Driving on a post-monsoon, freshly potholed, single lane highway from Pune to Nashik is no fun at all. And when you are late and can't see the road thanks to the pitch darkness around, it's scary as well. Yet when the goal is a wine weekend at Sula, all this seemed irrelevant.
Take a dip at the swimming pool at Beyond
When we reached Beyond (Sula's resort, which is situated beyond its vineyards), it seemed like an oasis in the midst of a dark night. By 9.30 pm, the resort was serene with the tranquillity of the night's cloak enveloping it. We entered our room and drooled over the soft bed and the ferns growing in the shower area. A quick shower and we were ready for the wine and delicious buffet spread. A special mention needs to be made about the freshness of ingredients used and the extremely warm and polite service at Beyond's cafe.
The Tasting Room overlooking the wineyards
We woke up early the next morning and were given the option of gorging on Indian or international breakfast. Then we headed to the winery for a tour with Sula's winemaker Ajoy Shaw. He walked us through Rajeev Samant's enormous wine-making facility. The facility started in 2000 and is growing by 35 % each year and Shaw guided us through how it all works.
You can enjoy their wine-and-cheese platters
After walking through the lush greenery and taking in the aromas of the oak barrels, we relaxed in the gentle sunlight pouring in on the deck at Sula's Tasting Room. The 2,000 square-feet wooden patio overlooked the vineyards and included a blue mosaic 34-feet bar. We loved the upturned wine bottle lights that cast a greenish glow.
We started off by tasting six different wines -- a combination of reds, whites and a rose. We moved on to the terrace and relaxed over a platter of premium cheese, nuts and olives. We opted for lunch at Little Italy, located on the premises, but we really would not recommend it. While it made for a pretty sight and several foreigners were lunching there, we didn't care for their Indo-Italian cuisine.
After our meal, we headed for the spa. It is relatively new and minus the frills of a pretty spa but they do offer a variety of treatments. We opted for the Swedish Massage and were pleased with our therapist who kneaded, prodded and pulled every muscle into place.
A steam session and shower later, we spent a long evening watching the sunset. With Sula's bubbly for company and a meat-and-cheese platter on the side, we simply put our legs up and relaxed. If only the highways got their act together, we would be at Sula every weekend and wine and weekends would be synonymous.
Call 0253-2230141 / 7855555725
Cost Weekday rates for delux room begin at Rs 6,000 and weekend rates go up to Rs 7,500. Includes breakfast for two before check out and a complimentary vineyard / winery tour and tasting session.