Wine Tour In India

Wine has been made in India for as many as 5,000 years. It was the early European travelers to the courts of the Mughal emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan in the 16th and 17thcenturies, who reported tasting wines from the royal vineyards. Red Wines were made from the Arkesham Grape and White Wine from Arkawati and Bhokry Grapes. Under British influence in the 19thcentury, vineyards were established in Kashmir and at Baramati in Maharashtra and a number of Indian wines were exhibited and favorably received by visitors to the Great Calcutta Exhibition of 1884.However, Indian vineyards were totally destroyed by phylloxera in the 1890s. It took nearly half a century to replant them. Today, lineal descendants of some of these historic wines are produced by Chateau. Indage, India's largest producer of wine, as well as by Grover Vineyards. The latest entrant in the Indian famous wine industry is the Sula vineyard. This vineyard in Nasik has made its place amongst wine lovers all over the world in less than a decade. We at CITT welcome all wine lovers to visit INDIA and INDIAN VINEYARDS to enjoy the real taste of INDIAN WINES.

Places & destinations (13 nights & 14 days)

Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Mumbai - Pune - Nasik - Mumbai - Bangalore

Day 1: Delhi You will arrive at New Delhi’s International Airport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, a CITT representative will meet you as you exit by the arrival terminals building, after which you would be transferred to your hotel. Overnight - Delhi

India’s capital and a major gateway to the country, contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds - the ancient with the modern. Amidst the fast spiraling skyscrapers the remnants of a bygone time in the form of its many monuments stand as silent reminders to the region’s ancient legacy. The first impressions for any visitor traveling in from the airport are of a specious, garden city, tree-lined with a number of beautiful parks.

Day 2: Delhi After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will proceed for a full day city tour of Old & New Delhi. You will first visit Old Delhi. The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, drive past the Red Fort continuing to the Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asia’s largest mosques. The magnificent Red Fort, overlooking the river Jamuna was built during the years 1638 - 48 when the Mughal Empire was at its peak.

After visiting Old Delhi, you will be visit to the QutubMinar, the tallest stone tower in India. Qutub-ud-din Aibak started it in 1199. Pulling down 27 Hindu and Jain temples and using their columns erected the attached Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque also built by him. Then visit Humayun’s tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun, The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President’s residence. Return to your hotel& relax. Overnight – Delhi

Day 3: Delhi – Agra After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven from Delhi to Agra (204 KMS / 5 hours).

Agra in terms of ambiance is still associated with its Mughal period. The Mughals besides being great rulers were also great builders and they preserved their best architectural wonders for Agra & its neighbor-hood. It has many wonderful monuments and the Taj Mahal, the greatest of them all, is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture at its best. The massive but elegant Agra Fort, the delicate artistry of Etmad-ud-daulah’s tomb, the magnificent Taj and Akbar’s deserted capital, FatehpurSikri, are each unique and outstanding. Their architectural genius can also be seen in the forts, palaces and aesthetically laid out gardens - each one a silent witness to a grand style of a golden era.

Upon arrival proceed for check in at your hotel. After Lunch, visit the Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture. Agra Fort - the seat and the stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. This was the seat of Mughal rule and administration and the present structure owes its origins to Akbar who erected the walls and gates and the first buildings on the eastern banks of Yamuna River. Shah Jahan added the impressive quarters and the mosque while Aurangzeb added the outer ramparts. Visit its Hall of Public Audience and its Royal Pavilions. Back to Hotel for relax, Overnight– Agra.

DAY 04: AGRA – FATEHPUR SIKRI - JAIPUR Wine tour early morning, you will proceed for a sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays). Midway Tonga’s “horse carriages” would be waiting for you and will drop you at the gates of the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is everything that has been said about it and more. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build, the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and was transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife MumtazMahal, in mid-17th century, the Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world.

Return to your hotel after the sunrise tour for buffet breakfast. After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven from Agra to Jaipur (240 KMS / 6 hours) en-route visiting FatehpurSikri, the deserted red sandstone city, built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century. It was abandoned soon after it was built when the local wells went dry and it remains today in much the same condition that it was over 300 years ago.

After your visit, continue your drive to Jaipur.

state and its people: surrounded by rugged hills, each crowned by a formidable fort; and beautiful palaces, mansions and gardens dotted throughout its precincts. The palaces and forts of yesteryear that were witness to royal processions and splendor are now living monuments, accepted quite naturally into the lifestyles of the people of the "pink city". Except for the busy traffic of bicycles, cars and buses, little seems to have changed. There is a timeless quality to Jaipur's bazaars and its people. With its historical past, Jaipur revives legends of the ancient Rajputs. The dresses of the women and the turbans of the men add color to this fascinating city.

Upon arrival proceed for check in at your hotel, Overnight – Jaipur.

DAY 05: JAIPUR After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven just outside Jaipur to the ancient capital of Amber to see the fabulous Amber Fort. Maharaja Man Singh, Mughal Emperor Akbar’s most successful General, started the construction of Amber Fort in the 17th century. Before the City Palace was constructed in Jaipur, Amber was the seat of power. The fort is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks the Moat Lake. Ruins and remains are spread over the Aravalli hills and sprawling crenulated walls lattice the surrounding area. An elephant will spare you the trouble of reaching up to the fortress. Once on top, stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls.

En-route to Amber you will stop and see the `Palace of Winds’, otherwise known as HawaMahal. It is really an elaborate facade behind which the ladies of the court used to watch the daily goings on in the street below.

In the afternoon, you will visit the city of Jaipur. Among the highlights to be seen while touring Jaipur include the City Palace, which is an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways. The palace museum houses collections of rare manuscripts, armory, costumes, carpets and miniature paintings. Walk to the adjacent JantarMantar or Astronomical Observatory made by the Maharaja of Jaipur, built in 1726 and is one of the five such astronomical wonders built by Sawai Jai Singh and makes accurate predictions even to this day. Return to your hotel after the sightseeing tour. Overnight - Jaipur.

DAY 06: JAIPUR – MUMBAI After early breakfast, a CITT representative would meet you at the hotel lobby and transferred you to the airport to board flight for Mumbai by flight Jet Airways 9W 3401 – 07.15 to 10.20 hrs.

Bombay (as it was called earlier) was once a group of seven islands whose inhabitants, the Kolis, have given the city its Indian name, Mumbai, after their goddess, Mother Mumbai. Bombay is a city of paradoxes: renowned as the country’s financial nerve center, it is an important center of theatre, art, music and classical dance. Today the cosmopolitan population of the city consists of people from all over the country. It is center of industry, commerce and foreign trade, a city of skyscrapers and huts (a result of too quick growth and inadequate accommodation), a city of milling crowds and vitality, a city on the move. A city steeped in tradition, and a rich historical past, it is yet a city where contemporary scientific and business practices flourish. A vibrant, colorful and busy metropolis, Bombay is the premier city in western India.

On arrival at Mumbai airport, you would be received by a CITT representative and transferred to hotel.In the afternoon proceed for half-day tour of Mumbai, wine tasting tour, The tour starts from the Gateway of India where the motor launch drops you back after the excursion to Elephanta caves. Gateway of India is the landmark of Bombay, which, was before the advent of air travel, the only gateway to India. It was built to commemorate the visit of King George and Queen Mary to India in 1911. You will be then driven along Marine Drive, the sea - Front Boulevard.

Your first stop will be the Jain Temples, built of marble and dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara. From the temples you will be driven along Malabar Hill via the Tower of Silence - a round stone construction on which Parsis place their dead to be eaten by the vultures and Hanging Gardens which is built over Bombay’s reservoir. From here one can get a panoramic view of picturesque Marine Drive.
From Malabar Hill you will be driven to the Dhobi Ghats a huge open-air laundry, which makes an interesting viewing. Continue to Mani Bhawan (Gandhi Memorial), the house where the Father of the Nation stayed on his early visits to the city. The room, in which Gandhi stayed, preserved as it was, and the scenes of Gandhi’s life in photographs and models are of special interest. The last stop before proceeding to the hotel is the Prince of Wales Museum (closed on Mondays) – gothic and Moorish architecture in the striking confluence of styles that came to be known as Indo Saracenic. It boasts of a significant collection of Indus valley artifacts some of them dating back to more than 5000 years. Most impressive are the miniature paintings – nearly 2000 of them – from various stylistic schools of India.

DAY 07: MUMBAI – PUNE After buffet breakfast, you would be driven to Pune (170 KMS/ 04 HRS). Shivaji, the great Maratha leader, was raised in Pune, which was granted to his grandfather in 1599. The land forts and the sea forts stand in testimony of the glory of Raja Shivaji till date. Later it became the seat of power for the Brahmin Peshwa family until 1817 when it fell to the British and became their alternative capital during the monsoon.

Upon arrival check in at hotel, In the afternoon proceed for short city tour of Pune visiting Parvati Temple and Aga Khan Hall, The Parvati Temple was the erstwhile private shrine of the Peshwa rulers. The Parvati and Devdeveshwar temples stand atop a hill. The Parvati Museum houses replicas of ancient paintings, old manuscripts, weapons and coins. The temple is dedicated to Parvati and Ganesha, the family of Lord Siva. The hill has a good view of the nearby area.

The Aga Khan Hall is also known as Gandhi National Memorial. This beautiful building with salons and suites is a great historical landmark. It was here that Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders of the Indian National Congress were imprisoned during the 1942 Quit India Movement. The Samadhi of Kasturba Gandhi, Gandhi's wife, also lies here. This is a beautiful building surrounded by a well-kept garden. Overnight – Pune.

DAY 08: PUNE After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you would be transferred to Poona Gold Course offers a quiet round of golf amid 30 thousand trees. Many tournaments are held here including the Maharashtra Amateur Open. The courses spread over 90 acres of land, which is the largest in the Western Region. The weather being cool and pleasant, golf is enjoyed throughout the year. Overnight – Pune.

DAY 9: PUNE – NARAYANGAON – NASIK Indian wineAfter buffet breakfast, you would be driven to Nasik (205 KMS/ 5 HRS) visiting Omar Khayyam vineyard at Narayangaon (75 KMS/ 1.5 HRS from Pune) Chateau Indage in the high Sahyadri Valley of western Maharashtra kick-started the Indian wine revolution in the 1980s with a surprisingly appetizing methodtraditionally fizz sold on the local market as Marquise de Pompadour but exported with considerable success as Omar Khayyam. Chateau Indage also sells a range of wines on the domestic market under the names Riviera.

The Riviera red based on Pinot Noir is well made and attractively dry; it takes chilling well." The company's winery in Narayangaon, Maharashtra, produces a wide range of high-quality wines under the watchful eye of Californian winemaker John Locke. The company's wineries have a capacity to produce over two million bottles of wine per year.

After your visit continue your drive to Nasik. Nashik is an important religious center and attracts thousands of pilgrims annually because of the sanctity of the Godavari River and because of the legend that Rama, the hero of the Ramayana epic, lived here for a time with his wife SATI and his brother Lakshmana. The main part of the town lies on the right (south) bank of the river, while Panchavati, a quarter on the left bank has several temples. The town's riverbanks are lined with ghats (bathing places with steps). A delightful town, usually bustling with fervent crowds, Nasik is a classic mélange of the past and the present. On arrival proceed for check in at your hotel. Overnight – Nasik.

DAY 10: NASIK – SULA VINEYARD – NASIK After buffet breakfast you would be driven Sula Vineyards. Situated at 2,000 feet above sea level, Nasik is India's biggest grape-growing region. Nasik and vicinity has laterite soils, which are rich in iron. The soil types vary from sandy clay loam and red laterite to murrum soils. These are well suited for grape cultivation. Additionally, the soils have good percolation qualities and therefore produce excellent grapes for wine making. The climate of the area is mild throughout the year and ranges from a low of 8-10°C during the winter to a high of 32-35°C during the summer. The climactic conditions lend themselves to the cultivation of a number of crops throughout the year and specifically to wine grape cultivation. The harvesting of the grapes is usually at the end of the winter, which helps to expose the crop to warm days and cooler nights. This exposure is very important for the slow maturation of the grapes that helps to enhance their quality The Sula Vineyard, which came into being when Rajeev Samant, a Stanford-trained engineer, quit his job at Oracle in Silicon Valley one fine day and headed home to India. In 1993, Samant started farming on family-owned land in Nasik, planting alphonso mangoes. Samant found it strange that no wine grapes were grown there at the time..Overnight– Nasik.

DAY 11: NASIK – MUMBAI After buffet breakfast you would be driven from Nasik to Mumbai (185 KMS/ 4.5 HRS), upon arrival check in at your hotel, Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight – Mumbai.

DAY 12: MUMBAI - BANGALORE After buffet breakfast in the hotel, a CITT representative would meet you in the hotel lobby and transfer you to the airport to board your flight Jet Airways 9W 443 10.20 to 11.55 hrs. for Bangalore, Upon arrival at Bangalore, you would be received by a CITT representative and transferred to your hotel.

Built in the 16th century by the feudal lord, enlarged by the legendary Tipu Sultan and later laid out by the British, Bangalore is undoubtedly one of India’s most gracious cities. The wide roads and open spaces, architectural landmarks and beautiful gardens lend it a deceptively unhurried appearance. But contrary to that, ‘India’s Silicon Valley’ is one of Asia’s fastest growing cities. Fortunately the gardens are still there as is the ambiance of a graceful, gracious township, a legacy of the Wodeyars, the erstwhile rulers of Mysore state. Its gardens, sprawling parks and tree-lined roads give it a green and fresh appearance. It has a pleasant climate nearly all the year round.

On arrival check in at your room, In the afternoon enjoy sightseeing tour of Bangalore. Your tour of the garden city begins with a visit to Lalbagh, the botanical garden spread over 240 acres and having a wide variety of exotic trees and plants, The VidhanSoudha which houses the State Legislative assembly and part of the secretariat, Tipu Sultan’s Palace constructed between 1781 - 1791 was once the summer residence of Tipu Sultan. Finally visit the Bull Temple believed to have been constructed in the 16th century has been carved out of a single granite block. Overnight – Bangalore.

DAY 13: BANGALORE – GROVER VINEYARD - BANGALORE After buffet breakfast you would be driven on a full day excursion Grover Vineyard that is located at the foothill of Nandi Hills (40 KMS/ 01 HRS). In 1988, Grover Vineyards was established on 40 acres of land at the foot of the Nandi Hills on the outskirts of Bangalore when; Kanwal K. Grover along with Kapil Grover took on the task of reviving wine drinking in India. Here nine varieties that responded well to Indian conditions were planted on an industrial scale. Today, Grover Vineyards has over 200 acres under plantation. Unlike other wine makers in India today, Grover Vineyards is the only company that shuns ordinary table grapes, while exclusively using only French wine grapes, selected from the original thirty-five varieties of the VitisVinifera species.

Grover Vineyards winein1995; Grover Vineyards attracted the attention of the world-renowned monologue, Michel Rolland, to offer his expertise to the Indian venture. His expertise in wine making sees him as ‘consultant monologue’ to over 100 companies all around Europe, South and North America and Asia. In India, Rolland is affiliated exclusively with Grover Vineyards. Drive back to your hotel after your visit, Overnight – Bangalore.

DAY 14: DEPART BANGALORE Today on time a CITT representative would meet you in the hotel lobby and transfer you to the airport to board your flight for back home.