Undulating vineyards, memorable sunsets, nuanced wines, and affordable accommodation – a stay at Fratelli Vineyards in Maharashtra makes for a perfect weekend getaway!
We love ourselves a good vineyard stay. Over the years, we’ve visited vineyards, sampled dozens of wines, and stayed in some great vineyard hotels in New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, US, and even Peru. But this was our first time at a vineyard in India. We spent languid days biking around vineyards, making friends at the winery, observing the bottling process, and driving around the Maharashtrian countryside. Here’s everything you need to know about planning a stay at the Fratelli Vineyards in Akluj Maharashtra.
- Fratelli Vineyards are a 3 hour drive from Pune International Airport and 6 hour drive from Mumbai International Airport
- The months between August and March are ideal to visit these vineyards as they are LUSH green. But if you are flexible, then we would suggest visiting during harvest months (January- March). This is the best time to visit because the vineyards are laden with grapes and there are lots of activities and events (grape stomping, wine master classes etc) scheduled for those months
- A 2 night stay at Fratelli’s vineyards costs INR 11,000/£130 per person on weekends and INR 6,500/£80 per person on weekdays. This includes accommodation, all meals, and 1 wine tasting.
- Expect clean and spacious mid-range accommodation, scenic experiential activities, and a range of wine tastings at Fratelli Vineyards in Akluj, Maharashtra.
- Expect simple home-cooked Indian and Italian food.
- There are several activities on offer but we would highly recommend the following 3: A meal at The Machan, a wee shack atop a hillock, overlooking acres of vineyards; a wine tasting session to sample some signature blends; a jeep/ATV ride through the vineyards.
- If you are keen connoisseur of wine, then consider enrolling for the Sette Masterclass (available at an additional cost) to sample some of the finest blends produced by Fratelli .
- Book your day tour or weekend getaway here: www.fratelliwines.in
Packing for Fratelli’s Vineyards
Packing for a vineyard is tricky business because you will be oscillating between elegant wine tastings and jaunts in mucky vineyards. Here are some of our favourite tips for packing for your stay at Fratelli Vineyards in Akluj:
- Whites and pastels : I pack lots of white dresses and breezy linen trousers for vineyard getaways. Vid always packs a bunch of linen trousers, shorts, and cotton shirts in pastel hues.
- Shoes: Don’t forget to pack at least 1 pair of evening shoes for wine tastings and 1 pair of waterproof shoes that can be rinsed after walks in the vineyards. Alternatively carry an old pair of shoes which you can discard at the end of the trip for walks through vineyards.
- Sun Protection: Don’t forget to pack lots of sunscreen and a hat if you intend to picnic or stroll through the vineyards.
- Evening Wear: Do pack 1 set of evening wear if you’d like to dress up for a wine tasting or you’re celebrating a special occasion.
Accommodation and Dining
The accommodation at Fratelli Vineyards is reasonable and offers an intimate boutique experience. There are only 4 rooms, which get sold out well in advance, especially on weekends. The rooms are clean and spacious but devoid of any frills. The staff is exceptional and go out of their way to make guests feel at home.
A large dining room, common kitchen, and lounge overlooking acres of vineyards provides the perfect opportunity to mingle with other guests. Home-cooked Indian and Italian food is served at a large dining table, shared by all guests. This ensures conversations carry on late into the night and friendships are formed before the day is over. But if you are celebrating an anniversary or just prefer a bit of privacy during mealtimes, there is also a smaller dining table for 2.
Site and Experiences
The highlight of a stay at Fratelli Vineyards is the site and the experiences that come with it. Spend your days cycling around the vineyards or picnicking next to flower-laden walls. Alternatively take their rugged in-house jeep for a spin in the vineyards or the neighbouring villages. Sample some excellent wines before lunch. Follow this up with languorous evenings, spent sipping on a bottle (or two) of your favourite blend.
Here are some of the experiences available at Fratelli Vineyards:
Wine tastings for amateurs and connoisseurs
Each stay at Fratelli’s vineyards includes a complimentary wine tasting – this is ideal for beginners and those who haven’t had a chance to sample Indian wines. If you’re a keen consumer of wine, then you can also opt for a wine-tasting session that concentrates on just red wines, white wines, or rosé blends – we really enjoyed their Vitae Tre because I’m a big fan of wines made from Gewurztraminer grapes.
If you appreciate nuanced blends then we would recommend the Sette Masterclass that includes some of the best wines produced by Fratelli in India. Vid really loved the 2009 Sette, a rich blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese grapes. The on-site wine-maker Vrushal is extremely knowledgable about wine and we had great fun chatting about our favourite wines and vineyards around the world with him.
Lunch at The Machan
A 20 minute drive from Fratelli’s vineyards brings visitors to this idyllic lunch spot. Traditional Maharashtrian food is served in a wee shack atop a hillock. The best part? A 360 degree view of hundreds of acres of undulating vineyards.
A jeep ride through the countryside
The Fratelli Vineyards also boast of a rugged jeep which is ideal for a drive through the vineyards or the neighbouring villages. Make sure you take it for a spin if you fancy a jaunt in an old-school vehicle.
A jaunt in the cellar and winery
If you, like us, are curious about the process of wine-making, then do drop by the winery. Here you can see the process of wine-making at close quarters. It is also possible to see wines being bottled by the dozen. You can also visit the wine cellar where barrels give way to an exclusive tasting room lined with some of Fratelli’s finest wines.
ATV ride through the vineyards
If you’re keen on an adrenalin rush, then just borrow the ATVs at the hotel and head out to the vineyards for an impromptu adventure.
Biking and picnicking in the vineyards
If the thought of driving an ATV after a heavy breakfast doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can also rent bikes from the hotel. Pick a bottle of wine, pack a little picnic, and bike to the vineyards for a gorgeous outing.
A stay at the Fratelli Vineyards makes for the perfect affordable getaway dotted with wines and vineyards. We’ve tried to answer all your questions in the article but feel free to drop us a comment if you have any more questions 🙂
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