The Bucket List | #01 Ankit Shah

Welcome to IIFT’s Bucket List diaries! Each week, we will feature unique and fascinating bucket list dreams of our fellow students. Tune in and be whisked away into faraway lands and exhilarating experiences!

Starting off strong, our first Bucket List diaries features Ankit Shah. He’s a section A non-engineer, with a background in the hospitality sector. Ankit is definitely a rare breed here at IIFT and his bucket list is equally enchanting.

As a part of his rigorous course at IHM Mumbai, Ankit was taught the entire process of wine manufacturing, its history, applications in different points of time and a whole lot more. This includes learning a list of over 5000 different wine labels! Yet the silver lining – it brought out his passion for wine and wine-making. Which brings us to his bucket list dream – own a small chateau with a private vineyard in the Rhône valley of Southern France and make his own wine.

Although various other countries manufacture wine, France is known to have the most traditional winemaking process. Let’s break it down with a trip to the sunny Rhône valley in the south of France. Some of the best wines are made in the Cote du Rhône, which translates to “the side of the Rhone” in French. By size, it is second only to Bordeaux and produces close to $100 million worth of wine every year. Vineyards are located on both sides of the Rhône river between Vienne and Avignon. The area is divided into north and south regions. The geographic location impacts the flavour and method of production. The north features steep hills, defined seasons and produces full-bodied, savoury wines. The south is sunny with mild winters and wide open spaces. The wines of the south feature the distinct taste of the wild herbs “Garrigue” that cover the landscapes.

These landscapes are dotted with chateaus (French for castle), each featuring their own vineyards and wine label. Ankit talks about the challenges of acquiring such an estate in the Rhône – the French prefer to keep these precious lands to themselves. However, he hopes that with enough time and career influence, he might be able to change that. From there, it’s a process of picking out the flavours of his wine and getting it manufactured into a private label. Resulting in a very exclusive bottle of Ankit’s own wine- hand grown and handmade!

Once his cellar is filled with his wine, Ankit plans to invite his friends at his chateau and host wine tasting parties. Quite an amazing dream if you ask me!

That’s all for the first issue of. IIFT’s Bucket List Diaries. A big thank you to Ankit Shah for sharing his bucket list and hopefully, he will invite us to his estate for wine tasting one day!

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