Hand creafted from chickoos grown in Dahanu-Gholvad
I am a farmers daughter and Gholvad is my native village. (I have attached the story of Gholvad chikoos for your reference)I was born and brought up here. After schooling I moved on to Mumbai, Pune and finally USA to complete Masters in Mechanical Engineering. After studying and working in USA, I decided to head back home to help my parents in their family business. My family owns a Resort and Fruit orchards in a hills surrounding the beautiful costal town of Bordi. Dahanu-Gholvad Chikoo is renowned and now also holds a Geographical Indication. A seed borer disease had destroyed the Chikoo market and farmers had eventually resorted to cutting off Chikoo trees for some other cultivation. Even after the fruit recovered from its tyranny, the market acceptance suffered greatly. Moreover, Chikoo barely had any products that could add value to fruit. Other several problems with Chikoo were its high pH, highly perishable and uneven nature of ripening. We were trying to access all possible avenues so that Chikoo could be put to use. Most of the Chikoo dried products too failed to attract the consumers. We realised that Chikoo juice retained the major flavour component of the fruit and the dried matter had very little Chikoo flavour. Again the juice was tough to package and is highly perishable. The fruit has very strong ambient yeast that start fermentation very fast post juice extraction. While a friend who was working on wines suggested Chikoo Wine as its in the nature of Chikoo to ferment. Wine would also add the much needed glamour quotient to the fruit and most important we could bottle Chikoo. And hence started working on Chikoo Wine in 2011. The makers of this wine are farmers who are immensely passionate about their fruit and believe in it's potential for developing into a fine wine varietal. Its the first ever wine made from pure chikoo extracts, offering an outburst of tropical flavours on your palate.
The pH of Chikoo is around 5.1 which makes it practically impossible for wine making. Also juice extraction is about 350 - 400 ml per kg of chikoo. But there are advantages as well. The juice is packed with so much flavours and sugar that it needs to be diluted very much in order to maintain good amount of flavour intensity. We do not add any sugar to the diluted juice as it's sufficient enough to get the amount of alcohol required in the drink. Just acidity to be adjusted and the juice is ready for fermentation. So I would say it's completely worth making the wine as it give surprising notes on the palate. The wine is carbonated and served chilled to taste its best.
We have a wine maker who made the task of Chikoo Wine look effortless. Mr. Dominic Rivard from Nova Scotia, Canada is a renowned fruit wine maker and cider specialist. He has worked at several wineries around the world and owns the very famous Bulwark Ciders and Red Barn Winery in Nova Scotia, Canada.