I’ve been contemplating a blog post on some quick getaway’s from Mumbai as Jd and I are quite the “Let’s just drive off for the weekend sort of folks”. While I’m still in the process of collating the information and editing images,(as I’d like to add on a couple of good weekend destinations),I thought I may as well go ahead with the Vineyard tour that we explored recently.We decided to visit the Vallonne Vineyards on this trip.Nestled amongst the gorgeous Sahyadri slopes of Maharashtra,Vallonne Vineyard’s is a premium boutique winery and a great place to drive off to and unwind.The drive is approximately 160 kms by road from Mumbai and just south of Nasik,the Wine capital of India.
Yes indeed, Nasik is a premium wine growing region playing host to some well branded wineries.Indian wines have certainly evolved in the past decade or so and this region can quite easily be coined as India’s Napa Valley.
Vallonne is definitely one to keep an eye on.This premium boutique winery aims at bringing the “French Chateau” experience to India. Our main agenda was of course Vino sampling.We started off with some white’s.The Chenin blanc was refreshing and quite light bodied. The Sauvignon blanc also crisp and clean. Both the red wines, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were full-bodied and well oaked.
Ideal for a weekend,we decided to spend a night at this wine resort a couple of months ago.
Things To Do Around Vallonne:.
- Accommodation:The vineyard houses a very elegant and chic hotel property with well-appointed rooms decorated in vintage and hand crafted furniture.Reservations are recommended in advance.I would very much book the rooms that face inwards,as each room has a lovely little sit out with spectacular views of the vineyards and the mighty Sahyadri mountain range as the backdrop.
- Wine Tasting Celler:Enhance your wine knowledge as you learn about the various wine making process and see what makes Vallonne Wines. Enjoy and sample some wines that may include Sauvignon Blanc(cool and crisp notes), Chenic Blanc(Light and refreshing), Cabernet Sauvignon (Well Oaked), Syrah and Merlot blends.The tasting room is located on the lower level of the property.It is a well guided and conducted tour by the resident winemaker.You may wish to purchase their wines at very competitive rates from their store located right outside the Tasting room.
- Delightful Cuisine: Indulge your senses in a riot of flavours at Mallaka Spice,the in-house restaurant specialising in a fairly extensive fare ,covering Malaysian,Thai,Indonesian and Japanese cuisine.I must add the food here certainly tickled our palettes.Dinner was served on the outside patio under a star lit sky.The ambience was enchanting and the experience was flavoursome indeed.This restaurant offers an unparalleled dining experience.I took it a step further and asked to speak with the head chef for the restaurant,who went right ahead and gave me a quick culinary glimpse into his kitchen and a walk through his kitchen the next day.
- Culinary Demo: Chef Madhu Vohra obliges with my request to come and take a peek into his kitchen.The Slow cooked mutton in a red paste is what grabbed my attention at dinner the previous day.The dish was a medley of exotic spices with hints of tamarind,coconut and chill.I just had to see how this dish was made.
- Sit Back and Relax: The resort has a beautiful patio that offers a panoramic view and you could just sit back and soak in the atmosphere and perhaps sip a lovely vino.This boutique resort offers visitors great service and a delightful wine country charm amidst tranquil and spectacular surrounding.Just the perfect place to unwind over a weekend.
Slow Cooked Mutton in a Red Curry Paste :Culinary Demo by Chef Madhu Vohra Mallaka Spice:
- 500 grams boneless Mutton( slivered thin and pre cooked)
- 3-4 Green Onions (white and green parts chopped separately)
- 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
- 2-3 teaspoons Red curry paste
- 2 teaspoons tamarind sauce
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Sambal sauce
- 3 tablespoons coconut flakes (toasted)
- 1 cup Thick coconut milk
- 1/4 cup crushed peanuts(for garnish)
- Fresh chopped coriander (for garnish)
- Boil the mutton with lemon grass,ginger,cloves and cinnamon.
- Discard the spices and cut the mutton into fine slivers.
- Heat the oil in a pan and salute the white parts of the spring onion.
- Add the minced ginger and fry further.
- Next add in the red curry paste and fry for a minute or two and add the mutton to this mix.
- Stir in the tamarind,sugar and Sambal sauce and fry a bit more.
- Toss in the toasted coconut flakes.
- lastly add in the coconut milk and let it simmer for 10 minutes till thick in consistency.
- Garnish with crushed peanuts and chopped coriander.
- Serve with steamed rice.
DISCLAIMER: All view expressed in this post are my own.My family and I visited Vallonne Vineyards a couple of months ago at our own expense.We had a delightful stay at this wine resort.For more information do contact them:
T: +91 98191 29455 / +91 97691 30305