Indian wines in the UK and which to choose from
India is not a country that traditionally comes to mind in the context of wine production, but India actually has a lengthy history of winemaking. The drink was enjoyed as early as the fourth century, but never gained popularity since alcohol consumption was prohibited under Muslim law. In addition, the culture of India is not conducive to wine drinking with the primary consumers of wine in India being mostly of the younger generation.
The eastern area of the country is too hot for successful vineyards, but the higher elevation and cooler temperatures of western India create a more friendly environment for growing grapes. Red and white wines of several varieties are quite popular in British grocery stores with Indian wines often being out of stock. The International Wine Festival of London featured Indian wines with positive results after 30 years without representation.
The increasing exposure and sale of Indian wines in the UK has resulted in an increasing number of vineyards are currently being planted. There are currently at least 70 different wine producers in the country, but wine enthusiasts from around the world are still relatively unaware of the exceptional high quality of the Indian wines in the UK currently available. In spite of the fact that approximately 13.5 million liters of wine is produced in India each year, the country is not well-known in the world of wine.
The best red wines India produces come from Sula Vinyards and include Zinfandel, Shiraz and Dindori Reserve Shiraz. Fratelli wines produce a variety of Bordeaux style wines including Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Although these are some of the lesser known wines, the quality is exceptional and each subsequent vintage only improves.
Sula Wines and Fratelli Wines also produce white wines that figure prominently into the list of exceptional wines enjoyed by the British and other countries. The grapes used to produce these popular white wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Dindori Reserve Viognier and Chenin Blanc.
Although it may come as a surprise, the history of winemaking in India extends all the way back to the Bronze Age with grape vines that were probably imported from Middle Eastern countries. While the country was under British rule wine-making became more established to meet the requirements of foreigners living there. Colonial British and Portuguese occupants attempted to expand on grape cultivation, but an epidemic of phylloxera destroyed the new plantings. The wine industry of India has begun to diversify, and increased production is now yielding higher quality Indian Wines in the UK market.