Farmers with experience of growing table grapes, who decided to try their hand at growing wine grapes, has been one of the driving forces behind the new Indian wine story. Ashok Gaikwad and his colleagues who established ND Grapes in 1993 fall firmly into this category. With almost 300 ha of vineyards this is a sizeable operation and for a while ND Grapes was the largest Indian exporter of table grapes, with produce going to markets in Europe and the Far East.
ND Wines was also formed in 1993 and they claim to be the first Indian operation to grow Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Other varietals grown are Chenin Blanc and Shiraz.
Winemaking equipment was imported from France, as was their winemaker, J. M. Jacquinot. With an initial crush capacity of 200 tonnes, ND Wines has expanded to a crush capacity of 1,400 tonnes. As well as selling under their own label, ND Wines has sold bulk products to other wineries, including Sula Vineyards.
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