"Let's just hang out here and bag the rest of our schedule," is the thought that came to mind as we wandered into Narmada Winery in Amissville the first time.
Maybe it was the unassuming nature of the owner and winemaker, Sudha, and her
co-owner husband, Pandit, and the way they made us feel welcome and cared for.
Or the savory smells wafting from the winery's small plates
of samosas and chicken tikka. Or possibly the grandness of the tasting room, with its wall
of windows, curved bar, the dozen high-top tables perfect for taking in the live
It's an ambitious enterprise, and ambition paid off in 2015 when the winery's Yash-Vir 2010, a blended red table wine, won a spot among the top 12 wines in the state in the Virginia Governor's Cup Case.
Dr. Sudha Patil has crafted fine wines in Virginia since 2008. Sudha studied with Jim Law of Linden Vineyards, whom she calls the “guru” of Virginia wine.
Her focus is to create graceful wines that are a true reflection of the character of the fruit. She describes her winemaking procedure:
“Using the best quality grapes, diligent sorting of the berries, and maintaining proper chemistry of acidity and pH – all this is essential to the clean processing of the fruit which is critical from harvest through the aging process.”
Sudhas' husband, Pandit, tells of how Sudha grew up in the small town of Thane outside Mumbai. As a young girl learning to prepare food with her mother, she developed a love of the exotic spices that are part of the traditional Mumbai table. He believes this enables her to find interesting flavors in her grapes that would be overlooked by others.
Narmada currently offers 18 different wines, categorized into three tasting flights, each with a slightly different taste profile.
Narmada Winery is named after Pandit's mother, in honor of the sacrifices she
made to send Pandit to the United States to study, many years ago. Narmada is
no longer with us, but her winery will be, for a long time.
Special packages are available, including Chocolate & Wine Tastings, Vineyard Picnics for 10-30 people at a private lakeside pavilion, and a Behind the Scenes Winery Tour. All require advance reservations.
Narmada keeps up a fun schedule of events, including yoga sessions, fine art gallery displays, live music on weekends, and the annual Diwali (Festival of Lights) Bonfire in November.
Group Tastings (min 8 people) are available by reservation.
Indian fare small plates are available Saturdays and Sundays, with a limited menu during the week.
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