Winery Visit - Deccan Plateau Wines

The grape harvesting season was upon us and the best laid plans to visit wineries in the Nashik area came to nought. A casual conversation with our winemaker friend Nitin Shinde revealed that he was planning the season’s last crush of 10 tonnes of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes on Thursday 27th March at his winery.

Since it was a working day, only six members found the time and made the effort to drive about 35 kms to the winery. The drive upto Perne Phata 500M short of the toll booth on Pune – Ahmednagar Highway was a breeze. The 5 km drive on the local country road to the winery was very pleasant with green lush fields all around. The narrow road was asphalted and surprisingly good.

Set amidst lush fields of American corn, marigold and acres of vineyards, Deccan Plateau Wines is a 50,000 liter owner-operated boutique style winery. Both partners Girish Kamble and Nitin Shinde grew up in vineyard owning families. They decided to switch from table to wine grapes and took professional training in India and Australia as winemakers.

Nitin gave us a tour of the spanking new winery which is in its finishing stages. While we waited for the grape laden trucks to arrive, Sheel took the initiative to rinse out the stainless steel tubs we had brought all the way from Pune to do some crushing by ye olde method – using the feet!

The wine making process is seemed simple. The grapes are picked in the evening and reach the winery early next morning. The grapes sans leaves are unloaded on a long vibrating table. The bunches, spread evenly on the table and given the once over for any foreign matter fall into a conveyor which takes them up and dumps them into a fancy piece of equipment called the destemmer. As the bunches fall in, a perforated rotating drum removes the stems and spews them out thru a discharge chute. The grapes are mashed with skin et al and fall into a funnel connected to a screw conveyor which moves the thick liquid thru a translucent flexible pipe to the top of the designated stainless steel storage tank. These tanks are temperature controlled for proper fermentation. The grape juice is then allowed to ferment in the tank for about 15 days before being moved to the wine press where the skin is removed and the clear juice goes back into a tank for further fermentation. The winemaker’s skills then come into play to create the wine.

Nitin offered a taste of Shiraz from the sampling tap of the tank and PGC members were more than enthusiastic in tippling in the morning hours.

Nitin and Girish plan to have a nice restaurant and a winebar by the end of the year when their wines will be released. The area will be fully landscaped and by the time it’s done, it’ll be an ideal day’s outing for the family. The winery is small and with owner winemakers in attendance, visitors will have a rum (oops wine) time!

10 comments:

Ashvina said...

Hmmm...looks like we missed a real enlightening seesion!

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Yasjh said...

I wanted to know, how do I become a member of Pune Gourmet Club....whats the process??

Vinit Bolinjkar said...

would love to become a member of your club

Shankar said...

Hi Yasjh & Vinit, You can contact me on punegourmetclub@gmail.com. None of comments has a 'reply to' email id.

Shankar

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