Sula’s Kerry Damskey on his secret new winery near Bengaluru
Sip of the old block
Although much cannot be revealed yet, a little birdie told us about Sula’s soon-to -open winery close to Bengaluru and we decided to investigate further. The brand’s very own Kerry Damskey, fondly referred to as the Indiana Jones of winemaking, divulged some details. “These wines are going to be of Karnataka, by Karnataka,” says the California-native, who is based in Nashik. “While associated with Sula, these wines are going to be a brand with a unique flavour profile,” he adds
The new range of wines have a wild and alive style, yet can be defined as elegant, as opposed to kitschy. In the first season (this September), they will roll out four wines, with two more in the next year. They include a Chenin Blanc (“Much dryer than Sula”, says Kerry) a creamy Sauvignon Blanc, a light Rosé and a Cabernet Shiraz.
Kerry first met Rajeev Samant, the founder-CEO of Sula, in California 17 years ago. After Rajeev graduated from Stanford, he had the then unthinkable goal of setting up a winery in Nashik. Kerry loved the idea and joined him as they set up Sula vineyards.
“Back in 1999, most Indians had not even had a glass of wine,” remembers the wandering winemaker, adding, “Now, whilst I can’t say that most Indians drink wine, things are certainly in a different league.” Kerry feels Indians are curious and want to learn more about wine. He says the next biggest wine trends will not be about newer varieties or flavours, but about learning more about the existing varieties. “That’s
what I see in future, more in-depth knowledge,” Kerry concludes optimistically.