SDU Winery – Talk Wine with Andrea Valentinuzzi


SDU Winery is one of the Boutique Winery from India that was started by Shambhavi Hingorani in 2003.  It was her wine-making dream that led to producing wines from the vineyard located at the backroad of Nandi Hills.   She roped in one of the veteran Winemakers from Italy, Mr.Andrea Valentinuzzi to help in making world class red & white wines.  The SDU Winery came up with the first brand called ‘Deva’ in 2013.  They have the special ‘SDU Reserva’ wines which has gained in popularity and it’s been made with a lot of love & dedication.IMG_20180628_165155

Wine Tasting Event

SDU Winery hosted a special tasting of their Red and White wines with the Chief Winemaker, Mr.Andrea Valentinuzzi at Shangrila, Bangalore.  We tasted two of the wines from the Reserva selection – Chardonnay (White Wine) and SDU Winemaker Selection (WMS).

Pre-Requisites of Wine Tasting

Before the actual wine-tasting, Karishma Thakur (SDU Winery – Sales & Marketing) gave us brief info about the basics of wine tasting.

  • Technique for holding the glass
  • Five S’s in wine-tasting – See, Swirl, Sniff, Sip, Savor
  • Tasting notes in the wines

SDU Reserva Chardonnay

This light bodied wine that had smokiness, taste of apple and tangy flavour. Best part of the wine was that the after-taste which leaves the tongue salivating.  Eventually one would want a second glass of the same wine to be poured.  The perfect food pairing would be with any light Indian snack, especially one that’s slightly tangy.

Expert Inputs

  • 70% oak aged, 30% from tank (Stainless steel).
  • The primary focus of the winemaker is to get the right crispiness & acidity.

SDU Winemaker Selection

A special wine that is made by adding a selection of Sangiovese, Shiraz & Cabernet. This special wine initially did not impress in the first sip. But after cleaning my palette and tasting, it tasted amazing. This wine has heavy body and extremely smooth.  The wine goes along very well with any greasy snack or heavy Indian food.

Expert Inputs

  • This wine isn’t made on a yearly basis. Winemaker wait for the right quality of grapes & corresponding wines, before blending to create the Winemaker special.
  • The WMS consists of estates to 5% produce and there are only 999 bottles available.

Thoughts from Winemaker

Mr.Andrea Valentinuzzi shared his thoughts on various topics related to wine making in Indian.  He explained the difficulty in educating the farmer about plucking the grape at the right time.  This eventually makes a big difference in the final taste of the wine.  Apart from that he also shared his thought on – wine making across globe, how it’s different in India, problem with wine making India, choice of wines, best wines, growth of wine-consumption in India and more. 

While Andrea shared his inputs on the wine, another famous Wine Connoisseur from Bangalore, Devesh Agarwal did give a lot more insight.

Final Thoughts

It was one of the most relaxed wine-tasting experiences that helped everyone identify the key-notes in the wine shared by wine-maker.  Mr.Andrea was kind enough to respond to any query regarding the wine & process which helped in better understanding.  The flavour of both the wines were but my personal favourite would be the SDU WMS as it was comparatively smooth.  I am looking forward to consuming more SDU wines in future and recommend the same to others.



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