I have never attended a winetasting session. So when this opportunity of a day trip to Fratelli vineyards came up we grabbed it. I read a lot about winetasting and was looking forward to our Fratelli winetasting experience. And somehow this quote stuck –
I am not having a glass of wine, I am having six. We call it ‘tasting’ and it’s classy!!
As we left Pune, we just had one thing in mind – to enjoy and have fun drinking those 6 glasses of wine!! And the Fratelli winetasting visit gave us just that!
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Winemaking in India
Winemaking in India can be traced back to almost 5000BCE to the Indus Valley Civilization. The art of winemaking was introduced during the Mughal rule when Persians brought grapes to India.
Although winemaking was widespread till the 19th century, phylloxera at the beginning of the 20th century wiped out the winemaking industry. It was re-introduced in 1980 and has been going strong since. Nashik city in Maharashtra state and Nandi Hills in Bangalore city of Karnataka state of India are the main wine-growing regions. There are a couple of vineyards in other dry regions too. Baramati is one such place where the Fratelli vineyard is situated.
Red wine and white wine are two types of wine as we know. Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir are the types of red wines. And Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are types of white wine. However, we have a mixture called rose wine which is pink in color, dessert wine, and sparkling wine too.
Fratelli Vineyards – One day tour
The Fratelli wine tasting one-day itinerary included the following –
- History of Fratelli and explanation about the wine preparation process.
- Visit the vineyard to actually see the cultivation of grapes
- Wine tasting session
- Sumptuous lunch to go with wine tasting
- Visit the factory to see the manufacturing and storage facility
What to wear to a wine tasting session
I was actually relieved to know that there is no actual dress code in India to wear to any wine tasting. However, keeping in mind the fact that the vineyard visit is during the day in winters, there is going to be the sun when you are visiting outside. So following is a small checklist of things you can wear to a wine tasting session –
- Wear White or Pastels
- Carry sunglasses and a cap for the vineyard
- Wear comfortable footwear
- Carry a water bottle to stay hydrated
Also, read our 7 tips for wine tasting!!
History of Fratelli wines
Fratelli Wines a joint venture between Seccis from Italy, Sekhris from Delhi, and locally-based Mohite Patil brothers. The Tuscan winemaker Peiro Masi oversees the production and the mastermind behind the blends and ‘Sette’ the signature bottle of Fratelli. Sette is a Tuscan style blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The visit to the vineyard was interesting. They showed us how they have cultivated the grapevines. Wine grapes are different from table grapes and need a different kind of cultivation. We saw the makings of white wine, red wine, and pink wine too.
Fratelli production facility makes 12 varieties to create 37 blends. It is interesting to know how much effort goes into the making of various varieties and blends of wine.
Wine tasting followed by lunch
We tasted 3-4 types of wines over the detailed discussions of dry wine, sweet wine, and Rose wine with the wine expert. Every time you try a different blend of wine you need to clean the palate with cheese or crackers or water. The sommeliers served us with a nice spread of crackers and cheese and pineapple.
We tried their ‘Tilt’ sparkling wine in the can which was a delightful experience! Having wine in a can was indeed an intriguing concept and we were glad to make it a part of our wine tasting experience.
After wine tasting, we had a scrumptious lunch while chatting about our earlier wine-related experiences.
Winemaking and bottling plant
Then the production in charge took us around the wine-making plant. We saw the huge containers in which they mix the wine and then transfer it to the barrels for storage. We also walked through the cellars to see where the barrels were stored to preserve the wine.
Guesthouse at Fratelli wines
You can plan a weekend at Fratelli as they have got a great guest house with a fully equipped kitchen, dining, and family room in the common area. One night stay costs around Rs.8000/- where the meals and one wine tasting are included.
Fratelli winetasting experience
The Western routes planned our one-day visit very well to exhibit all nuances of winemaking. The wine expert on board gave us wonderful insight into the makings of different wines and gave us an extensive wine tasting experience. The Fratelli staff had taken all care and safety precautions by sanitizing the entire place.
The tastes of the wines were great. The lunch was delicious, however, I thought the menu could have been altered to go with the wines.
The guesthouse looked very clean and well maintained. We caught up on some afternoon siesta on the cool grass around the dining area.
I felt the winetasting experience should have been coupled with some great music, but that is me, I love great music. Everything else was just perfect.
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