Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A Sip of Wine at Channapatna

TOI on 27th Jul 2011, mentioned Winery Visit in one of its pages. Since Dad makes wines as a hobby it caught my attention. A quick call to them and we had the needed information.
It was decided that we will visit the place on Saturday and understand the process of wine making a little better.
The place is located close to Channapatna and is open to public between 11 and 4. The directions were very clear. We had to take the left just before Kadambam on Bangalore- Mysore Highway. There was also a sign board indicating the same. We had to drive about 4 kms more from here.
Though we took the left turn, what we didn’t know was that there was another left to be taken after 2 kms. The Yellow stone board had some alphabets missing and we passed it without noticing it. Another call to the winery and after asking around in the village close by, we were direct to the right place. A kilometer ride on a mud road led us to the winery. Suddenly in between the fields and mango groves, we found a huge, newly constructed structure.

We were first taken to the Guest House and shown a video on wine types and wine making. This is a video for about 15 mins and if you already know about wines then slightly boring. After that comes the winery visit. While the company currently makes only fortified wine (port wine), manufacturing of table wines are underway. The plan to release this in the markets in the next 6 months.
We went back to the guest house after this for wine tasting. We tasted the port wines and the red wine that they are yet to launch in the market. The wine tatsed so much better here than the ones we had bought in the retail shop and consumed. The secret we were informed was in date of manufacture. Though wines manufactured in India have a validity of 1 year, contrary to the popular belief of older the wine better it is, these need to be consumed as fresh as possible.
Tasting done we were ready to leave. We bought a bottle of wine and headed back to Bangalore. A stop at Kamat Lokaruchi for Lunch and our trip was complete.
A brief about the process
The wine manufacture here right now is forfeited wines. Grapes are bought in from Devanahalli and Chickabellapur region. It is then put in a crusher and stems are separated. We were told the grapes are not washed as the skin has yeast like deposits that help fermentation. The quality control team ensures that chemical is not used while growing grapes.
After t e crushing S2O (2-3 mpp per ton) is added and its sent off to ferment in huge stainless steel tanks. Its left undisturbed for 2-3 weeks, where the seeds and skin separate from the juice. The tank is hot to touch on the outside. This is due to the ongoing gases released during the fermentation process. From here the juice is tested and decision is made on the amount of sugar and alcohol (2-3%) that needs to be added. Post that its sent for filtration and then off it goes to be bottled, label and transported to distributors.