Looking for some weekend getaway ideas near or outside of Mumbai?
Yes, we were in the same boat or rather situation recently. Looking for new and interesting locations offering activities for a weekend getaway is a task, as one cannot escape the crowd and chaos at most of the well-known ones around the city. One of us suggested we go take up a cozy little villa for a relaxed weekend while spending a day at the Sula Vineyards near Nasik. And, thus our little road trip came into being!
Sula Vineyards is a perfect location for a day outing or a two-day weekend trip with family, friends, couples and even fit for solo travelers. Nestled in a beautiful setting away from the bustle of city, one can enjoy various activities offered at the vineyards and explore around.
In this post, we’ll be sharing our experience at Sula Vineyards, everything from our wine tasting session to enjoying a snack overlooking the vineyards during a beautiful sunset, also about our accommodation and more.
Contents of this post
- About Sula Vineyards
- How to Reach
- Best time to Visit
- Where to stay
- Things to do in Sula Vineyards
About Sula Vineyards
Established in 1999 by Rajeev Samant in Nasik, Sula has emerged as India’s leading wine company and takes pride in being an Indian born company.
The history of how Sula came into being is a very interesting one. Settled and working in California, USA, Mr. Rajeev never had grapes or vineyards on his mind. It was when he visited his large family estate in Nasik, that the idea of vineyards was born. Later after learning and experience the whole vine making process with the help and guidance of his friend Kerry Damskey, he set the foundation of Sula Vineyards. Kerry Damskey is the master winemaker at Sula. It began from a 30 acres yard and expanded over 1800 acres of vineyards.
The name “Sula” came from his mother’s name – ‘Sulabha’, and symbolized the rich Indian heritage of wines. Know more about Sula and its story here.
Types of Vines at Sula
Following is the tempting list of vines offered and available at Sula:
- Chenin Blanc
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Cabernet Sauvignon
How to reach Sula Vineyards
- By Train: Train is always a great option for a hassle-free journey. You can take one from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) leaving for Nasik Road Railway Station which is a 4-hour journey. To reach Sula Vineyards, you’ll have to take a cab from Nasik Railway Station which might cost something between Rs. 350- 400.
- By Bus: For people preferring buses can catch one leaving from Dadar or Borivali. Fares will be somewhere in the range of Rs.250 – 300. The buses drop you at Mahamarg Bus Stand. Then one has to opt for a cab/ auto-rickshaw to further reach our destination.
- By Private Vehicle: Instead of the above-mentioned options, one can do a road trip as Sula Vineyards is about 180 – 190 Km from Mumbai. Being a group of six, we opted for the same option.
Leaving from Chembur, Mumbai we did a fun little road trip to Igatpuri and then to Sula Vineyards. We left a little late around 10 am, but ideally to avoid traffic one should leave early so that you get more time when you reach your location.
On the way, we took a pit stop at Shri Datta Snacks, infamous for its delectable food and a must-visit in case of road trips. They have multiple chains in and around the city. We continued with our journey after having a hearty brunch consisting of Vada Pav, Kothimbiir Vadi, Misal Pav, and Lemonade.
Best time to visit Sula Vineyards
The best time to visit is after the monsoons have ended, in the colder months as the weather is perfect during this time. We’d gone in the month of January. Also, check out the dry dates on the official website of Sula before visiting so as not to miss the wine tasting sessions.
Where to stay near Sula Vineyards
As Nasik is the nearest city one can choose to stay in the city or near the city depending on your mode of transport and budget. If you are travelling by the train it is better to stay near the station.
You can also opt to stay at Sula. They offer two luxury properties, one is ‘The Source at Sula’ and another being ‘Beyond by Sula’, bookings for both can be done online on their website.
Instead of going for the above options, we chose to stay in Igatpuri. Igatpuri is around one hour away from Sula Vineyards. We reached our destination around 1 pm in the afternoon. We were staying in a cozy private villa, it was a part of a small colony of privately owned homes/ villa’s not much far from the highway. One can find similar options on Air B&b.
Ours was a lovely little place with a large backyard and a small but very beautiful water feature which ran across the sides and back of the whole house turning into a pond at one corner. With the floating actual leaves and those reflected from the trees above, it provided a serene vibe to the whole space.
The interior spaces were as delightful as the exteriors, from a bright double-height living room to cute bathrooms. It was a three-bedroom, two-bathroom villa with a large living+ dining room and kitchen. The backyard hard a swing and lawn perfect for picnics.
Things to do in Sula Vineyards
After freshening up, we left for Sula Vineyards in the afternoon. We were asked to take an entry ticket of Rs. 200/- each, which as the guard informed they’ve started taking in recent years to maintain the tourist footfall and decorum of the property.
We entered a beautiful pathway laden with lush pink bougainvillea leading us to the main building with a breathtaking view of lush vineyards. The place was already busy with many visitors even for a Saturday afternoon. We were sure about the activities we wanted to do so we headed to the main building.
Here’s a list of things to do at Sula Vineyards:
- Take a walk around and explore the property for free.
- Take a wine tasting tour, this is a paid tour and happens at fixed times in a day. You can inquire at the reception desk in the main building about the sessions.
- Take some fun and quirky photos at the photo booths and with the props that have been set up across various locations for the public.
- Experience the old method of vine making i.e. by jumping and squishing the grapes with your feet.
- Enjoy a scrumptious meal with a vine at the rooftop restaurant.
- Shop for vine and Sula merchandise along with other souvenirs at their indoor shop.
- You can also experience the infamous 2-day long Sula Fest if you’re visiting in February.
Our experience at Sula Vineyards
After walking around exploring, and taking photos with the props, under the bougainvillea covered path, we went on to our Wine Tasting Tour which was scheduled at 5:30 pm.
We were taken along by a guide from Sula, who first gave us a brief introduction of the activities of the session and we started from visiting the various labs/ spaces where the grapes both white and red are initially stored. He shared with us a completely detailed history of how the infamous Sula Vineyards came into being.
At the end of the complete tour, we were taken into their dimly lit storage freezer where gallons and gallons of wine is kept for aging. It was indeed a marvelous and mystic visual. Later we were guided into another area for the exciting part i.e. yes, the wine tasting!
We were given six wine samples to try and enjoy all along being fed with necessary information about each and every wine. We were told the ideal methods to enjoy each wine sample. Some were supposed to be swirled, some need us to poke our noses into the glass to smell the wine and then held on your tongue, while one needed us to do some gargling sounds with the wine in our mouths!
It was really an out of the box experience for all of us. And by the time we were done tasting all six wines, we definitely were feeling light-headed.
Our wine tasting tour concluded at their in-house store where everyone bought some Sula wine including us. The shop adjacent to it offers come Sula souvenirs as well as other items such as chocolates, one take back home.
Later, we headed over to the rooftop café for some evening snacks. Enjoying the setting sun over the vineyards, we had a lip-smacking round of French fries.
As it got dark, the Sula premises were delightfully lit and we did not miss taking some photos with the props and installations.
And that was the end of our time at Sula Vineyards. We really had a good and relaxed time and would definitely recommend the wine tasting session along with the guided tour of the premises to anyone who’s going there.
Tips for visiting Sula
Following are few tips I would like to share which might help those planning a trip to the vineyards.
- Sula Vineyards can get really crowded at times, so one must choose wisely to avoid going during peak season and public holidays.
- The restaurants and cafés can be slightly overpriced and may not appeal to everyone, I’d recommend you carry light snacks or packed food if traveling with kids and family.
- The ideal time being the colder months, do not forget to carry warm outerwear.
- Choose wisely the items you purchase, we tend to get excited during travels and shop more. We purchased some variety of interesting flavored chocolates they were selling at a booth, but they turned out to be a total bummer.
And here we conclude with out weekend gate-away post for Sula Vineyards. Have you experienced a wine- tasting session or visited Sula Vineyards? Share your stories with us in the comments below.