Everybody who knows me personally knows that I love to travel. Don’t confuse it with the everyday travel I do from Thane to town for work. That really doesn’t count. Travelling out of the city for a break, even if it is for a couple of days, refreshes me completely.
Last weekend, I visited Fratelli Vineyard which is about 7 hours drive from Bombay. It was my first ever Vineyard visit, so I really didn’t know what to expect. I packed up all my warm clothes and took off on Friday morning.
Fratelli Wines was started by three sets of brothers – The Secci brothers, Andrea and Alessio, the Sekhri brothers, Kapil and Gaurav and the Mohite-Patil brothers, Ranjitsinh and Arjunsinh. The Mohite-Patil family hails from Akluj which is where the vineyard is located. Piero Masi, from Tuscany is their official wine maker. So, you know the product HAS to be good. All-in-all, they have 10 wines, out of which Sette can be bought only at the property. It’s not retailed anywhere else.
Upon reaching the property I realized that their thought behind starting Fratelli Vineyard was not just to produce great wine. It is also to provide their guests with an experience. The property is beautifully designed. The architect, Sunil Patil, kept in mind the Ferrari showroom design while designing the bulding. The clean white walls with floor to ceiling glass windows allow maximum natural light. The building boasts four double-rooms and a lounge area.
The rooms have very comfortable beds and their French window open up directly to the lawn outside. It’s a perfect place to sit and drink some wine at night. The lounge area is adjoining a full service kitchen stocked with everything you might need. There is a TV, DVD player, pool table, iPod station, WiFi access and very comfortable seating area. There is no way you can ever get bored here!
The winery is right next to the building and has the capacity of bottling 1,600 wine bottles per hour. The Cellar is under the winery and has a wonderfully open feel to it. It’s well spaced out and has a very rustic yet minimalistic design.
Talking about their food, the cook is from Delhi and makes some lovely, down-to-earth food. They even ask you if you have any special food requests. The staff is very friendly and don’t seem like the hotel management graduates. They are locals trained to be wait-staff and they do everything so meticulously. They will pour you wine, serve you food, and help you out with things. Basically, they are very sweet.
There are many things that you get to do once you check-in. They have about 5 ATVs which you can ride around the vineyard. It’s great fun if you are into it. Keeping in mind every person in the family, they’ve kept bicycles of different heights in case there are children who have accompanied you. A nice touch, I must say!
There is a 150 acre property near Syrah Hill, so the supervisor will drive till there with you and take you to the vineyard for grape tasting. On top of Syrah Hill, they’ve constructed this really cute gazebo. You can sit there and enjoy a glass or two of wine. The staff can even arrange lunch for you there, if you like. It overlooks the entire vineyard and trust me, you might end up sitting there for hours!
At night, they have a cultural program where they have a lejhim performance by a local troupe. This is followed by some more wine and mouthwatering appetizers. It’s great fun to sit under the stars with friends and family and talk endlessly like that.
I truly enjoyed being there with Jasleen and Sonu from Fashion Bombay and Karina from Giggle Water 411. It was a perfect getaway for us girls! I would recommend this place for a quiet yet exciting weekend trip.
5 Best Moments:
- ATV ride at the vineyard
- Drinking wine at the gazebo on top of Syrah Hills
- Wine tasting and exchanging notes
- Wine and conversations with Karina at night in our room overlooking the lawn
- Campfire and cultural program with some wine and great food