Rising early next day morning, the roads were constantly wet with drizzles and damp wind blowing across cleaning the dust away. We hit the Dindori Highway on our way to the next winery on the charts. Most of our travelling was on the highway but at times the car went off and on the unconstructed roads that you would not find on the local maps.
Our next stop was Chateau D’Ori. It is not one of the easiest ones to get to. The winery is constructed in the middle of the vineyards and is lead through via unconstructed roads. It is located in Shiwar Taluka of Dindori District. It is a white round foundation that can be easily identified. The winery and vineyards around are all self owned and grapes are extracted through contract farming too. At first there was no one to welcome us on the site but suddenly we saw the care-taker Mr. Irfan. With a warm welcome, he guided us through the winery starting from a detailed sorting area. Next he took us to the winery which was a huge round one with well maintained and neatly tucked tanks and machines. The winery was much automated and had the latest machines and equipments used in the business. We saw both hydraulic and Pneumatic presses with filtering machines in the tank areas. The area was very clean and hygienic. As Mr. Irfan mentioned, winery has a present capacity of 5 lac litres which in full swing can hold up to 20 lacs. Chateau d’Ori own 90 acres in the vicinity with 70 acres of plantations. They have an on-site planting machine that is fully automated and can bottle up to 4000 bottles per hour. They planted their vines in 2004 and had the first release in 2007 with the help of French Oenologist M. Fakorellis which is flourishing well in the market today.
Today they make and market their wines under two labels. First is ‘Viva’ that is concentrated toward the lower price range and young vinos that are marking a start to their wine drinking extravaganza. They have a blended white and a rose under this category with a fairly well planned price tag. Then comes your serious wine labelled as Chateau d’Ori with one white and five reds. They have Sauvignon Blanc in whites and Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Merlot and Cabernet Syrah in reds.
For tasting, we were offered wines straight from the tanks. We began with the whites that we thought were made much for the Indian market as they had a hint of residual sweetness. The Sauvignon Blanc had a nice young character to it that was well appreciated by us. Rose was clean and one of the most impressive ones we came across during tastings. Moving on to the reds, what is to watch out for was their Cabernet-Merlot blend. The wine is made for matured drinkers who like to have wines with their meals. A very European wine with a definite potential to clear your stock shelves way before you realise it.