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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Thursday, 06 May 2010 11:21

Italian Varietals debut with Vintage Wines

Nashik based Vintage Wines, producer of Reveilo label has become the first winery in India to produce wines from two popular Sicilian indigenous  grapes Nero d’ Avola for the red wine  & Grillo for the white wine, which were launched last Friday at the Marine Plaza Hotel in Mumbai. Bindu Malhotra, President of the Terroir Club, Mumbai Chapter of the Delhi Wine Club reports.

The wines were formally launched by Mr. Augusto Giancitti- Italian Trade commissioner & Mr. Bernard Prevette- Deputy Trade Commissioner in the presence of many people from the industry and other invitees that included members of our Club.

Said Yatin Patil, Managing Director of Vintage Wines,’ we had imported the root stocks from a well-known nursery in North East Italy in 2006, and were the first Indian winery to do so. The first vintage has recently been released. In fact, last month when Ambrosia magazine organised a wine tasting dinner at JW Marriott to welcome the duo of Anja Cheriakova and Georges Janssens on a ‘Wine without Frontiers’ world tour, the members of the Terroir One were really enjoyed tasting these wines. So it was a pleasure to have a more focused opportunity to taste these ‘Italian wines’ from the Indian producer.

‘There exist thousands of grape varieties, some of them being extremely good and untapped. The vision of providing the Indian consumer with an authentic Italian experience motivated us to take this approach,’ says Kiran Patil, Yatin’s charming wife who looks after the marketing and branding. She added, ‘the choice of these grapes was basically made because of both Yatin and I  like these varietals.’

It is quite possible that the decision to import the variety might have been influenced by their winemaker from Friuli, Andrea Valentinuzzi who came especially for the launch from Italy. Andrea said, “the reason for the selection of Grillo and Nero D’Avola was due to a clear focus of Reveilo to have Italian varieties which no one had done in India so far. Besides, these are interesting varieties which would pair well with the Indian taste. Also, Sicily has a climate similar to Nashik, so these vines would respond well to the Indian climate. ‘

Yatin was very excited as people liked both the wines. Disclosing his plans for more Italian varieties he said, ’We have also planted Sangiovese, the Chianti grape from Tuscany and hope to launch that varietal early next year. I believe that it is a very honest and a sincere effort from us to offer the consumers with something different and unique from Italy. We hope that they will appreciate our approach.’ 

When I informed about the launch to Subhash Arora, Chairman of the Mumbai Chapter of the Delhi Wine Club, who had just returned from Sicily and was taking a short break in Shimla, he was delighted. He has been to Sicily twice during the last couple of months and has tasted over a hundred wines of these varietals and likes both a lot. He told me, ‘Nero d’Avola lends itself to terroir a lot and I am sure their wine will be unique in flavour, and of course, it agrees with the Indian palate totally. No doubt, the best Red Wine of the India Wine Challenge held in Mumbai earlier this year was a Nero d’Avola from a Sicilian estate Gulfi, located in the South eastern part of Sicily.’ He had been so intrigued by the results that he drove an extra 500 kms to check out this winery.

He is not as optimistic about the Sangiovese though. ‘It’s a grape that does extremely well in Tuscany and fairly well in Emilia Romagna, Umbria and Marche. Very few estates in the US and Australia where Italian immigrants have cultivated this varietal, are managing to come close to a good quality. It is also generally blended to get the best from this varietal. Only time will tell if the varietal would do as well in the Nashik soil as in Tuscany.’

Grillo is a widely grown white-wine grape variety in Sicily, where it is used to make a honeyed but  dry white wine with good acidity. The Reveilo Grillo has a bouquet of citrus, lemon and orange. The medium bodied white wine has good crisp acidity and a medium, mineral after taste.

Nero d'Avola is Sicily's most popular red grape and is generally used as a varietal. It’s juicy, sweet and tannins and the peppery flavours find Indian drinkers loving the wine. The Reveilo Nero D’ Avola is a medium bodied wine with strong fruity aromas of Cherry accompanied with some spicy notes of pepper and cinnamon. It had a pleasant and medium size after-taste.

Kiran informed our members that Nero D’ Avola and Grillo are now available at several modern retail outlets in Mumbai for Rs.705 and Rs.605 each. They plan to soon launch the ‘Italian duo’ in Delhi where they plan to get the excise license and distribute them through Munjral Bros. These wines and their other range will be available within a month. They are also eying Bangalore market for these wines. She further told me that at present Reveilo is present in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh and is planning to expand to West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh in the near future.

Patils have also tied up with an Italian group, ‘Enofly’ for technical collaboration and wine making know how. The wine making machinery has been sourced from one of the world’s leading wine equipment manufacturer from Italy - Velo S.p.a.

It appears Italians will soon be the language spoken at Vintage Wines at Niphad, Nashik!

Bindu Malhotra
President, Terroir One- Delhi Wine Club (Mumbai Chapter)



Yatin Patil Says:

Small correction the MRP of Nero d'Avola is Rs. 645 and not Rs. 705 as mentioned. Thanks, Yatin.

Posted @ May 07, 2010 13:10


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