Opened in 2017, the Domaine Sula winery in Channapatna has become a hotspot for tourists and visitors looking to catch a glimpse of the wine-making process.
I came across Channapatna’s Domaine Sula vineyards while researching material for an article and immediately felt a strong desire to visit the place. It is a branch of the Sula winery in Nashik and was opened in Channapatna’s Gangedoddi Village in 2017, after the vineyards were purchased from Heritage Winery. I got a chance to visit the Sula winery with my mother in January 2021 and spent half a day taking photos, learning about the facility and the wine making process during the wine tour.
Getting To Domaine Sula
The Domaine Sula vineyards is located near Channapatna and is about 69 kms away from Bangalore. The winery is well connected by road and the nearest airports are in Mysore (96 kms away) and Bangalore (111 kms away). You can also get to the Sula winery by train as the nearest railway stations are in Channapatna, Settihally, and Nidaghatta Halt. From these stops, you can travel to the vineyards by bus, car, rickshaw or taxi. If you have a private vehicle, you can drive down to the vineyards, which is about 3 to 4 kms from the Bangalore-Mysore highway, as it is easily found with the help of Google Maps.
Note: The road from the highway to the winery is lined on both sides by farms and sometimes, you will find the farmers placing dried crops on the road. Don’t let this worry you, but be careful as you drive over them.
My mother and I travelled to Bangalore in our personal vehicle so it was convenient for us to reach the Sula winery as Google Maps was pretty accurate. There are also a lot of beautiful sights on the way to the vineyards, especially in Ramanagara, on the drive down from Bangalore to the winery.
The Domaine Sula winery is open on all days from 10.30 AM to 7 PM. If you are interested in taking the wine tour, you can call 080 2978 3153 ahead of your trip to find out more details.
Entry And Wine Tour Fees (As Of January 2021)
The sula vineyards entry fee is Rs 200 per person. The wine tours, on the other hand, cost Rs 500 per person (inclusive of entry and wine tasting fees). Domaine Sula also offers visitors a chance to stomp grapes at an additional fee or Rs 500 per person.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit the Sula winery is from February to April when the grapes are in season
Inside The Domaine Sula Winery
The compound comprises a restaurant, gift shop, wine shop, wine tasting room, and photo session sites in the first half. Those who opt for the wine tour get to see the other half of the compound beyond the gate which comprises several buildings where the wine is extracted, fermented, processed, stored, and bottled. Beyond the buildings is a vineyard where grapes for different types of wines are grown.
When we visited the Sula winery in January, the grapes were out of season, which means that we got a different version of the guided wine tours. From 10,30 AM to 7 PM, Sula winery tours are conducted every hour for about 40 minutes. During our trip,we got a chance to see the fermentation tanks, the storage section, and the vineyards where several types of grapes were growing. Those who visit the compound from February to April, will be able to see how the grapes are processed.
Wine tasting is optional and is conducted at the end of the wine tours. There is a separate room for this purpose. Those who opt for the wine tasting are given six types – white, red, sparkling, dessert etc. – of wines for tasting. A guide explains the differences between the wines and how to taste the same. The guides are friendly and knowledgeable and invite questions and participation from the visitors.
While waiting for your wine tour to begin or if you just want to relax, you can chill at Domaine Sula winey’s in-house restaurant or take a stroll through the compound. There are plenty of selfie spots for visitors to click photos for their Instagram or other social media accounts.
Gift Shop And Wine Store
If you want to purchase some souvenirs or Sula winery merchandise, you can do so at the gift shop located on the right of the restaurant. On the left side of the restaurant is a wine store where you can purchase your favourite Sula wine. You can also find Sula wines online if you are really interested and can’t make it to the vineyards or shop.
If you’ve heard the name Kadu and wondered how it is associated with the Sula wineries, here’s the gist. Kadu (meaning “wild” in Kannada) wines are a brand produced by Sula wineries specifically for the Karnataka market. The grapes for these wines are grown and processed only at the Gangedoddi Village. According to Rajeev Suresh Samant, founder and CEO of Sula Vineyards, Kadu was introduced with a cause- Tiger conservation. Sula will donate Rs 5 towards this cause (through the Sanctuary Nature Foundation) for each Kadu bottle that is sold for an indefinite period.
Would I Have Done Anything Differently?
I will definitely visit the winery again, but during the wine-making season. It is something I have never witnessed before and I am very excited about visiting the winery again. I am also looking forward to stomping some grapes. It is not a part of the wine-making process but is available purely for the visitors’ entertainment.
When You come for the Channapatna Toys, Also Check Out The Sula Winery
People mostly come to this part of Karnataka for the famous Channapatna toys and for the silk products in the neighbouring Ramanagara district. Although there are many people who visit the Domaine Sula winery on a daily basis, there are still many more who are unaware of its existence. If you are a wine expert (or not), you will find this place to be a great spot for an outing or a picnic with friends and/or family.