Sula Vineyards

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Sula Vineyards (or "Sula") is a winery and vineyard located in the Nashik region of western India,180 km northeast of Mumbai. After the launch of its first wines in 2000, Sula expanded from its original 30 acre family estate in Nashik to approximately 1800 acres across Nashik and the state of Maharashtra.

Sula Vineyards
Sulawines logo.png
LocationNashik, Maharashtra, India
First vintage1999
Key peopleRajeev Samant (CEO & Founder)
Kerry Damskey (Master Winemaker)
Ajoy Shaw (Chief Winemaker)
Chaitanya Rathi (Chief Operating Officer)
Cecilia Oldne (VP International Business)
VarietalsChenin blanc, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel
Other productsGrape seed oil, Grape brandy

Sula introduced grape varietals such as Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Riesling and Zinfandel to India and as of 2013, they hold a market share of almost 70% in the Indian wine Industry.[1]

Sign board at the entrance

FacilitiesCoordinates: 20°00′24.8″N 73°41′18.5″E / 20.006889°N 73.688472°E / 20.006889; 73.688472[edit]

Tours and tastings are conducted seven days a week throughout the year.

Grape stomping: The harvest and crush season runs from January to March and The Grape Stomping activity is conducted in this period.

The restaurants: Little Italy and Soma are the two restaurants here. The Gift Shop, The Bottle Shop which stocks exclusive brands which can be bought only at the winery, The Tasting Room facing the vineyards and backwaters of the Gangapur Dam.


Sula Vineyards was founded by Mr. Rajeev Samant in 1998. Samant studied engineering at Stanford University and worked at Oracle in San Francisco thereafter. After quitting his corporate job, Samant established Sula upon his return to India. He initially experimented with crops such as mangoes, roses, teakwood, and table grapes before realising that Nashik's climate and temperature were well-suited for growing wine grapes. In consultation with Kerry Damskey, a Californian winemaker, Samant set up the first winery in the Nashik region of India.[2]

Sula was named after Samant's mother – 'Sulabha'. Samant steadily expanded the company over the next few years by introducing newer grape varieties and expanding the company's offerings.[2] Today, the Nashik region is known as the 'Wine Capital of India' and is home to almost 50 wineries.[3]

View of Sula Vineyards, Nashik

Currently, Sula operates two wineries at Nashik and Dindori in Maharashtra, and have taken over three custom crush facilities in Nashik and Karnataka.[4]

Sula's grapes come from their vineyards as well as from contract farmers across the region. The company's viticulture team trains and educates these farmers on best practices. In 2015, Sula announced a price increase of 10% for its contract farmers in order to support the farmers through unpredictable changes in weather as well as to meet the increasing demand for wine in India.[4][5]


Sula's Tasting Cellar at Nashik
Sula's tasting cellar and bottle display at Nashik


Sula's domestic products includes the following wines:

Red wine [6]

White wine [7]

Rosé Wine [8]

Sparkling Wine [9][10]

  • Sula Brut
  • Sula Brut Rosé
  • Sula Seco
  • Sula Seco Rosé
  • Brut Tropicale: To commemorate their 15th anniversary, Sula launched this limited edition, festive season bottle. Brut Tropicale is a 'Blanc de noir' sparkling wine produced from premium black grapes including the Pinot noir.[11][12]

Dessert wine [13]


As of July 2015, Sula ventured into the production of spirits and launched India's first 100% grape brandy, 'Janus'.[14]

Import and export[edit]

Sula's import arm, 'Sula Selections', partners with leading global wine and spirit brands and distributes them to the Indian market. Some of the import selections are Glenfiddich, Remy Martin, Asahi, and Hardy's.[14]

Sula exports to 26 countries and is listed with Marks & Spencers, an international UK-based retail brand.[15]

Business decisions[edit]

During the recession in India between 2008-2009, the Indian wine industry was heavily impacted because of large quantities of unsold wines and delayed payments.[4] This affected not only the wine companies but also the Indian farmers. Samant decided to reduce next year's grape crushing targets and to introduce a line of affordable wines at a lower price range in order to weather these losses. These decisions eventually helped the company to evolve their business model and to reach larger market segments.[4]

Sula is on track to sell a million cases this year.


As per their "grow good wine with minimal environmental impact,"[16] Sula has undertaken the following environmental sustainable practices at their Nashik winery:


The annual music festival, SulaFest, takes place at this Greek-style amphitheater at Sula Vineyards

The annual live music festival ‘SulaFest’ takes place at their Nashik winery.[19]

SulaFest is an annual two-day 'gourmet world music festival' held at Sula Vineyards in Nashik. With an exception to the 10th SulaFest which was a three-day festival. Started in 2008,[20] this festival offers music, drinks, food, and fashion. Some of the activities the festival-goers can engage in include grape stomping, wine tasting, and camping.[21]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Rasa Shiraz – Silver Medal, Syrah Du Monde (2010) [22]
  • Dindori Reserve Shiraz – Ranked #25 on Wine Enthusiast magazine's Top 100 Wines of the Year list (2011) [23]
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Zinfandel
    • Bronze Medal, Decanter Wine Asia Awards (2012) [26]
    • Silver Medal, Indian Consumers Choice Award (2013) [27]
  • Riesling – Gold Medal, Indian Consumers Choice Award (2013) [27]
  • Late Harvest Chenin Blanc – Gold Medal, Indian Consumers Choice Award (2013) [27]
  • Rasa Shiraz – Silver Medal, Syrah Du Monde (2014) [28]


  1. ^ Harding, Julia (1 September 2015). The Oxford Companion to Wine. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198705383.
  2. ^ a b "Rajeev Samant | The pursuit of cool - Livemint". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  3. ^ "India's 'Napa Valley': Sula vineyard pioneers eco-friendly wine in an emerging market". The Ecologist. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d "SmartCEO - Magazine - Cover Story - How Sula got it right". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Sula Vineyards hikes grape purchase price by 10%". The Financial Express. 25 July 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Search for Wine in India". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Search for Wine in India". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Vino: 2005 Sula Zinfandel Rose". The Kitchn. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  9. ^ "5 best Indian Sparkling Wines to look forward in 2015 - Nosh 'n' Plonk". Nosh 'n' Plonk. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Wine India". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Fifteen years of Sula". Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Sula Unveils 'Brut Tropicale' to Commemorate 15 years in Wine Industry - Nosh 'n' Plonk". Nosh 'n' Plonk. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  13. ^ "India's best wines". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Sula to launch Janus Grape Brandy beyond Goa". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Marks & Spencer unveils an Indian wine range - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Growing green grapes and bottling sustainable wine in India". The Ecologist. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  17. ^ a b c "Sula teaches you how wine can be Green too - BleedGreen". BleedGreen. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Who's Talking About Vermiculture? «  Department of Terroir Security". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  19. ^ "SmartCEO - Magazine - Cover Story - How Sula got it right". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  20. ^ "SulaFest Gets Bigger in its Eighth Edition › NH7 | Discover new music and explore alternative culture from India and around the world". NH7. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  21. ^ "SulaFest 2015 : Outlook Traveller". Outlooktraveller. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  22. ^ "For the love of wine". GQ India. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  23. ^ "Dindori Reserve Shiraz, the first Indian Wine to be featured on Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Wines of the Year". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  24. ^ "Waitrose first to stock Indian wine - Decanter". Decanter. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  25. ^ "Wines from Nashik — the wine capital of India - Lifestyle - Jamaica Observer Mobile". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  26. ^ "Indian winners at Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2013 | Sommelier India". Sommelier India. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  27. ^ a b c "FHW (formerly Express Hospitality)-Foods & Beverages, Cuisines, Events & Meetings, Hotels India - Food & Hospitality World - Winning wines". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  28. ^ "Rasa Shiraz '12 wins Silver Medal from Syrah du Monde 2014". Retrieved 14 January 2016.

External links[edit]