Nancy B. Varghese
Fun Fact: an average citizen of the Vatican City consumes up to 54.26 litres of wine a year, while in India the penetration is low (2-3 million consumers consuming a total of 24 million litres), we hope to make up for lost ground this party season. To start with, we visited a wine shop to see if we could refine our palate, and as a bonus ended up taking a virtual tour around some great new world wine regions. Take a look at our top picks for for both wine and country, so that you can book tickets for your next ‘grape’ escape!
The ‘roots’ of the wine capital of Brazil - Bento Gonçalves - are of Italian descent, and even the residents, who initially made the journey from Europe to Brazil, speak a Venetian dialect. Majority of the settlers in Bento, brought with them grape varieties such as Moscato Bianco, Barbera and Trebbiano grapes, and now the region is known for the Tannat variety of grapes.
Where is it: Brazil
How to get there: Take a flight from New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, or Kolkata to Rio De Janeiro. Once there, take a flight to Porto Alegre, and on landing, take a bus to Bento Gonçalves.
Where can I stay: Hotel San Marino
Rates: Rs 3,819 per night
Get a hold of this sturdy Synter Stainless Steel Wine Bottle Opener for Rs 440.
Even though New Zealand’s South Islands produce less than 1% of the world’s wine, Central Otago is one of the prettiest wine regions you can visit in the country. The region is known to produce one of the best Pinot Noir variety of grapes, with Chardonnay coming at a close number two. New Zealand has also slowly started diversifying with their styles of wine, venturing into Bordeaux blends.
Where is it: New Zealand
How to get there: Take a flight from New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, or Kochi to South Islands Christchurch Airport, and then proceed to take a bus from Christchurch to the Central Otago District.
Where can I stay: Lake Roxburgh Lodge
Rates: Rs 7,522 per night
Make sure you have plenty of space for your wine collection with this HOKIPO Foldable Wooden Wine Rack Organiser for Rs 799.
Australia specialises in growing Shiraz - a dark skinned grape variety, which is primarily used in the wines of the Barossa Valley. They are also known to be some of the darkest red wines that have black fruit flavours, which are not expensive, made using modern techniques, and have good value.
Where is it: Australia
How to get there: Take a flight from New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, or Ahmedabad to Adelaide, and take the Adelaide Metro rail service from Adelaide to Gawler Central. You can then take a bus that connects the Gawler Railway Station to Barossa.
Where can I stay: Angaston Vineyards Motel
Rates: Rs 4,657 per night
Do you know red wine can be beneficial for your skin? Check out this Biocare Wine & Beer Scrub for Rs 219.
According to experts, Chilean wines are known to be on the fruity end and feature in the ‘entry level’ of wines, that is still to make a big splash in the larger price categories. Carmenere grapes are popularly used for their concoctions, which is a specialty of the region. Initially, Chile was not known to produce white wine due to the weather, but has now moved to the coast to make use of colder climate for the harvest.
Where is it: Chile
How to get there: Take a flight from New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, or Hyderabad to Santiago and take the subway system of the city to make your way to Maipo.
Where can I stay: Alojamiento Rural Casa Quinta Peumayen
Rates: Rs 3,815 per night
If you fancy yourself as an expert and want to try a hand at winemaking, get this Strange Brew Vintner’s Wine Making Equipment Kit for Rs 8,814.
Being the leading wine producer of South Africa, Stellenbosch Vineyards make for the most picturesque regions, whose legacy began in 2004. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most extensively grown grape variety on the hills of Stellenbosch, the terrain, climate, and high clay content in the soil also making it suitable to other varieties.
Where is it: South Africa
How to get there: Catch a flight to Cape Town from New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, or Hyderabad, and catch a train on the metrorail that will take you from Cape Town to Stellenbosch via Bellville. You can also opt for main bus services that offer a ride to Stellenbosch.
Where can I stay: Apple Tree Guest House
Rates: Rs 4,147 per night
Savour your wine collection and save them for good times with this Steel Round Wine Bottle Stopper for Rs 290.
Salta, Catamarca, and Tucumán make up the northern region of Argentina, and the region boasts a range of unique wines that you won’t be able to sample in any other country. The Calchaqui Valley specialises in Malbec, Torrontés and Tannat varieties of wine. The colours, aroma, and flavours of which are known to be typical to the valley, as recognised by experts around the world.
Where is it: Argentina
How to get there: Hop on one of flights that take you from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, or Hyderabad, and land at the Ministro Pistarini International Airport at Buenos Aires. Take a domestic flight from Buenos Aires to Salta, to then rent a car and drive up to the valley. You can also take a bus from Buenos Aires and take a 20 hour journey to the valley.
Where can I stay: Regional Hotel
Rates: Rs 3,485 per night
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