Grover Vineyards was established in 1988 by Mr. Kanwal Grover and Mr. Georges Vesselle with a view of breathing fresh life into the stagnant wine drinking culture in India. Situated at the foot of the Nandi Hills in Bangalore, Grover Vineyards is spread over four hundred acres of land. The Grover family has enjoyed great success over the last twenty years and three generations have overseen the brand’s ascension to the very top of the wine making industry.
Grover Vineyards has the distinction of being the country’s only winery that has the globally celebrated French winemaker, Michel Rolland as a consultant. In the year 2001, the establishment began selling wine to the epicentre of global wine making itself; France. One of the reasons for the company’s meteoric rise has been the decision to use French wine grapes instead of ordinary table ones which is the norm in India. In 2008, a renovated winery was unveiled by the firm. Located about three minutes away from the vineyards, the winery boasts of international standards when it comes to wine storage.
Grover Vineyards has a unique style as it pertains to the art of winemaking. Michel Rolland, the premier wine consultant in the world today, has been an advisor to the company since 1995. His uncanny ability for manufacturing wines which are supple, rich, sumptuous and distinct have helped catapult Grover Vineyards to the very top of the field.
Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier are the two white wines on offer from the company. Grapes are selected meticulously and after getting rid of the surplus bits, the juice is separated from the skin. Care is taken to minimize skin contact with the juice as unnecessary colour comes from the skin. Temperature stabilization is carried out and yeasts are introduced to the juice. The yeasts transform the sugar in the liquid to alcohol. Once fermentation is over, the juice is moved from one container to the other to clear the wine completely. A final round of filtration later, the white wines are set for bottling.
The procedure to make red wine varies a tad bit from the aforementioned one. After grape selection and crushing, the juice is left in contact with seeds and its skins to gain colour. Upon completion of temperature stabilization and fermentation, the wine is again left with skin and seeds (pomace) to extract even further colour and tannins. After transferring the juice from one container to the other between 8 and 10 times, blending is carried out. Before bottling, a final filtration is done to guarantee quality of the wine.
Decanter Magazine, the world’s most well regarded wine magazine bestowed the honour of ‘Best New World Red Wine’ to the La Réserve from Grover Vineyards. La Réserve is made from Cabernet and Shiraz grape. The procedure to make this unique wine involves leaving the liquid in contact with the pomace for nearly double the period as normal red wines.
Rosé wine is another variant on offer from Grover Vineyards. It differs from red wine in the sense that rosé wine is left with skins and seeds for just a few hours. After this, the same winemaking techniques used for making white wine are carried out.
Vineyard Tour and wine tasting
Grover Vineyards offers a chance to get a firsthand experience of the winemaking process through their personalized tours. The tour starts at the vineyard where a brief history of wines and cultivation is provided. The opportunity to stroll around the picturesque surroundings and to take photos is made available as well. After this, the action shifts to the winery where detailed information regarding crushing, filtering, processing and packaging is supplied.
The next stop is the barrel room where real, imported oak barrels full of La Réserve lie in wait. One can taste five different varieties of wine over an hour and a half whilst listening to relaxing music in the air conditioned cellar. A delightful lunch follows this. The tour costs Rs. 1,000 per person.
How to Reach
The closest airport to Grover Vineyards is the Bengaluru International Airport (located 30 kilometres away). It is well connected to most of the cities in India and countries around the world. A taxi from Bangalore International Airport to Grover Vineyards costs Rs. 1,000 on an average.
Bangalore City Railway Station is located 43 kilometres away from Grover Vineyards. Trains to Bangalore City Railway Station are available from various parts of the country. A taxi from the railway station to the vineyards costs Rs. 1,500 on an average.
A slew of buses connect Doddaballapur to the rest of Bangalore. Both private and state run vehicular transports are available. Taxis and autorickshaws can be availed from Doddaballapur to Grover Vineyards. Cost of travel depends on mode of transport.