AT A GLANCE:
Name of wine estate: KRSMA Estates
Wine region: Hampi Hills
Standout points: Location close to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi
Winemaker: Krishna Prasad Chigurupati
Wine style: Warm-climate varietal wines focusing on Bordeaux varieties
Indian wine? Improbably, yes
While its proximity to one of the world’s most breathtaking UNESCO Heritage Sites is undoubtedly part of its appeal, KRSMA (pronounced ‘kris-ma’) Estates has also become a magnet for Indian wine enthusiasts and intrepid international wine tourists willing to veer off the beaten track. Established in 2008 by the marathon-running husband and wife team, Krishna Prasad and Uma Chigurupati, KRSMA is one of a dozen or so premium estates in India’s small but substantial wine industry. That this Hindu nation with a largely tropical climate produces wine at all may surprise some people, but with each successive vintage KRSMA is proving to the world that, at its best, Indian wine can compete on the world stage.
The appeal of Hampi
Covering around 16ha, the KRSMA vineyards are planted in the heart of the Deccan plateau in Karnataka’s Hampi Hills – around 70km from the spectacular Hampi World Heritage Site. With its free-draining, iron-rich schist soils, low rainfall and relatively high altitude, Hampi is one of the few favourable regions in India for high-quality viticulture. The first variety that Krishna and Uma planted here was Cabernet Sauvignon. which yielded their first vintage in 2010. Subsequent plantings of Sauvignon Blanc were made. More recently, Chardonnay, Syrah and Sangiovese have been added (all the wines in KRSMA Estates’ range are varietal wines).
The seat of empire
While visitors to KRSMA will be rewarded with a revelatory tasting of good Indian wine and insights into India’s burgeoning wine industry, a visit to this region would not be complete without a detour to the Hampi UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in Karnataka in India’s south-west, Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century – an Indian Golden Age when Hampi was thought to be the second-richest city in the world, after Beijing. This breathtaking 40sq km heritage site is justly famous for its extensive ruins, including forts, temples, monolithic sculptures, pillared halls and other stunning monuments which attract a multitude of visitors from all over the world each year.