Friday, August 24, 2012

Sula Chenin Blanc

Though India may seem an unlikely region for producing world-class wine, Sula Vineyards does just that. Their Chenin Blanc's pleasant semi-sweetness is balanced by mild acidity; it is similar in style to a demi-sec Vouvray, but its origin imparts a unique character to this wine. South Asian cuisines--including Indian--are a classic pairing, but this would also be a sensational accompaniment with most Mexican food.

I have many desert wines in my Cellar from Italy, France, South Africa, Israel, Argentina & California - but to my surprise this one is equal to any of the finer and expensive brands in its class, and even outperform some traditional wine makers ! I am pleasantly surprised with this wine and welcome Rajeev Samant the Indian wine maker to my hall of fame ! 

Situated 180 km northeast of Mumbai, Nashik is India’s largest grape-growing region, but had traditionally never been used to grow wine grapes. Wondering why, an enterprising, Stanford-trained engineer named Rajeev Samant quit his hi-tech Silicon Valley job in 1993 to do some investigating.

A little research quickly showed that the Nashik climate was not only perfect for wine grapes, but was also on par with winegrowing regions in Spain, California, and Australia. His determination doubled, Rajeev returned to California in search of a winemaker. In Sonoma County he found Kerry Damskey, an eminent Californian winemaker, who enthusiastically agreed to help start a winery on Rajeev’s 30 acre family estate.

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