The aircraft landed at Pune airport. It was 11:00 pm. We were quickly ushered into a car that sped away into the night. Soon we hit the Pune-Sholapur freeway. I used the time to catch a quick nap before we reached our destination – the Four Seasons Vineyard. Situated in Baramati, one and a half hour from Pune, the vineyards are like an emerald in the desert. Surrounded by barren land the car drove through a gravel and dirt road until we turned in to the huge gates. The long drive way through the vines lead us to the winery overlooking the vineyards and a beautiful fountain. Flashlights hemmed the boundaries, their mercury vapour lights flooding the drive way. Looming large in front of us was the winery, majestic and towering. The spiral stairways took us to the main lobby. Built in true gothic style with long dim corridors and heavy chandeliers the winery reminded me of the old European charm. The tall French windows in my room with the balcony overlooked the courtyard below. It was past 1:00 am. I decided to get a good night’s sleep. After all, the morning held a lot of promise.
Crack of dawn and I was out. I decided to cycle. Armed with my camera, I cycled through the vines. The vineyard is a haven for many species of birds and I managed to click some beautiful pictures of nature and the amazing terrain. Breezy, sunny and tranquil, the vineyard provides a sweet escape for the weekend.
The crushing season was on. I had a sumptuous breakfast and headed to the winery for a guided tour by the very experienced and enthusiastic Raghunath. Workers as busy as bees were seen bottling wines. The cellar with the steel vats and barrel room provided some amazing wine tasting experience. Needless to say, by lunch time I was already a little heady. It really is an experience tasting wine straight out of the barrels. I recommend the Four Seasons Classics Chenin Blanc, Four Seasons Classics Cabernet Sauvignon and the Four Seasons Barrique Reserve Shiraz. Lunch was a lavish spread of country chicken, lentils and cottage cheese in spinach gravy accompanied by roti, salad and more wine of course.
After a blissful afternoon siesta, I woke up to an amazing sunset. The orange glow filled the room. I watched the golden ball of fire set behind the infinite wilderness. You will find deer scampering around in the evening mist. I cycled through the vines again. The rustling of the leaves, sound of the gravel and the wind on my face brought back memories of childhood.
There is also a pool and Jacuzzi on the terrace. A quick swim under the starlit sky or moon gazing on the lawn with a bottle of your favourite wine forms a good recipe for unwinding the senses. Or write your own story. You just read mine.
The moon smiles away as I raise a toast. The night is still young…
Four Seasons Winery & Vineyards – Trivia:
Reaching the Four Seasons vineyards – fly to Pune. Book a cab prior to reaching the airport and drive down to the vineyard which is approximately 65kms from Pune.
About the Four Seasons vineyards – The winery is part of United Spirits Ltd. It produces a range of red, white and Blush wines under the brand name Four Seasons. With an area of 50acres of vineyards and a state-of-the-art winery facility, it is arguably one of the country’s best winery. The winemaker is Abhay Kewadkar.
Best time to visit – During the harvest month of Feb – March, though every season has its own charm.
To book a tour – Presently the visits are only through invitation. So its recommended to mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your tour.