss granules.

The newest sub-region Akluj enjoys extreme low soil fertility and low rainfall which opens a new door for varieties such as Muller Thurgau, Sangiovese and Chardonnay.

Wine tasting – Swirl, sniff, and sip

The wine experience begins in the tasting room with smelling the aroma. First swirl the wine vigorously for about 10-15 seconds and inhale the aromas coming out. Next step is to take a sip but before swallowing bring it to the front of your mouth for about 5 seconds. Then, roll the wine in the upper palate for about 8 seconds. Finally, swallow the wine. This is not over yet! In the next phase, draw air from your mouth and focus on the sensation while exhaling. Ideally it takes two minutes between sips to recognize the aromas. As we are instructed to swirl, sniff and sip, it may sound simple but most people find gauging the aromas really tough.

Machineries of wine making

Crushing machinery

Crushing machinery is the first one you will be introduced to that crushes grapes at 5 tons/hour allowing free-run juice to pour forth. Preservative potassium metabisulfite is added to preserve the juice that will soon be wine.

Centrifugal machinery

The juice is sent to centrifugal machinery that runs at 10,000 rpm. 90% clarity wine after removing sedimentation will be outputted, then passed through wine softeners (inox tanks) to soften the wine. It takes about 35 days to make a bottle of wine.

Yeast and wine

Yeast plays a vital part of winemaking by consuming the food material and converting sugar in the grapes to alcohol, heat and carbon dioxide. Wine is prepared in laboratories. Titrations show the amount of acidity available. Tasting the base wine of 30ml in different glasses and different amounts of sugar ranging from 0.25, 0.5, and 3gms results in different levels of acidity and alcohol content.

More about wines

Red wines are made of black grapes and green grapes produce white wines. No need to add any colour to red wines as they have a natural Anthocyanin pigment. Wines can be either sweet or bitter. A number of factors ranging from the kind of grapes to climatic conditions affect the flavour and fruitiness of the grapes. Wines have their own character and all the aromas such as blackberry, Pineapple, litchi, muskmelon, cashew fruit, and so on are naturally present in the wine and not added artificially. Red wine has a chemical called tannin which attacks the saliva. It is viscous in nature and blocks salivary glands – which is why red wines lead to dehydration. White wines, on the other hand, cause salivary activation.

Health tip – Always, eat local black grapes with the seeds. Apparently, the seeds have a good amount of anti-oxidants. Also, grapeseed oil makes for an excellent moisturizer.

Popular wineries around Bengaluru

Bangalore has a number of vineyards making excellent wines. The winery tours come with guides who will take you around, explain the winemaking process and give detailed instructions on how to taste wines. But each tour is different with different climates, locales and hospitality. Stay back for a while after the guided tour ends as sunsets by a vineyard are the best experience, especially when you are sipping on some delicious wine. It is an unforgettable experience for many. Join the tours and enjoy the winemaking first-hand while bringing home a bottle of wine.

  • Heritage Sula Winery near Channapattana town, just 60 km from Bangalore.
  • Big Banyan Vineyard, located near Bangalore’s Dodda Alada Mara aka Big Banyan Tree
  • Grover Vineyards, located at the foot of Nandi Hills
  • Soma Vineyards Raju Estate, Gundamgere Village, Sonnenahalli, Karnataka
  • Kinvah Vineyards, Nagadasanahalli Village, Thimanayakanahalli, Yelahanka Hobli
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