The Source & Beyond – Sensational wine resorts by Sula Vineyards

Rajeev Samant | Founder & CEO | Sula Vineyards
Rajeev Samant | Founder & CEO | Sula Vineyards

As numbers of leisure and corporate travellers in India continue to soar, the domestic hospitality sector is witnessing a paradigm shift, which is a welcome note for the entire industry.

One such trailblazing company has made its presence strongly felt in the global market. Sula Vineyards has elevated India’s reputation, operating the country’s most successful vineyards and the finest luxurious resorts. Over the last sixteen years, Sula has established itself as an innovator and leader in the Indian wine industry, with milestones across its winemaking, tourism, and business ventures. The company has made a mark in the Indian wine industry since the sale of its first bottle of wine in 1999, and today captures 65% of the wine market.

Since 1999, Sula Vineyards has been at the forefront of wine tourism in Nashik , an iconic city in the state of Maharashtra, and the heart of India’s wine region. With a surge in visitors at the vineyards year on year and with many of them willing to go the extra mile to experience a stay amongst the vines, Sula started its two resorts – The Source and Beyond  — that blend luxury with nature.

Founder and CEO of Sula Vineyards Rajeev Samant informs, “A few years after Sula’s inception in 1999, visitors to winery started increasing. It was a natural next step to create an environment suitable and enjoyable for them. We started the wine tasting room, restaurants, amphitheatre, music festival and retail outlet in the complex. Organized winery tours commenced in 2005 with the opening of India’s first wine tasting room, making Sula the first winery to conduct winery tours and tastings for visitors. The tours soon became a draw for Nashik residents as well as for tourists. Many tourists expressed their desire to stay at or near the winery and that is when the idea of creating exquisite wine resorts like those in California and Europe took birth.”

The growing number of guests led to the creation of a complete ecosystem that delivers world-class hospitality services. Today, the Sula Vineyards include a wine tasting room, two restaurants, an amphitheatre, an annual music festival ‘SulaFest’, retail and two wine resorts at and near the winery.

Relax | Unwind | Rejuvenate

The Source 

Due to growing demand of wine, the original winery operations in Nashik were being shifted to a bigger campus in Dindori in 2016. That is when the thought of restoring the old winery into a resort was born. The original winery complex became the luxurious ‘The Source At Sula’. India’s first heritage winery resort with a Tuscan-inspired architecture featuring 31-rooms resort makes the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or even a wedding! Set in the midst of Sula’s first vineyards, guests have a choice of luxury tree houses, suites with a choice of views and the jewel in the crown – a duplex tower suite with stunning views of the vineyards.

Guests can unwind by the poolside; enjoy a game of tennis; bicycle through the vineyards; pamper themselves at the spa; enjoy a glass of wine in the courtyard; or simply enjoy the unbeatable vistas. The view of the scenic estate vineyards and gentle hills rolling away to the tranquil Gangapur Lake in the distance is absolutely mesmerizing. No alarm clocks necessary here as Sula’s rich biodiversity ensures that you will wake up to the sound of over 20 varieties of resident and migratory birds.


Situated opposite the Gangapur backwaters, this luxurious property derives its name from the location – just beyond the city! This luxury vineyard property consists of a superb, minimalistic 3-bedroom Sky Villa with unparalleled lake views and a feeling of peace and privacy; as well as 7 Lakeview Rooms that are a little haven of peace and tranquility.

Featuring a world-class infinity pool that blends, the beautifully paneled open-air walkout decks on the Sky Villa offer a spectacular view of the golden sunset. The guests can also grab a bicycle to explore the property through the winding paths and a multi-cuisine all-day restaurant that brings in the finest and freshest organic meals from the Sula farm.

Weaving the Success Web

The life journey of Rajeev Samant – Founder and CEO of Sula Vineyards is much more exciting and inspiring than that of a conventional businessman or an entrepreneur. Post-completion of his schooling from Cathedral & John Cannon School, he joined the prestigious Stanford University at California, USA. He completed his bachelor’s in Economics, followed by a Master’s degree in Engineering Management.

He started his career at Oracle Corporation in the Silicon Valley. However, his desire to do something meaningful brought him back to India. As if destiny had a new plan, his ancestral land in the heart of grape-growing region of Nashik grabbed Rajeev’s attention. He was already introduced to wines during his stint in California. He thought why not give it a try in India? Samant’s friend and winemaker Kerry Damskey, who is now Sula’s Master Winemaker, helped him take the initial steps. Samant spent some months at his winery in California where he received an inside look into the world of wines and what it would take to set up a successful business.

The name “Sula” came from his mother’s name – “Sulabha” – and symbolized the rich, Indian heritage of his wines. Driven by his travels and his personal values, Rajeev firmly believes in stewardship of the land and in sustainable business practices. Today, Sula is one of the most eco-friendly companies in India, committed to sustainable winemaking practices and ensuring fair livelihoods for Sula’s community of farmers across Maharashtra and Karnataka. The company has empowered the local people by employing them and a few of them have even scaled up as chefs and managers within the organization. He is also a leading advocate for India’s wine industry and aims to represent the interests of India’s wine producers and farmers to national and state Governments.

Exquisite Vineyard Weddings & Events

Recently, Sula opened its doors to brides and grooms looking for an exquisite wedding location. It is a perfect venue blessed with natural beauty, impressive venue facilities and beautiful vistas.

Set next to the Gangapur Dam backwaters, featuring vineyards and mountains as far as the eyes can see, Sula Vineyards presents an ideal destination to plan the most stunning and luxurious event. Along with its Greek-style amphitheatre, which hosts the popular SulaFest every year, the resorts too, serve as the perfect venue for a luxurious destination wedding. With dedicated professionals for each wedding, Sula offers personalized services and tailored packages for events.

Exploring New Horizons

SulaFest is one of the ‘eat-sleep-repeat’ premier attractions that have witnessed a surge of visitors every year. A fun-mix of music, wine, drinks, food, at the open-air amphitheater, the fest began its journey with 200 visitors in 2008 and currently hosts above 14000 guests annually.

With luxury at the forefront, Sula carries a social and sustainable angle while unveiling its business model that focuses on being one of the most sustainable hospitality businesses around. Sr Vice-President of Sula Vineyards Monit Dhavale, who has been at the forefront of the company’s hospitality operations, outlines what lays ahead. “Our focus will be on establishing the most sustainable hospitality businesses in the world. Basically, luxury but with a social and sustainable angle. We also want to focus on using more local products and products made in India as well as organic and farm fresh produce. We want to introduce experiences that are available in the best of the vineyards of the world,” he says.

An India for the future

‘Sustainability is a key pillar of Sula’s success, and it has set a goal of becoming the most sustainable winery in Asia. Sula has already made great strides in integrating sustainability in its operations. As of September 2018, almost all its Hospitality Operations at Nashik run on Solar Energy. The company reuses 100% of the wastewater generated at its sites which totals to almost 40 million litres. Moreover, 99% of the packaging material including bottles is recyclable. This translates to almost 5000 tons of recyclable material. At the resorts, plastic has been removed in almost all forms; even the mineral water bottles are made from glass!’

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