June 25: Nashik based York Winery, near Sula vineyards is known for its excellent wines from international grape varietals thanks to using newer technologies and an enticing wine tourism, says Sheetal Kadam who was Inspired by a virtual tour of the winery with the assistant winemaker Shagith Prakash who has studied Viticulture and Oenology from Lincoln University New Zealand and has been working with York for 8 years
More than a decade now, York winery is known for producing excellent wines and rated as one of the best Indian wines. It is a family-owned winery backed by family values and commitments aiming to produce world-class Indian Wines. Just a km away from Sula winery, York is located in the countryside of Nasik. In York vineyards, Chardonnay thrives over 2.5 acres and Tempranillo on small landholdings.
Till date York has been associated with their contract grape growers, leading in economies of scale. In a way, the total York Vineyard area is 55 acres. York has successfully worked on International wine varietals, in terms of adaptability to the climate and localization on the soils in Nasik, optimizing the yields, consistently deriving quality berries etc. In contract farming York grows Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Tempranillo, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc.
“The 9 acres York has vineyards of Chardonnay & Tempranillo alongside a state-of-the-art winery. The tasting room & all-day restaurant present a breath-taking view of the tranquil expanse of the Gangapur dam backwaters”, says Kailash Gurnani, Chief Winemaker and partner of the York winery.
What contributes to the making of York fine wines is that they are made by adopting newer techniques and assuring international quality standards. The winery has a production capacity of 450,000 litres designed on multiple levels based on the winemaking processes & operations. “Our underground temperature-controlled cellars ensure that our wines age to perfection. Our Tasting Room and wine bar serve the entire range of York wines along with a selection of cheeses and light snacks. Here one can savour the subtle flavours & aromas of our wines and unwind in the casual, laid back and intimate setting overlooking the hills and Gangapur dam backwaters with vineyards in the foreground. At our tasting room, we sell all our wines at special discounted prices” mentions Kailash.
The restaurant beside the tasting room is at the edge of the vineyards. The endless views of the vineyards, the lake & surrounding hills from the restaurant are mesmerising. They serve Indian food cooked in local Maharashtrian spices, an excellent pairing of food with wines made from international grape varietals.
A classic selection of York wines ranging between Rs 950 to 1800, comprises of Yaatra, York Arros, York Sparkling Rose, York Sparkling Cuvée Blanc de Blancs and York H Block Chardonnay. York's mid-range between Rs 500 to 750 showcases Shiraz, Cabernet Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Shiraz Viognier, Zinfandel Rose and Late Harvest Chenin Blanc. York All Rounder red/white is a trendy wine. An array abides by top quality, flavorful, aromatic wines genuinely expressive of Nasik terroir. The uniqueness of York wine is the result of winemaker's passion for making wines. York wines contribute to 70% sales in Retail, 30% HoReCa- mostly Standalone Restaurants & Bars. A significant market for York wines is Mumbai, Pune and Delhi.
According to Kailash “The thing people love the most about the tasting is the approach and warm hospitality at York. They appreciate the friendly environment and the amount of time and attention given to them, making each tour very personalised. Apart from this, it's the quality of wines” with the changing trends, and consumer preference for an unusual experience of wine tourism in India.
Notably, the boutique wineries in Nasik have gained popularity in recent days. Consumers have been conveniently travelling to these wineries in search of newer wine experiences. Since the last couple of months, wineries have stopped their functions and operations, due to the prevailing lockdown situation.
While on one hand the wine business is stagnant and sales are shrinking, on the other hand, government has allowed home delivery of alcohol products in Maharashtra. In their capacities, wineries are adapting to this change, to attain mobility in wine sales. But that is still not enough; wineries are waiting for the HoReCa to reboot, which will spike up the volume sales in their assured markets.
Mumbai-based Sheetal Kadam is a graduate in Agriculture with an MBA in International Business. She is also a Certified Level 3 in WSET and a Certified Cultore by Alfiere Italico- Wine, a certified wine course designed and organised internationally by Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IICCI) outside Italy, in Mumbai. She has worked with Indian wine producers in marketing in Pune for a year. She was part of the delegation organised by IICCI as a member of Italics Wine Club- Mumbai Chapter.
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