India is not a region, or a country, or even a subcontinent. It’s a parallel universe. It’s a world of contradictions and paradoxes where laws of nature mysteriously and randomly seem to disappear and then reappear (try crossing a road in New Delhi!). It is a patchwork of colours, a wall of sound, and a collision of cultures. It is destitution and it is the Taj Mahal.
It is Bollywood dancing, and it is the land of Gandhi. It is the freezing Himalayas and the scorching desert. It is fate and luck, and it is slumdogs and millionaires. Within all of this chaos and complexity, however, there is a sense of order: nothing seems to work, but everything gets done. There is this something, an underlying spirit maybe, a soul that is alive and teeming with possibility, creating these small everyday miracles as it tightens up on the evil heathen while implementing its own set of immutable laws.
For all its religious significance Nasik is also of immense importance when it comes to the stuff you and I love. It is referred to as the wine capital of India, and produces over 80% of the Indian wine produced in the country. It enjoys a tropical climate and a mild, dry winter, with warm days and cool nights. This, with soil amply suited to vine-growing, results in distinctive wines full of character in an industry that is barely a decade old. Leave the city limits in any direction and you will run into vineyards. North and East of the city are home to probably the best terroir for wine grape growing within Asia – and the birthplace of Soul Tree. Glance into these vineyards and you’re sure to spot a farmer gazing contentedly at his life’s work.
Explore some more and you’ll discover some very interesting mountains in the vicinity offering great treks and breathtaking views. And every now and then you will run into a winery that would be more than happy to take you on a tour of the facilities and an Indian wine tasting.