Rajeev Samant’s along with the team and lots of research converted his 30 acres of farm land into India’s top winery. Sula Vineyard as it is known to us began its journey way back in 1997 and in just about 3 year time produced it’s first white wine which claimed to be India’s best white wine. As demand increased operations grew and by 2004 the plantation area expanded from 30 acres to 1800 acres- Nashik and Dindori.
The 9th edition of Sula Fest as they call it a Gourmet World Music Festival, was a 2 day event starting on 6th Feb. It ensured a great mix of music, wine, food and shopping. Varietals planted include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel and Merlot along with Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Riesling. The winery and vineyard is open to public for tours and the tasting room is a must for a layman and a wine connoisseur alike.
Vero Moda made it all the more stylish with its shopping area and a fashion show revealing the spring summer collection 2016.
While there were some great artists in store for us on both the days, there was still so much one could do- indulge in some sinful wine, relish delicacies from the finest eateries of Mumbai and Pune, or simply laze by the idyllic lawn near the Greek style amphitheater.
While Kailasa was the most awaited of them all DUB Inc stole the show on the first day and we could see every one swaying and jumping with all they had. Another one of my personal favorite was Delhi 2 Dublin (do check out some of there amazing work). Apart from the live performances we had another stage was set-up for DJs to play the best of EDM.
Luckily there were plenty of option to choose from Taj, Ibis, Ginger, Express Inn etc. We ended up booking a studio apartment by the D.S. Group and I absolutely recommend that place for it was clean, accessible, good food- all in all it was value for money. (And a bonus for dog lovers they have two uber cute extremely playful Labradors, who would greet you the warmest way possible! Such great hospitality *wink wink*)
There is a good road connectivity, but it might not suite your timing as was the issue in our case. We booked a car through Zoomcars – they offer self driven car which are very well maintained and fairly priced. Once you are in Nashik getting around is easy, though if you do not have your car it might be difficult to find a taxi because of the mad influx of fest attendees. Even the rickshaws around this time charge exorbitant sum of money for a short distance.
Management of the fest was not so impressive, especially the parking system, also a better placement of dustbins could have helped in maintaining cleanliness. Nevertheless a great experience, waiting for the 2017 edition already! 🙂
Beyond Sula Vineyards:
Nashik has come up as the prominent wine producing region of Maharashtra as a reason you can visit a couple of other winery around. For a religious turn visit Nashik’s holiest shrine – the Kala Rama temple. Legend says that this is the very place where Lord Lakshman sliced Surpankha’s nose as depicted in the Ramayana. A short drive from here you reach Gumpha Panchvati where Lord Rama, Lakshman and Sita hid during the exile. Another religious site is the Muktidham, a fairly new shrine, which has 8 murals of the Bhagvad Gita.
To indulge in some authentic delicacies of this region visit Saheba (it is open till midnight and can be a pit stop post fest)
This being my first time in Nashik and first Music fest experience I was not sure what to expect from the trip having no knowledge about the artists fueled my doubt. But when it comes to music even language is not a barrier! And one would not be surprised to see the same crowd tap their feet on songs sung by Madboy\Mink, jump with joy to the music of Dub inc and sway with the beats of Kailasa.
Sitting in the amphitheatre you leave the world behind, bump into long lost friends, meet extremely interesting people or just re-kindle your friendship with your old gang. You drink, eat, be merry and with every beat you hear and clap together you realize there is a divine connection in music that binds us all together.