The wait for corona virus to settle down has been unending…its been literally a year being closeted at home. I was desperate to move out & enjoy the outdoors amidst luxury, but just a drive away from Mumbai, and with all necessary precautions.
A place with enough to do, but not overflowing with people.
Soma Vine Village in Nashik fit the bill perfectly! A 4 hours drive from Mumbai led us to this gorgeous winery in Nashik, with the Regenta hotel sitting royally amongst its vineyards. Thinking of the things to do in Nashik or places to visit in Nashik? Better add Soma to the list.
Having been to heuringers & vineyards in Vienna- Austria, I was looking forward to visiting this Indian Vinery.
Soma grew so fast, was so close and yet had not been in our radar for so long!
It’s undoubtedly one of the most stunning Nashik vineyards.
India’s Napa Valley & the Wine capital of the country boasts of many vineyards in Nashik . The climate & soil is perfect for growing the right kind of ‘wine grapes’.
Proximity to lakes & the cool nights of Nashik ensure high levels of acidity in the grapes, while warm days ensure optimum ripeness; resulting in perfect growing conditions and terrains for premium wine grapes. That’s how there are so many wineries in Nashik.
But when it comes to premium vineyard stays in Nashik, it’s still slim pickings and the Regenta Soma Vine Village is certainly one of the most luxurious stays – a beautiful resort nestled in a vineyard- one of its kinds.
The entrance is flanked by wine grape fields on both sides & we looked forward to waking up to lush green views from our balcony!
A trip to Nashik vineyards is incomplete without a Wine tour & tasting session. People of all ages can enjoy this carefully curated experience that gives a peek into the winemaking process and ensures you’ll have some memories to cherish by the end of it.
During the tour, the sommelier throws light on the history of winemaking & the process of making different wines like white, red & rosé wines. He also explains how exotic vines are chosen, tank maturing, barrel maturing, and finally bottling the wines.
The barrel room contains all Oakwood barrels which hold the wines for a period of 6-8 months depending on the requirement & give flavor to the wines.
This Place is spread over a vast 25 acres of land with grape-wine fields all around! An absolutely mesmerizing view.
The best time to visit these wineries in Nashik are the harvest months of January to March, when the vines are laden with grapes! There is a minimal charge in case you are interested in touring as well as tasting the wine.
Note: Rs 350 for touring and tasting 5 wines and in case you are interested in tasting 7 wines, then the charge is Rs 500.
You can also buy your favorite wine from the outlet next to the tasting room.
In the wine-tasting session an expert will show you the correct method of holding the wine glass, observing the colour, taking in the aroma and finally the right way of sipping it! We were very glad to have met Mr Antony, the Chief Sommelier at Soma, who personally took us around the factory & passionately explained the wine making process with lots of amusing facts.
The grape vines are imported from France & Italy.
Wine grapes can be harvested only once a year while table grapes can be harvested about 3 times.
The wine takes its taste from the oakwood barrel & part of its strength depends on the time it spends there.
It takes approximately 440-660 grapes to make a single (standard size) bottle of wine.
1 vine produces around 10 (standard sized) bottles of wine!
As wine ages its colour changes. Red wines become lighter and paler whilst white wines become darker and deeper.
Out of all the Nashik vineyards, Soma Vine Village allows you to stomp grapes in vats, a method used in traditional wine-making.
It’s supposed to be a super fun experience!!
Right now, it’s closed due to covid protocols.
Here are some of the experiences available at Soma Vineyards:
1. Wine tastings for amateurs and connoisseurs
A lovely wine tour, explanation of the wine-making process, tasting different kinds of wines and everything you need to know about the same.
2. Dinner under the stars at WineINDine
This was a beautiful outdoor set-up with barrel furniture, romantic lights and gourmet dishes. Perfect for a romantic evening or a gala family dinner on one of the long tables.
3. Grape stomping
Stomping in vats was the way of extracting grape juice in the medieval era.
While machines have now taken over that activity, we can still enjoy the stomping in a dedicated area.
It’s especially fun when you are in a group.
4. The Barrel stayWho would have thought of staying in a room constructed like a barrel…Well, look for yourself! A one of a kind boutique stay with tons of photo ops. (yes, that’s imp too!)
5. Swim overlooking the vineyards
The pool was very inviting- overlooking the vineyards.
A baby pool ensured children enjoy their day too.
6. Biking in the vineyards
Cycling through the lush greens is always refreshing, among the vineyards- more so.
7. Tons of photo ops
8. Morning walk to the lake
The Gangapur lake is a 5mins walk & we looked forward to spending our morning here. We passed through small farms & lots of greenery! The lake side was serene with a few fishermen in their boats. We returned invigorated & ready for breakfast. 😀
Stay at the Regenta Soma Vine Village Hotel
The hotel sits in lush greenery with Gangapur lake beyond the vineyards & grand vistas. A fab hotel with barrels & bottles used in unique and interesting ways- it was a blend of comfort & luxury.
Our room had a balcony which opened out to the swimming pool & view of the wineries…the lake as an added bonus. It was lovely waking up to such beautiful views amidst the chirping of birds…did I mention birds? Oh the estate is full of birds- sparrows abound and all kinds of colourful cute lil birds. I also spotted the weaver bird nest too!
The pool was very inviting, however, we couldn’t use it due to covid protocols.
The rooms were named on wines; in fact our room keys also had a barrel attached. Wine trivia was put up throughout the hotel decor which was quite fascinating.
They also have a games room & a life-size chess board that would be enough to keep the kids engaged. The gym was non-operational- covid to blame again!
We loved walking through the vineyard in the evening when the day crowds had dispersed & had the farms to ourselves. The place was colorful- there were plenty of flowers & bouganvillas all around…we couldn’t stop taking pics! (Guilty as charged)
The breakfast was a good spread too- we preferred to have it outdoors next to the pool.
The chole bhature, medu vadas & poha are highly recommended. Just as the veg-crispy, paneer dishes & veg au gratin in the mains.
The chef did an excellent job with Italian dishes…in fact, they are coming up with a dedicated Italian restaurant soon as well.
You must also have a meal at DineINWine with barrel themed seating & lovely lighting luring its charm.
Wine pairings are mentioned in the menu plus the staff discusses wines with orders…if you are a wine enthusiast, it’s the place to be!
Book your day tour or weekend getaway here.
Best time to visit Soma Vine Village
The months between September and March are ideal to visit wineries in Nashik as they are LUSH green.
But I would highly recommend visiting Nashik vineyards during the harvest months of January-March as by then they’re loaded with grapes! Around this time lots of activities and events are organized too- talk about grape stomping, wine master classes etc.
Leaving Mumbai early in the morning is advised so that you reach Soma Vine Village by 11-11:30am and have ample time to explore the vineyards.
Note: The vineyard is open from 11:30 am-6 pm only.
How to reach
By road- The city of Nashik is 180kms from Mumbai and can be accessed by car, bus or train. It is 210 km from Pune. Soma Vines is in Gangapur area, around 18 kms from the main town.
By train- The nearest station is Nasik Road, which is around 25kms from the winery. Cabs & autos are easily available outside.
P.S: It doesn’t matter whether you are a wine lover or not! All it takes is a pleasant drive to this lovely spot and the rest assured, you’d be fascinated for sure.
On that note, I am going to leave this up to you- either you opt for a day trip for a wine & dine tour or stay back, sit under the stars and wine it up! The choice is yours.
There’s always time for a glass of wine. 😉