The Grape Escape: Krishna Prasad Chigurupati and Uma Chigurupati

Jaw dropping scenic views of the lush green vineyards, grape stomping, sipping on some of the finest tipples paired with cheese and farm to fork food. Visiting vineyards is a trend that’s fast catching up with not just the wine enthusiasts, but also those who want to indulge in novel experiences. Next time when you open a bottle of wine, you will know exactly how the vino managed to acquire that smooth flavour with just the right hint of fruits, spices or that deep hue. Decode the entire process of winemaking on your next trip to a winery. Here’s a roundup of all the popular wineries you can visit.
By Namita Gupta

Krishna Prasad Chigurupati and Uma Chigurupati, KRSMA Estates

Genie in a bottle: A confluence of rich heritage and fine vintage, a wine so unique needed a name that reflected its singularity and inherent Indian character. Like their wine, which is a confluence of rich heritage and fine vintage, the name too, is a union. Thus, from the first names of Krishna Prasad and Uma was born KRSMA Estates. They have spared no effort in ensuring the unique terroir of Hampi Hills expresses itself through their wines. The Chigurupati’s believe, for the wine to be truly unique every step of the process needs their personal touch. They use expertise from across the world, but the final decision on all things wine and vineyard, is always theirs. For instance, they decide on the exact time of harvest themselves, with Uma tasting the fruit from every plot every day, during the ripening period. The yeast, too, is personally selected after trials on test ferments. These exacting standards don’t stop with just the process of wine making. It flows down to every last detail. The wine is aged in fine grain French oak barrels, the bottles are imported from France, labels from Australia, capsules from Spain and natural cork from USA. Even their logo and label have been specially designed to capture the rich heritage of the Vijaynagar Empire.

Wine varietals: All of KRSMA Estates’ wines are single varietals, made from only the best grapes from each harvest. As a result, only a limited number of bottles are produced, ensuring what comes out of the winery is always the best. This fact is acknowledged by the numerous awards our wines have won. The Chardonnay of 2013, Cabernet Sauvignon of 2012 and the Sauvignon Blanc of 2013 have won the double gold, gold and silver medals respectively, at the China Wine and Spirit Awards 2013. The Sauvignon Blanc of 2012 won the bronze medal at the New Zealand International Wine Show 2012, while the Chardonnay was commended at International Wine Challenge 2014. Every vintage at KRSMA Estates is different as there are no recipes. The Chigurupatis believe in letting the grapes narrate their tale through the wine. And every tale is passionately hand-crafted from vineyard to bottle. So uncork a bottle and savour the luxury of this unique Indian tale as it passes from creator to connoisseur.

Vineyard tours: Walk through the vineyard covering various plots and understanding the terroir and the various parcels. As you browse through the winery, you get an understanding of the process of wine making. Both winery and vineyards are in the same location. You get to sample wines of the latest vintage in the market of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Sangiovese. Tours need a prior 48 hour confirmation and you need to reach the vineyards by 7am or 4pm (there are two time slots) and there should be a minimum of four and maximum of 10 people per group. There are no restaurants or canteen facilities at the vineyard. Tours at KRSMA Estates are priced at Rs 2000 per person.

Not just wine & cheese: Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with galouti kebab or rogan josh or even mutton biryani. Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with grilled prawns or murgh malai kebab. Sangiovese pairs well with a simple spaghetti meat balls or carbonara and K2 will pair well with tandoori chicken or gilafi seekh.

Where: Krsma Estates. 70 kms out of Hampi, near Hospet reservoir, Karnataka.

Call: +91 85362 75260