Ela and Atish Bhat are an archetypal urban couple who have been cooped up at home (and working long hours every day) for a record six months due to lockdown – the longest they can remember they have been in one place. As soon as the slow lifting of movement curbs began, they decided it was time to celebrate. As foreign travel was still a no-no, they decided to do the next best thing - off they drove 225km from Mumbai to a small town widely known for its Vinsura winery, located on the outskirts of Nashik.
For all the hardworking urban dwellers of Mumbai, Pune, and Bengaluru, the Nashik region of wineries and vineyards is the new weekend getaway option especially as Vinchur (which is an hour's drive from Nashik) has come up with a new attraction - the Wine Information Center (WIC) - a location with serene climate, fresh air, experience stay, green foliage, instagrammable images, excellent hospitality, local flavorsome food, information on the entire journey from grape to glass and of course the largest Indian wines collection at factory outlet costs! Checks all the boxes, doesn’t it?
“Among the main reasons to set up WIC was to spread awareness of the consumption of wine for health. Wine should get social acceptance and it should be promoted as a farmers product”, says Vikrant Holkar, the founder and CEO of WIC.
He firmly believes that farmers are the real wine makers as 70 per cent of wine is made on the fields and rest at the winery; if you don’t have good grapes you cannot produce good wines. Hence farmers are the real wine makers - be it grapes or any other produce, it is like a child to them; the manner in which they nurture the product determinesthe end result of high quality. Wines are made from 100 per cent fruit; if the wine industry grows, the direct benefit will go to the farmers.
Indians have begun taking an active interest in wine - they want to know their wines, what wine to drink with which food, how to open a wine bottle, how to pour it, serve it, and enjoy the experience. Today, even millennials are taking to what was seen as a classical adult obsession. Every wine property in India needs to have an engagement with their customers by having wine tours, grape stomping, food paring and wine tasting sessions, and these are the best ways WIC introduces their name.
Wine tourism is becoming quite a hot trend in India and other than weekend getaways at vineyards they also encourage hosting family events, wedding receptions, birthday parties, corporate outings and conferences.
WIC is surrounded by wilderness, and gives you the chance to escape from the madding workload and crowds of the city and enjoy a relaxing break. This is quite the experience for you wine lovers out there. I am a huge fan of their location, hospitality and activities.
Sakshi Holkar is a student at Pune University (PUMBA) specializing BBA in Hospitality and Facilities Management.
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