Blog Event | Visit to the Four Seasons Winery, Baramati, Pune, India

“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.”
Paulo Coelho

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, IndiaFour Seasons flew a group of food bloggers down to Pune to experience their winery in Baramati, Western India. With the weather beginning to get warm, the vineyard was at the height of the harvest season, with crushing and fermentation underway. A short flight away from New Delhi, seamless organisation and good communication meant that the experience from word go was good.

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India Four Seasons produces wines from grapes grown around Sahyadri valley in Maharashtra, India and at its state-of-the-art winery near Baramati, around 65 kms from Pune. The chateau on location boasts 14 rooms, a swimming pool, a spa and a party deck and terrace which can hold a 1000 people for anyone looking for an interesting holiday.

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India To further their promise of wine tourism, they’ve planned a restaurant offering wine and food pairing, a wine merchandise store, a wine boutique, tasting rooms and of course vineyard trails for wine enthusiasts.

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India 26At the beautiful 14 room chateau, we were welcomed with a crisp bubbly from Bouvet-Ladubay. That brought an instant cheer. A quick freshen up and we headed for a wine and food pairing lunch put together by Indian celebrity chef Nilesh Limaye. It was a homey, comforting menu from Maharashtra, well planned and beautifully paired. It was refreshing to note how well the wines paired with regional cuisine.

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India The menu was paired with their international brand of wine ‘Ritu which means ‘season‘ in sanskrit. Styled to suit the international palette, it captures the colours and moods of each years’ changing seasons. Crafted under the expertise of India’s most experienced wine maker, Abhay Kewadkar, who kept us company throughout the visit. Ritu is an award winning wine which is beginning to get noticed across the globe.

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India It’s made from French varieties of grapes grown in valley in Baramati and is currently exported to the UK, France and Japan. Four Seasons does plan to introduce this gourmet wine to the Indian market in the near future. We tested it at over lunch, and it exceeded our expectations, especially the range of premium Barrique reserve wines.

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India We began lunch with a cooler, Sol Kadhi, a kokum extract laced with mildly spiced coconut milk. It was brilliant. Everyone enjoyed it tremendously, and seconds were asked for! The appetiser, a Spicy Yam {Suranachi kaap} and Crispy fried Bombay Duck {Bombil Rav Fry}, was paired with a Ritu Savignon Blanc 2012.

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India The main course had king prawns tossed in white and black sesame seeds in a typical Konkani coconut gravy, Tilatli Kolambi. Served over rice, mildly spiced again, it went well with the signature Ritu Viognier 2012.

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India The stand out pairing was with the main course which offered a beautifully done traditional Nagpur lab curry, Mutton Saoji, the lamb sourced locally. It was well cooked, tender, dropping off the bone, and the spices quite simple. I love the play of regional flavours with wine pairing, a concept which is fast catching the imagination in India.  Paired with a ‘Ritu’ Shiraz Barrique Reserve 2010, it was quite interesting!!

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India Time for dessert and of course we were stuffed, yet a Rice Kheer with a black grape compote, Tandaichi Kheer, couldn’t be missed. It’s wonderful to see how creative Chef Nilesh gets with the local cuisine. Dessert was paired with Ritu Late Harvest Chenin Blanc 2012, a dessert wine … deep, fruity and enticing!

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India It was a packed two days with a tour of the winery, and the impressive facilities at the property. Huge crushers, fermenters, state of the art machinery with a huge capacity and well informed staff, it was a little unreal at times! Led by Abhay, it was an eye opener at each pit stop!

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India We went from the tank hall to the world class barrel room, saw a interesting cross section of the soil in the valley, then to the fermentation plant. The new oak barriques that allow for a nine month maturation for the wines were beautiful. For a wine virgin like me, it was a steep learning curve, so interesting!

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India Of course we were on the wings of time, and soon headed for the sunset. A not to be missed affair over the valleys that lay behind the chateau, it was amazing!

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India A quick shower and it was time for candlelit dinner on the terrace gardens by the pool. A beautiful setting, the barbeque laid out, anti pasti on oak barrels and a Ritu Blush that stayed with us all evening. This Blush is a deeper pink than the traditional French Rose, but I think it offered more character! Pretty!Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India Dinner was however a bit haphazard and the formality of the candle lit dinner got a little lost in the meal courses getting mixed up. The soup arrived somewhere after the main course, the grills a little under spiced, yet the company good! The roof top setting by the poolside with a beautiful summery breeze more than made up for the shortcomings!

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India It’s a stunning location for the chateau even though it might take a year for the region to develop. Despite hitting the sack well after 1 am, a few of us were up early to catch sunrise! Beautiful as ever, the sun rose over the chateau which faces East. Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India We grabbed a cup of tea and followed a very enthusiastic Abhay for a trek into the valley! A fast paced trot with views of deer now and then, it was a well spent hour. We got back in time for breakfast!!Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India Another good meal with local cuisine like Misal Pav as well as a continental spread on offer. A few adventurous souls had a bubbly. Not me though. It was time for coffee, followed by a quick tour of the bottling and labeling facilities, all state of art stuff.

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India Next was a trot down to the vineyards around to increase ‘vine and wine’ knowledge at the R & D vineyard that lies in front of the chateau. I did go to Baramati with visions of grape vines hanging heavy with bunches of picturesque grapes, yet that was not to beI

Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India I think I can be forgiven for my ignorance as the harvest season is short and ends just before the heat sets in the plains. With the temperatures touching 30C during the day, there wasn’t a single bunch to be found in the vineyard.Four Seasons Vineyards, Baramati, Pune, India

It was a wonderful experience, a steep learning curve, and a hope that I will be able to enjoy wine in a deeper sense in the future. Once the facilities and surroundings around Baramati develop, it’s a wonderful stopover for wine enthusiasts. Thank you Abhay Kewadkar, Anandita, Nilesh and all the staff at the resort that made our stay memorable. Thank you for having us over!

Thank you also Saurish, Pawan, Ekta, Rekha, Sangeeta & Hemant for for your good company!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


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Comments

  1. Lovely post – I felt like I was there with you!
    Colette @ JFF!´s last blog post ..Berry Pavlova Sponge Cake & GIVEAWAY winner announced!!My Profile

  2. It was such a good time spent together. Loved those two days with you all.
    sangeeta khanna´s last blog post ..visiting a vineyard and a winery, understanding wine making and some nature watch…My Profile

  3. Lovely pictures…using a non flash camera ;)
    It was a great trip. Hope to get another opportunity soon to spend time with you guys.
    Pawan Soni´s last blog post ..New Cocktail Menu @ Smoke House Grill, GK-II, DelhiMy Profile

  4. Awesome post – I feel like being with u guys, looks nice

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