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Published: September 1st 2013
“The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.” Benjamin Franklin
I’ll start by defending our massive disregard for the rules of the road whilst backpacking and hence why we chose to head off to the fantastic ‘Beyond@ Sula Vineyard’ resort in Nasik.
The main reason for this seemingly outrageous overspend was that it was Donna’s birthday and so we decided to treat ourselves. The second reason was the unbelievable package that we managed to snare because we were in the right place at the right time. Being Monsoon, I guess business is a little slow at this fantastic hotel and spa and so we managed to get a 2 night, 2 meal, 2 breakfast package which included a bottle of wine a 2 hour spa treatment and tour and tasting in the vineyard for a very agreeable price. Reason 3….….drinking wine has become a bit of a passion of ours and getting the chance to sample Indian wine is an experience we have yet to try, so we thought what the heck!
Having seen the pictures online for some of the hotels in India
and comparing them to reality can conjure up quite a shocking contrast, so we were wary all the way up to the gate of Beyond, hoping this wasn’t one of the 'it's way better in the pictures'
types of places. Fortunately, as we pulled up to the entrance, we knew we had made a good decision.
With the look and feel of a 4/5 star place, and sipping our welcome drinks, we were relieved to say the least. Heading up and into our room ‘Cabernet’ this relief continued as this was by far the best room we had been in in quite some considerable time.
Our first day was spent chilling in the room with our bottle of Brut, enjoying the views from our balcony of the infinity pool and grape vines below us with nothing but the birds singing and the sound of the hotels various water fountains breaking the silence. We decided that as we had a free spa treatment included in the package, we should save this for day 2 and pay for one now, since the prices were reasonable, so we headed off in search of some much needed stress relief and soothing music.
It was just what the doctor ordered. The complimentary evening meal added to the relaxation factor for both of us as we ate so much that evening that both of us found it hard not to pass out there and then at the table. This meal coupled with the Brut and now the Sula Malbec -Merlot we had just consumed, we were pretty much done for the day!
The morning of the second day brought much of the same with the standard overkill on a buffet breakfast (why have just cereal when there’s eggs, nan, curry and various other treats that you can try) before nearly passing out from a food coma as we returned to the room. Today though we had plans and things to do…… sure, those things included a wine tour and tasting and another massage, however they were things to do all the same and sleep was therefore not an option.
The tour itself was actually fairly brief in comparison to others we have been to, however when it came to tasting the wine, we were pleasantly surprised with what India had to offer in the world of wine. Of the 6
that we tried, there weren’t any that we disliked, and actually had we been able to ship over a case or two to the UK, we definitely would have sent some home. Unfortunately, I think due to the current laws and the fact that Sula is still a fairly small outfit in the whole scheme of things in the wine world, this was not an option. Instead though, we took a couple of the bottles that we really like away with us and stuffed them in the backpacks with hope that they last the next 4 months or so without breaking.
Our spa treatment following a few glasses of wine was as could be expected and we were about as relaxed as we have been for some time now.
Overall, we had a blast overindulging in food wine and relaxation, and if that makes us the worst backpackers in the world, then so be it. It was worth it!
Happy Birthday Donna x
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