When Sula Vineyards, invited me to experience, an extravagant “Gourmet World Music Festival”. I was ecstatic! #SulaFest has to be the highlight of the year so far, as a travel and lifestyle blogger. I have attended music festivals earlier in Ibiza, Goa, and Bangalore. But this was my first time traveling like an insider to share my experience. I didn’t have any expectations and decided to go with the flow. I love wine & music and somehow this was just the perfect invite.
Here is what went down at the 10th Edition of Sula Fest. It was an amalgamation of Wine, Music, Food, and Fashion with like-minded people. Epic vibes, the energy and sheer madness that erupted over the three days, I shan’t forget. It was an intoxicating weekend!
– Getting There –
I flew in from Bangalore to Mumbai and had about a four-hour road trip to arrive at Nashik, Mecca of Vineyards in India. This place is sprawling with vineyards. All top of their game, producing some of the world’s award-winning wines.
My flight was to depart early hours from Bangalore, but due to intense smog, we were grounded in the plane on the tarmac for about 2 hours. Landing in Mumbai, I was greeted by humid air, a huge difference from Bangalore’s chill weather during February. Getting out of the airport was fast, and the pace was surreal to me. But first, wait for it…Starbucks!
The drive to Nashik from Mumbai is about 168kms or so, which is about 4 hours. We were a group of media teams in a minivan. En route, I just plugged into my playlist and gazed out to see a bit of Mumbai and the surrounding areas.
The accommodation provided was not the Ritz but quite nice, some of us were put up at Treebo 07 Nashik Inn. Close by to Sula Vineyards. It’s a 4-star rating. The staff was attentive and provided us homely Maharashtrian breakfast. It was filling and not something I had ever had like Misal pav ( I actually looked around to see how to serve and eat this dish from the buffet counter).
– Sula Fest Highlights –
This year unlike before, the festival was a 3-day affair. Friday saw top Indian Artists perform. With top acts Nucleya, Indian Ocean, Infected Mushroom, Bloc Party, Loco & Jam, Dubioza Kolektiv, Hilight Tribe, Afro Celt Sound System, Jan Blomqvist and Band, The Raghu Dixit Project, Dhruv Voyage, Ska Vengers, and much more. Sula’s all-new musician talent hunt competition “Rise and Shine” contest winner – Anhad played as well.
The 10th edition of SulaFest saw various genres of music performing on three stages – The Amphitheater Stage, Atmasphere Stage, and Tropical Stage. For music lovers, it was an absolutely thrilling and invigorating experience.
Another new addition to the festival this year was the ‘Globe in a Glass’ stall where fest-goers had the opportunity to meet and taste with the people behind various brands from the Sula Selections portfolio. The renowned wine profile Robert Joseph, who attended for the first time this year, showcased his brand Le Grand Noir.
Sula also launched their new limited edition Valentine’s wines at the festival, this being a big hit. Also, a SulaFest 10th edition signature drink ValenSeco had been created – a mix of Sula Seco Rose and RAW Pressery Valencia Orange juice.
In addition, there was Whisky, Beer, Vodka, Liqueur, Tequila, Sambuca, and even Bourbon on offer – Jack Daniels, Budweiser, Monkey Shoulder, Cointreau, Grant’s, Skyy Vodka, Aperol, Antiqua Sambuca, and Jägermeister to name a few!
The festival welcomed Hershey’s premium chocolate ‘Brookside’ on board this year. Fest-goers had the opportunity to try three exotic flavors – Pomegranate, Raspberry & Goji, and Blueberry & Acai! They also paired well with a wide variety of wines.
Brightening up the weekend even further was the SulaFest Bazaar with a selection of fun and funky items for sales.
What can I say, I so wanted to meet and greet with Bloc Party and Infected Mushroom. Sula Fest ran an Instagram contest ahead of the event, and announced the winner only on the 2nd Day of the festival, no guesses there who actually won to interview both the artists. However, due to poor connectivity, I was not reachable or checked my Instagram for the comment that was left behind. The team, however, spotted me on Day 3 just in time before the Infected Mushroom guys went on stage. I was overwhelmed but had no time as I had to rush and get the 1-minute interview and a photograph. Here it is shot on #Honor6X unedited and uncut. (was given just under a minute to record, happy and lucky me)
Adding a sporty element, fest-goers could participate in SulaFest sunrise yoga sessions – and even partake in a morning SulaFest fun run to get their energy levels back on track! I was too lazy to try this one, after staying up for the after-party, perhaps another time 🙂
SulaFest benefited the local NGOs and non-profits. Apulkee (farmers welfare), Sharan (animal welfare), Hausla(children welfare), Awhaas (animal welfare).
– Food & Drinks –
– My Final Thoughts –
The panoramic views of the vineyard, the amazing setup, and the well-organized event have left me craving to come back next year for more. Being a traveler at this venue and event, I can vouch that it was absolutely safe. There were security and bouncers all around. I had an thrilling ride. I had truckloads of fun, met, and made new friends. It was loud, overwhelming, and overall just beautiful, at the same time. Internet sucked, which in a way was great as I ended up enjoy the festival more. I have tons of images from the event and hope to make a video out of it soon and share them with all of you, tried to upload but failed, so next time!
Thank you Sula Vineyards for the hospitality. Cheers and here is too many more!
Have you been to Sula Fest, what was your experience like? Would love to hear from you!
About Sula Vineyards:
Sula Vineyards is by far India’s first choice in wine. Their award-winning wines are available nationwide at the finest hotels and restaurants and are also exported throughout the world. Sula is on track to sell a million cases of wine in 2016.
Sula is also a pioneer in India’s wine tourism opening the country’s first winery Tasting Room in 2005 and first vineyard resort, Beyond by Sula, in 2007. With over 230,000 visitors last year, Sula is one of the most visited wineries in the world and the #1 spot where Indians first taste wine.
Sula Vineyards recently won the prestigious Drinks Business Award 2016 for the ‘Best Contribution to Wine and Spirits Tourism’! This is the first time an Indian company has won a Drinks Business Award.
In addition, the company is also a leading wine and spirits importer, with Sula Selections, a portfolio of prestigious brands like Remy Cointreau, Hardys, Cono Sur, and Asahi. For information on the entire Sula brand portfolio, visit www.sulavineyards.com
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**Disclaimer: Even though the invite was complimentary, all views expressed are my own.