Owner(s): Dr. Sudah and Pandit Patil
Winemaker: Dr. Sudah Patil
Open to Public
Fri-Sun 11 to 5, Mon 12 to 5
43 Narmada Lane; Amissville, Virginia 20106
Narmada Winery Profile
Written by Brian—Jan 7, 2014
I was up in Rappahannock County, trying to work through my list of recommended wineries. The numerous stars next to Narmada Winery indicated that it had been suggested more than once and I was finally in a position to visit. My interest was further fueled by the recent news that Narmada, along with two other Virginia wineries, had won double gold in San Francisco.
About ten years ago, following a career in public service, Pandit Patil planted grapes on his Rappahannock County property. Selling grapes often proves to be the "gateway drug" for transitioning into winemaking and this was true for Pandit. In 2009, he and his wife, Dr. Sudah Patil, opened Narmada Winery. Since then, the couple and their winery have earned accolades from every quarter. Today they have 24 acres under vine and produce between 2500 and 3500 cases of wine each year. It is a relatively small boutique operation that is focused on the creation of world-class wines.
Sudah Patil assumed duties as the winemaker, a task to which she seems uniquely suited. In addition to a legendary palate, Sudah's undergraduate degree in chemistry provides an ideal background for understanding the finer nuances of winemaking. I was fortunate enough to get a few minutes of her time during my visit and we had a nice conversation about the winery and some of the strategies for developing Namada's reputation in Virginia and throughout the United States.
Wine competitions, she pointed out, represent an ideal platform for "getting the word out" about the quality of Narmada wine. Clearly they are meeting this goal. The San Francisco medals are just one example. An examination of the tasting menu reads like a roster of wine competitions. Nearly every wine on the list has won a medal and almost all of them are gold.
Another of Sudah's interests is pairing the Narmada wines with Indian cuisine. She has thrown out the conventional wisdom, that dictates sweeter white wines with with spicy Indian food. The tasting menu makes pairing recommendations with many familiar American entrées, but an array of Indian suggestions are also included. Indeed, the Narmada kitchen even produces an impressive Indian menu, so you needn’t go far to attempt the recommended pairings.
Much like the wine list, the tasting room is an elegant convergence of India and Americana. Many reminders of the Patil's native country are intermingled with seasonal American decorations. It's an inviting, comfortable, attractive room, with many options for relaxing with a glass of wine. The relaxed ambiance puts it near the top of my list of favorite tasting rooms.
I can tell you honestly that I really enjoyed all of the Narmada wines, but of course I had some favorites. The 2011 Viognier is one of the gold medal winners. It showed big tropical notes with a bit of pineapple, nice mouth feel and a wonderful finish. While many Virginia wineries are currently offering 2011 and 2012 vintages, Narmada's tasting list featured many slightly more mature red wines. The 2010 Reflection is a big, jammy Chambourcin and was the other SF gold winner. It displayed nice fruit with a bit of spice in the finish. The 2009 Cab Franc Reserve was another exceptional offering, but the 2010 Yas-Vin was my overall pick from the reds. This Bordeaux blend spent eighteen months in oak. It is big and deep red, with lots of black fruit on the palate. It's complex with an amazing finish. It’s truly an excellent wine.
All the recommendations to visit Narmada were spot on. I really had a great visit. Elizabeth, my wine steward, was friendly, knowledgable and informed. We had a great conversation as she poured the wines and she was able to answer nearly all of my questions. This is a winery worth keeping your eye on. They produce excellent wine, it’s a beautiful venue and there are many other great wineries nearby. Don’t just add it to your list, get over there and check it out.