Journey

Mumbai to Sula Vineyard – Let’s Wine, Not Whine

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Planning a short trip over the weekend can be quite a task. The perfect weekend getaway should have a superb atmosphere, a picturesque Instagram-worthy location, and an element of fun. Having to decide the perfect place to suit the demands of a beach and a mountain lover can be quite challenging. And yet, spotting a glass of wine, I hit upon the perfect idea for a weekend getaway!

Located at just 200 kilometres from Mumbai, Sula Vineyards was the perfect weekend destination for us. It is ladled with lush green fields on the way, a scenic location and, of course, a lot of wine. 

 

Why Sula Vineyards?

Sula Vineyard falls in the Nashik district also known as the ‘Wine Capital of India’. Sula Vineyard, a home-grown winery was set up in the year 2000. It is a great getaway for all wine enthusiasts and aficionados. 

We drove to Sula Vineyards and went via the Trimbakeshwar route, which cuts well before Nashik. I must say, it was a really rejuvenating ride. The route offers great scenic views as it goes via small hills and a water dam which will make you stop for some gorgeous photos.

Day 1

It took us about 4 hours to reach Nashik, along with the breakfast halt and tea breaks. We took our time to drive so that we could enjoy the scenic route. However, we took one stop on the way. 

 

  • Trimbakeshwar Temple

We knew we had to stop at Trimbakeshwar Temple before heading to Sula Vineyards. Trimbakeshwar is considered as one of the most sacred towns in India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is the centre of twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. 

Trimbakeshwar Temple

It is built on the base of the Brahmagiri hills from where river Godavari originates. It is also believed that Trimbakeshwar is the birthplace of Lord Ganesha.  

This holy temple was built by Shri Peshwa Nanasaheb between 1755 to 1786 AD. It is made from pure basalt, which is why it is also known as the black stone temple. 

 

  • Sula Vineyard 

The route to Sula was a tricky one and we had to ask for directions a few times before we finally made it to Sula Vineyard. It was exciting to see the grapevines along the way. The view was spectacular. The lush green hills surrounding the property added to the charm.

Treehouse Stay

The stay options at Sula included rooms in the resort or treehouse. We chose the treehouse because there was no better way to enjoy nature than stay in one. The room was equipped with everything one would need. It overlooked the beautiful vineyards.  

We settled in and took in the ambience of the place. Once we freshened up, we were ready to check out the place.

 

Sula Tour 

So, our first step was to take the tour of the place. These tours happen every hour so we didn’t have to wait too long. They have two options for their customers – a Tour Ticket or a Tour plus Tasting ticket. The Tour Ticket just comprises of a tour to the tank halls and a tour of Sula’s History and its inception. While on the Tour plus Tasting ticket, you will get a wine sampler tasting as well. We booked the Tour plus Tasting tickets and were very excited to start.

Our guide escorted us through the vineyards, where he told us Sula Vineyard’s history. He also explained to us the different types of grapes that would be used to make their wines. We came to know that the bold and big red grapes are used to make the flavoursome red wines, while the light green ones are used in making the delicate white wines. 

The guide then took us through the Winery, then the Barrel room and finally to the Tasting room. The tour included tasting four types of wine, set on a large table overlooking a lake. 

Regrettably, there was no grape stomping event during our visit. We learnt that the season for stomping is usually during March. Although, February is a great time to visit as Sula Vineyard organizes its annual Sula Fest. 

After a fantastic tour and a newly learnt knowledge about wines, we headed to their rooftop restaurant and immediately fell in love with the view which gives a lovely gaze over the vineyards. 

 

Food at Sula

We ordered a cheese platter, garlic bread, and chicken wings along with wine. The food was great but the lovely wine and the view made our time even better. Slowly we noticed the slanting rays of the sun announcing the end of a fantastic day at Sula Vineyards.

There are two restaurants on the property – ‘Little Italy’, which serves vegetarian Italian cuisine, and the other one is ‘Soma’, which serves Indian food. Both restaurants have an excellent wine menu to go along with their dishes.  

Needless to say, we slept with a huge smile on our faces. 

Day 2

The next morning, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise. After a quick breakfast, we checked out of the room. We felt like one night’s stay wasn’t enough so we already made plans to visit again and stay longer. 

But for now, we were set to see the sights that Nashik had to offer us. 

 

  • Panchvati 

Apart from Sula Vineyard, a trip to Nashik is incomplete if you don’t visit Panchvati. It took us about 30 mins from Sula Vineyard to reach Panchvati.  

Panchvati 

It is a holy land for all the believers of Ramayana. Lord Rama spent a few years of his 14-year old exile in Panchvati. This place is rich in mythology and history. It is filled with sites that are a must-visit on every pilgrim’s list. These sites include Sita Gufa, Kalaram Temple and KapaleshwarTemple.

Panchvati is known for its five huge banyan trees, which are called ‘vat vriksha’ in Marathi. When translated, it is known as the land of 5 banyan trees or ‘Panchvati’. 

Pilgrims also come to this place for Kumbh Mela that takes place on the river banks of Godavari. People from all over the world come for this occasion. 

 

  • Artillery Museum

After the visit to a mythologically significant place, we headed over to the Artillery Museum. This place used to be a military centre for British-Indian forces during World War II. 

Artillery Museum

They turned it into a museum and the other part of it is used as a training ground for the Indian soldiers. You can find a ton of weapons and aircrafts used by the Indian army over the decades. 

You get a glorious glimpse of the Indian military’s past. 

 

  • Pandavleni Caves

Next on our list was Pandavleni Caves at Trirashmi Hills. It was barely 20 mins from the museum. To reach the caves, you need to trek a well-built path for about 20 minutes. 

These caves are 24 Hinayana Buddhism caves, which were carved out somewhere in the 2nd or 3rd Century. You can find multiple monasteries, shrines, carvings, and pillars inside the main structures. The architecture and the inscriptions in the caves are very beautiful and well preserved to date. 

Pandavleni Caves

There are beautiful chambers, water structures and stone ladders built inside the cave. The Dada Saheb Phalke Smarak lies at the foot of the Pandavleni caves and showcases the work of Dadasaheb Phalke. There are steps going to the top which we climbed and enjoyed a really breath-taking view. The location of the caves is a prominent holy Buddhist site. This makes the Pandavleni Caves a well-known tourist site that is visited by tourists in large numbers all year round.

 

  • Vihigaon Falls

As soon as we were done with Pandavleni Caves, we decided to head back to Mumbai. However, a friend suggested we visit the Vihigaon Falls that would be on the way. And who says no to waterfalls!

Vihigaon Falls

These falls are located 59 kilometres from Nashik, near Igatpuri. It is one of the best natural waterfalls and it cascades into a pool from a height of 120 feet. It is a popular getaway for those coming from Mumbai and Nashik. It is a beautiful place and we could see why it was a popular picnic spot. 

If you are interested in rappelling, this is a perfect place to do it in the monsoon. 

We stayed for a while to enjoy the waterfall and soon started our journey back to Mumbai. The trip was epic in many ways. We covered some historical and mythological places, one of India’s first wineries, some caves, and a waterfall. We were happy to cover so much ground in 2 days. 

Suffice to say, our weekend trip to Nashik was beyond fun and memorable. 

 

 

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