Nasik is best known as the wine hub of the country. It is the home to the vineyards of the country’s most popular wine brand “Sula”.
Sula Vineyards is the perfect weekend getaway for someone living in Pune or Bombay. Lush greenery and a pollution free environment awaits you there. The property also has a beautiful resort where one can spend a relaxed weekend learning all about wines. From wine tours and wine tasting to grape stomping, Sula promises to make you ‘Winewise”!
For those who are actually looking to mix there Vino with a little bit of music, the perfect time to visit the vineyards is during its annual festival called the Sulafest. A heady mix of music, wine, culture and art, this fest seems like the desi version of Woodstock!
This year’s fest took place on the 4th and 5th of February. Having experienced the Sulafest 2012 , I can safely say that this is definitely one of the best music festivals in the country. A two day soiree in a beautiful setting is what gets the ball rolling. With so much to experience you only wish this lasted more than two days. Start your mini vacay with cheese and crackers and a bottle of Chenin Blanc at the Tasting Room before you head towards the massive amphitheatre to catch the brilliant live performances or you could just grab some tapas and sangria from one of the stalls there and laze around on the sprawling lawns. If that doesn’t work for you then how about a wine tour and some grape stomping to set the mood!
Sulafest 2012 included some brilliant performances by the likes of Dualist Inquiry, Soulmate, Blackstratblues, Papon and The East India Company, Reggae Rajahs and Nitin Sawhney. Spread over two days the variety of the music ranged from Blues and Electronic to Reggaeton and Lounge. The USP of this year’s lineup was Nitin Sawhney, it was his first performance in the country, though personally I felt it was Shillong’s Blues giant Soulmate that rocked the stage. Just being there with some good wine and the energy of the live music is surreal, something like a fantasy. You are bound to feel like a flower child from the seventies!You are highly encouraged to bring out the Hippie in you!
Sulafest is not just another music festival, it is but an experience. It may be a wine and music fest but you also have access to other spirits and good old beer. So for those of you who are not too keen on wine, there is a lot to choose from. For the gourmet cuisine seekers you can treat your palate to tapas or even sushi! One can even buy kitschy memorabilia from the many stalls selling their funky wares, Bob Marley hip flasks anyone?
If you missed it this year then you should definitely watch out for it in 2013 and clear your dates. One word of advice, its best to make your HOTEL BOOKINGS well in advance as Nasik can get very crowded during the Fest and it will be very difficult to find accommodation.
A three hour drive from Bombay the vineyards can be easily reached by road. And if you are just looking to visit the vineyards then the best time to go there is between November and February. If you are looking for cheaper accommodation options, then there are many budget hotels where you can check in.