The Grape Processing and Research Institute (GPRI) is the “mother unit” of the Krishna Valley Wine Park in southern Maharashtra. GRPI’s mission is two-fold: educate India’s winemakers of tomorrow while producing the highest quality wines of international standards.
Comments from In charge of this Institute Mr. G. K. Gaikwad, GPRI, Palus, (Sangli) 416310
Grape Processing and Research Institute, Palus." This institute have three parts, Winery, Vineyard, and Institute. Our winery have a capacity of 2,00,000 lit per annum. Our vineyard have a different varieties, Red:- Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Pusa navrang. White:- Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Pinot blanc, Chardonnay. We have separate nursery division in which all varieties are available along with root stock.
The institute have a "mother unit", which provides machines, technology, laboratory, manpower, winemaker as a common facilities to the small wine manufacturers. The institute have started a one year "Post Graduate Diploma in Wine Technology", having capacity 30 students per batch. We have produced 1,50,000 lit table wine. The winery and vineyard is not as commercial, but is useful to students and farmers, or we may say that this winery is like to a demonstration unit.
About Wine Institute Vineyard.
GPRI’s commitment to quality begins with our location and ends in the bottle:
The beautiful Krishna River flows from spring-fed headwaters in India’s Western Ghats, a low range that provide protection from the monsoons of the Indian Ocean. Our site, in the rain shadow of the Ghats receives only 500 mm (20 inches) of rain during the monsoon season extending from June through September. Our growing season begins in October following the end of the monsoon, with bloom occurring in November when daytime highs reach a pleasant 30°C. The pleasantly warm growing season continues without rain until February when the days begin to get a little longer and the temperature a little warmer – perfect for adding a last bit of concentration and flavor to our perfectly ripened grapes.
Recognizing that great wines are grown, not made, is the most important step in establishing a world-class winery in a new region. Grape growing has more that a 50-year history in the Krishna valley, now lifelong table grape growers are beginning to plant fine wine varieties and use rootstock. GPRI’s experienced viticulturists spend many hours each week with local growers teaching the fundamentals of quality wine grape production, low yields, deficit irrigation, careful leafing to ensure good sun exposure for every cluster, and the importance of harvesting grapes only when they are fully mature.
Our own estate vineyards are planted along a rugged, rocky swell. Topsoil is absent and the vines are planted into a loose red sandstone. Indeed, the rocky appearance of our vineyards is reminiscent of the great terroirs of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Priorat. This soil naturally devigorates our vines, reducing their canopy and allowing speckled sunlight to reach the clusters throughout the day.
The rocky soil of our estate vineyard :->
Our varieties, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Sauvignon blanc, and Chenin blanc, were carefully chosen as good matches for our climate and growing conditions. The warm days allow our red varieties to achieve mature flavors and smooth tannins, the grapes are not picked until the seeds are fully brown and no green flavors remain. The stones of our terroir are reflected in our white wines, with bright acidity and a mineral finish being the hallmark of our Sauvignon blanc.
India is unique among other wine regions in the absence of a winter dormancy period. Instead of loosing their leaves following harvest our vines are pruned again in April before the start of the monsoon. During the monsoon the vines grow more slowly as the sun is often hidden behind the thick clouds blown over the Ghats from the ocean. This second vegetative growing season allows our vines to develop more quickly and establish deeper roots to support the vine during the long dry season.
Our white wines are harvested at the beginning of February when their natural acidity is still high. We prefer to harvest our Chenin blanc around 22°B while our Sauvignon blanc is brought in slightly riper at 24°B.
In our pursuit of quality and pure flavors we press our white grapes without destemming in a process known as whole-cluster pressing. This method takes much longer than first destemming, as fewer grapes can fit in the press. But it is well worth the effort as the clarity of the juice is preserved and no bitter flavors are transferred from the skin. After a day of cold settling the juice is carefully racked off the heavy lees and inoculated with premium French yeast cultures.
Dimple jacketed tanks keep our white wines cool during fermentation:->
Our white fermentations proceed slowly as we keep the temperature very cold – under 15°C – to preserve the aromas and freshness of the fruit. Once the grape’s natural sugar has been transformed into alcohol, the fermentation is complete. While we let our Sauvignon blanc ferment completely dry so there is no residual sugar, we stop the fermentation of the Chenin blanc when there is still a touch of sweetness. Following fermentation the wines are again racked several more times to achieve a sparkling clarity.
The Sauvignon blanc and Chenin blanc are both bottled young, only four months after harvest. It is our goal to deliver the freshness of the fruit in the vineyard directly to your table.
Our Rosé or “Pink Wine” is made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz fruit that is selected in a final pruning of the vines three weeks before the red harvest. This fruit is harvested with only 21°B of sugar, resulting in lower alcohol wine meant to capture the early summer flavors of fresh red berries and watermelon.
Once harvested the fruit is destemmed and transferred to tank where over the course of several hours color is extracted an a lovely pink cast is achieved. The grapes are then gently pressed and transferred to tank for setting. From this point on the winemaking closely resembles that of white wine, a cool fermentation is stopped just short of dryness preserving a little sweetness and the wine is then racked several times before bottling.
Harvest of our red fruit begins in late February, when ripe mature flavors are achieved and the concentration of flavor is sufficient to make an intense wine of great depth. Typically the sugar will reach 24.5°B for the Cabernet and between 25 and 26°B for the Shiraz and Zinfandel.
The red clusters are hand picked into small picking baskets and carefully transported to the winery ensuring that each berry remains intact. Careful picking in the vineyard eliminates any damaged fruit. One by one each bin is dumped by hand into our destemmer while two sorters vigilantly pick over the fruit pulling out any stray leaves. The destemmed berries then fall, uncrushed, into a gentile passive-cavity pump that transports the fruit to tank.
After a two-day cold maceration at 10°C, the fruit is gently warmed and inoculated with carefully chosen strain of yeast. Pump-overs are performed three times a day through a screen so that no berry is pumped. Pump-overs cool the cap of skins and actively fermenting yeast cells that are carried to the top of the tank by the release of carbon dioxide.
Syrah being pumped over:->
Once the fermentation is complete the tank is drained of the wine and the pommace is then carried by hand to the press where a very soft pressing releases additional wine without crushing the seeds and extracting harsh tannins.
The wine is then transferred to a 1/3 new mix of French and American oak barrels. Racking from barrel to barrel is performed every three months as the wine ages in barrel for a full year before being bottled.