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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Jamun wine by Asav vineyards

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Red, white, pink and sparkling are established options in wine. Now red, white or purple, wine lovers will soon be asked at fine dining restaurants in Telangana. Puzzled? Well, Kishan Pedhapally, founder of Telangana-based ASAV Wines announced the launch of Jamun Wine – wine from Java plum (the Indian blackberry, popularly called kala jamun) – during the NRAI Conclave in Hyderabad last week. The wine has a distinct purple hue which comes from the peel of the fruit.

Feedback from wine lovers at a wine appreciation session at the conclave, included smooth mouth feel, an exotic nose of jamun and spices and a textured palate of tannins, jamun and dark berry flavours with a long finish. The wine pairs well with Italian and Indian food; flavour profile enhanced with spicy food.

Apart from the novelty in the Indian market, Kishan claims Jamun wine also accrues numerous health benefits to drinkers. After all, jamun is known to be beneficial to diabetics. “I wanted to experiment with jamun for wine because it is a very healthy fruit.” Kishan however, advocates that everyone should drink responsibly.

It took the winemaker and his team two years to derive the right wine from fresh jamun. Kishan explains, “It took a lot of R&D work, including looking for the right jamun from different places and farms. Finally, I locked in on jamuns from a farm in Nashik, Maharashtra. Our Jamun wine is made from single estate jamun.”  Asav’s Jamun wine is priced at ₹2,000 per bottle, placing it in the premium category.

Not surprising, considering the laborious process involved in making the wine. First, the flesh of the berries is mechanically separated from the seeds. The extracted pulp is then made into a juice which then undergoes fermentation and other processes. “The skin of the jamun is an important component which helps turn the juice into wine, a step that takes around six months.” 

In the last two years, Kishan has matured two batches of wine; one of the first batches had to be discarded because the mature wine didn’t match his expectation. “The idea is to bring out the best wine. As a wine connoisseur and a winemaker, one of the first batches didn’t seem right, so we discarded it without a second thought.” 

Being a seasonal fruit, (flowering starts in March and goes on up to April. Fruits ripen during June-July or with the onset of rains) the availability of Jamun is restricted, so Asav can make a only limited number of bottles. Asav will first sell its Jamun wine in Telangana before it forays into other states. 

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