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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Monday, December 07 2009. 12:20

Vah Vah Vallonne Vineyards!

Nashik based Vallonne Vineyards which launched its premium wines in Goa last month and proposes to introduce  them soon in Mumbai and Bangalore, claim to bring a complete French Chateau experience through  its boutique winery made on the French model, technology and winemaking practices.

The three red wines and two staple white wines launched already in Goa are Merlot (Rs.750, $16), Cabernet Sauvignon (Rs.490), Cabernet Classique (Rs.650), Sauvignon Blanc (Rs.490),) and Chenin Blanc (Rs.475). Merlot and Cabernet Classique are reportedly aged in French oak barriques.

In Mumbai prices will be slightly higher- Merlot (Rs.755), Cabernet Sauvignon (Rs.505), Cabernet Classique (Rs.685), Sauvignon Blanc (Rs.505) and Chenin Blanc (Rs.475)

Vallonne is built entirely on the French model starting with the technology.. The new generation machines come from Bucher Vaslin and Gai. The oak casks are imported from a premier cooperage in France. Bottles, Corks, Capsules, Fining Chemicals are all imported from France, according to Shailendra Pai, founder and owner of the winery.

It is no surprise then that the consultant winemaker Marie Barbe who has worked in various regions of France, Chile and Russia brings her expertise in wine-making from Bordeaux, ensuring a stellar blend of Old and New world wines.

Even the name of the winery is French. ‘Vallonne (with an acute e) in French means hill slopes. The vineyards are sloping southwards and hence Vallonne. Nestled in the lush Sahyadri ranges, our estates rest on the gentle southern slopes of Kavnai village and gradually melt into the clear backwaters of Mukne Dam,’ says Pai   

‘Being the state’s first boutique winery, the focus is solely on quality. Our wines are nurtured long before the grape is born. The fruit is gently handled and grapes are picked and sorted by hand. As the fruit makes its way into the tanks, there is minimal human intervention for the quality of the fruit.’

In the maiden year the winery has produced less than 5000 cases of wine. Vallonne labels are marketed nationally by Mumbai based wine importer, Berkmann Wine Cellars Pvt Limited. The Goa launch on November 25th will be followed this month in Mumbai and then Bangalore. Farhad Bhabha, CEO of Berkmann says, ‘we had been looking for a small producer who makes quality wines and wants a national reach. Vallonne is a boutique winery dedicated to quality and fits our requirements completely.’

If Vallonne and other new generation wineries are in fact as ‘committed to the pursuit of innovation, education and dedication to producing fine wines that stand in the company of the best wines from across the world’, as it claims in its mission statement, there is no doubt that India would be a wine nation to reckon with in merely 20 years.


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