Chances are you probably haven’t heard of these islands, but that’s because to a large extent they are undiscovered. The Andaman Islands have some of the best beaches in the world, indeed Radha Nagar on Havelock Island was named Beach Best In Asia by Time in 2004. Conde Naste Traveller in January 2010 called the Andaman Islands the “ultimate tropical mystery” and having “unearthly perfection.” Picture long stretches of clear blue water and pristine white sand, surrounded by forest....in short, a picture postcard.
It also has some of the best scuba diving (PADI courses also available) and snorkelling. There is also an opportunity to go kayaking and overnight trips to nearby islands to explore limestone caves.
Come prepared to discover nature at its best.
There is a reason why Indians call the state of Kerala god’s own country. It has some of the most stunning scenery around.....waterfalls, rivers meandering through lush green forests and all the things you’d expect of a Garden of Eden paradise – unspoilt panoramic nature.
India’s wine industry has been slowly taking off over the last 5-10 years, with Nashik (4 hours drive from Bombay) charging ahead. In fact India is one of the fastest growing regions for wine in the world, with one estimate putting the growth in consumption at 25%-30% per annum from 2009 to 2012.
So take a weekend out and experience wine tastings by four of India’s best brands – Sula, Zampa, York and Tiger Hill, as well as explore three of the vineyards at your leisure. We have profiled two of the vineyards below to give you a flavour of things.
One of India’s newest wineries, with construction of the winery starting only in 2006, it has come on the Indian wine scene with a storm.
At the inaugural Sommelier India Wine Competition held in Mumbai in 2009, the York Reserve Shiraz 2008 won a Gold medal and the York Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 won a Bronze medal amongst the Indian wines.
The vineyard’s first vintage produced the whites Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. The reds, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, are barrel-aged in American, French and Hungarian oak for a period of 8-10 months. There is also a Blush Zinfandel and Rose wine.
Perhaps India’s biggest winery, it was started in 1997 by Stanford graduate Rajeev Samant, who took the revolutionary step of planting French Sauvignon Blanc and California Chenic Blanc in India. After the success of their white wines, he then went on to expand to Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel and Merlot.