This Father’s Day, Amissville’s Narmada Winery is honoring all dads with its newest release, Legacy. The unique fruit blend commemorates the lives of Pandit Patil, Narmada’s late owner, and Bhalachandra, Pandit’s father-in-law, while sharing their love for wine with the winery’s visitors.
Pandit emigrated to the United States from Mumbai in 1965 to pursue an education in engineering. He went onto receive a master’s degree and doctorate and worked as a government engineer through the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations. After decades in the workforce, Pandit and his wife, Sudha, began searching for a retirement project.
They were particularly taken by the mountainous regions of Northern Virginia while visiting The Inn at Little Washington for an anniversary. Shortly after their visit, Pandit and Sudha purchased 51 acres in the Amissville countryside with the hopes of opening a vineyard.
Pandit and Sudha first built a home on their newly acquired land and later planted grapes in 2002. Quickly realizing the lofty expense of grape growing, the Patils took a chance on Virginia’s budding winemaking industry.
Sudha, a former endodontist with a background in chemistry, took classes with Linden Vineyards’ Jim Law and ultimately hired wine consultant Tom Payette to gain a better understanding of winemaking and grape harvesting.
In 2009, seven years after first breaking ground in Amissville, the Patils founded Narmada Winery. The winery is named after Pandit’s mother and now has 21 acres under vine, with an additional two acres awaiting production. The expansive property yields 10 grape varietals used to produce Narmada’s 21 wines, 80 percent of which are estate grown. Sudha is now Narmada’s head winemaker.
Legacy joins the list of vinos as a sweet wine made with Vidal blanc and Chardonel grapes. To make the blend especially Pandit-like, Sudha adds fresh mangoes, his favorite fruit, as natural sweeteners. Narmada describes the wine as creamy and juicy with substantial mango aromas and flavors. Legacy pairs well with traditional Indian cuisine such as vegetable korma and vegetable biryani as well as classic desserts like plain cheesecake and vanilla bean ice cream.
Legacy is exclusive to the Narmada tasting room and will be released during the winery’s weekend-long Father’s Day celebration for $25 per bottle. A portion of proceeds from each Legacy sale will benefit the American Cancer Society.
“We are excited to be celebrating his legacy,” says Amy Frazier, manager at Narmada Winery. “We know [Pandit] would be proud and we’re excited to keep everything going in his honor.”
In addition to the special release, Father’s Day festivities include outdoor recreation from cornhole and badminton to catch and release fishing at the winery’s stocked pond. Guests can fill up on savory Indian dishes like butter chicken, samosas, vegetable korma, saag, hummus and kulcha bread. To try a little bit of everything, an Indian appetizer sampler will be offered as well. Musicians Aubrey Diggers and Teddy Deal will perform respectively on Saturday and Sunday.
Narmada Winery is located at 43 Narmada Ln., Amissville. To learn more about Narmada Winery, visit their website.