I woke up in the middle of the night panicking about my singing diploma and its proximity in the middle of the night. Dan, if you’re reading this please get in touch on the number I gave you. Also that, having set up Winky’s blog for her, I was the sole Administrator and she could not access it. Having spent the morning driving here to Nashik, we spent the afternoon remedying that and redoing her WordPress blog several times because of the intermittent wifi and the limitations of the app on an iPad. It made me thankful for my laptop.

Interesting facts about Nashik:

  1. Nashik is the 16th fastest growing city in the world with a population of about 1.5million.
  2. The sex ratio for children is  865 girls per 1,000 boys.
  3. On the Godavari River, Nashik is one of four cities that hosts the great gathering of Kumbh Mela every 12 years. If you’ve read Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy, you’ll recognise this from there. Wikipedia goes on to say that visitor numbers for the Kumbh Mela are estimated at around 100 million but I find this figure rather dubious.
  4. Famous people born in Nashik include revolutionaries, freedom fighters and creative icons. Here, you can read all about Nashik yourself.

Why are we here? Mainly because it is the home of the Sula Vineyard, which makes eminently drinkable wines. I was taken by suprise by a Sula Sauvignon last year and was keen to find out more about wine growing in Maharashtra. My cousin’s husband is an eminent vintner so she’s most curious too. Sula is home to a boutique spa hotel which is, unfortunately, permanently booked and therefore unavailable to the likes of us.

We went for a wine tasting tour this evening to be told that we’d just missed the last tasting. We’ll go again tomorrow but in the meantime sampled a glass of rather desultory fizz that didn’t. Perhaps it had been open a while. We had dinner in a deserted restaurant. My exquisite prawn ravioli in curry jus starter was followed by an overly large and therefore guilt-inducingly unfinishable  risotto, which spoiled the effect a little.

Sula is a hip place, hosting regular cool music happenings including the annual  SulaFest . Its distinct clientele tribe of rich, middle class trendies stands out completely from the rest of India and would probably be unrecognisable to most Indians outside the big cities.

We’re also here because we have rellies just up the road though, at this juncture, it looks like we’re going to find it difficult to hook up in the time we have allocated to us before going off to see my mum tomorrow.