Tête-à-Tête with Dr. Rajesh Rasal by All About Daru’s Nupur Joshi

We would like to know your first memory associated with Wine?

After studying MSC in microbiology, he did a research project- which was a comparative study of wines made from Grapes as against Wines made from Pomegranates. This was his first ever memory associated with wines.

His first ever visit to a winery was to Chateau Indage in 1996 where he viewed the entire winemaking process under the guidance of Dr S S Kadam who got him more keen & interested in wine making & in wines.

Your favourite wines –One Indian & one Imported ?

His first love has always been Baso & Brio which he made when he was the winemaker for Good Earth wines.

He is also fond of Bush in hand wine from Australia, Cloudy Bay wine which is a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Your all time favorite grape variety & wine region.

Cabernet Sauvignon is his favorite grape variety as they are bolder & have tremendous ageing potential & produce medium tannin wines.

Also very fond of Sangiovese from Monto Poccino region.

In India, Karnataka region has been his all time favorite wine region as it has great soil & this can be seen in the wines from the Myra wines.

From Nasik he likes the Sauvignon Blanc & he also likes Tempranillo from Dindori region of Nasik.

Wine drinking trends abroad & in India… How would you like to change or maybe create awareness about Wines in India?

In India the wine selecting & drinking trends are not yet as advanced as they are abroad. In abroad every person has developed a palette for understanding & pairing wines with food from a very young age unlike here in India.

My Rasal`s way of creating awareness is different for Restaurateurs/Managers & different for clients who come to his store.

For restaurateurs he conducts a lot of wine & food pairing sessions so that suggesting wines to a client is easy for them to do.

At the store he follows some wine recommending steps:- 1st asking the preference if the person likes a Red/White/Rose . 2nd is whether they like light bodied , complex or sweet wine & the finally suggest few wines from his store which the person will like.

Your aim is to create increased awareness of different types of wine as you feel that in general, wine has a coveted and passionate position in the minds of the Indian population. Please can you elaborate a bit on this?

Chateau Indage has been the pioneer in Wine in India & Mr. Shyaam Chowgule had a great vision & was always very interested in wines & winemaking. His style of launching wines was first launching them abroad & then once they win awards then launching them in India. This was the only way to create awareness in the minds of Indians as they always hold award winning wines from abroad to be more prestigious that the one`s from here. These were the trends at that point of time.

Your wine making mentor is?

Has always been Dr S S Kadam who was his research guide for his Phd & Wine maker John Loche from Chateau Indage.

Your newest venture is De Vineyard, please tell us a little about it? How is your store different than the current wine outlets in Pune?

De vineyard has always been on my mind, it’s a store via which I can create awareness about wines & recommend wines as per people`s palettes. He showcases only Quality wines at the store & procures the wines mostly from the vineyards directly as then the ideal temperature is maintained that keeps the wine in good condition & avoids them from going acidic.

Which brands are you consulting for as of now?

He is consulting for many brands like Myra, Soul Tree, Oakwood & Elite wines from Karnataka & his all time favorite Good Earth wines.

How do you see the impact of alcohol awareness website such as All About Daru on social stigmas & misconceptions related to alcohol in India?

Mr Rasal feels that a website like this is much needed for creating awareness regarding Do`s & Don’t`s of Drinking , this will be able to curb the Binge drinking trend in India.

Rapid Fire:-

Your All Time favorite Wine? - Baso from Good Earth Wines

Your All Time favorite Wine Bar in India & Abroad? - In India it is Indigo Delicatesen in Mumbai & Moncaro Wine Bar from Central Italy

One place you have been yearning to visit to try the wines of? - The white wines from Austria

Any pointers for the young & upcoming Winemakers? - His only message is love your wines & be passionate about what you do.

Dr. Rajesh Rasal

Oenologist and winemaker | De Vineyard

Rajesh Rasal is one of the top names in the wine making industry with more than a decade's experience in this sector. Rajesh initially spent four years researching wine and embarked on an ambitious research project which looked at the preparation of wine on a lab scale. It was his this academic approach which turned him into a hugely passionate wine enthusiast.


Rajesh began his career as an Assistant Winemaker working with Californian wine maker Mr. John Locke at Champagne Indage Ltd, Narayangaon, Pune in the year 2000. Here, he was involved in every aspect of the winemaking process right down to the minutest of details. This included handling of the raw material selection, determining the quality of grapes for winemaking, active participation in winemaking itself, making different styles of wines, determining quality parameters of wine, fining, stabilization and blending of wines and of course the real fun part- the tasting of the wine!


Dr. Rasal earned a PhD, from Pune University in India, in the science of wine- based on his groundbreaking research on the effects of different strains of yeast in wine manufacturing. Dr. Rasal started his business career in wine at Champagne Indage Ltd., as an assistant to California winemaker John Locke




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