Again we were on the roads and were relying on the local villagers to help us reach our next stop. A long 10KM drive on unflattened rocky roads and another 8 on the highway led us to Renaissance winery in Ozar. On this drive of 18KMs, vines followed us off and on with some sheeps, ox, cows and swine that remaining a sacrosanct part of the highways.
The winery standing tall in front of us was the well known Renaissance winery. As we entered we first saw the restaurant and tasting area and then about 50 meters away was the winery. We met with Mr. Prajeet Aher, the future of the company, who took us on a guided winery tour and tasting session. The winery has a capacity of 7 lac litres and owns a total of 12 acre vineyards, 6 on-site and rest through contract farming.
We stood in the middle of the tanks in a chilled room and tasted the wines as Mr. Aher shared with us the latest issues and concerns of the business. He shares how recession has left the wines from last vintage lying in the tanks due to which they had to reduce the production this year. Due to the high yield this year, the crops have not been so good and so has not been the quality of wines. Thus, they are planning to come up with a low price wine label which is still in the process. As we went on, we tasted wines from different vintages, from tanks, barrels, finished and unfinished. This was a nice experience. We liked the Zinfandel and Syrah rose the most and the reds were unbelievable. We were presented with India’s one and only 100% Pinot Noir straight out of the barrel, which was still a baby, that will not be released but will be kept to offer only at the winery restaurants. Along with the Pinot Noir, a reserve Cabernet Sauvignon made a lasting impression on us. These two wines remained the stars of the tastings for the day. We moved from one tank room to another and tasted some more wines that kept us impressing us. We wished the tasting never ended but we had to stop as we got the last wines in our glasses.
Before we could decide to move on the next winery, the smell of the earthen clay pot pulled us towards the winery restaurant where we had our lunch for the day. The food was splendid with some homemade breads and simple freshly made dishes. Sitting on the roof enjoying the food, we could also see the colourful Mercury winery situated just behind Renaissance. We had a nice lunch to keep us pumped and a bit hungry for some more wines before we call it a day. The restaurant has been set keeping in mind the future call of winery visits, tourism and major visits to the winery. They are also producing some really classy wines that will exclusively be offered at the restaurant and will not see the light of the retail market. Having the luxury of being a sommelier, we had a taste of these wines and we were woo-ed which is a good enough reason for us to return back to the city, winery, restaurant and the chilling tank area.