Monday, August 20, 2007

Tour to Nap Valley; Wine capitol of USA

Pictures at: http://picasaweb.google.com/TusharPhotos/Ca_Napa

I was immediately enthralled by the area’s natural beauty, and vibrant tradition of winemaking. The valley has grown from an obscure, secluded hollow in the California landscape to an internationally recognized food and wine destination. The combination of Mediterranean climate, geography and geology of the valley are conducive to growing quality wine grapes. I also learned the tid-bits of wine making and tasting , Napa Valley grows many varieties of wine, We tested Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Noir, Muscat and Reisling type of wines at Mondavi, V. Sutti and Hess wineries.

In 1975( when I came to USA), Napa Valley had no more twenty wineries. Today there are more than 250 Wineries. In Sonoma country the web of vineyards has grown well over 150 vineyards. The new are opening one. We discovered recent opening Castello di Amorosa Today, Napa Valley is home to almost 400 wineries. Its growers and vintners combine cutting-edge science with traditional techniques, and its reputation for producing world-class wines is firmly established in an ever-growing global market.

We visited following wineries : 1)

http://www.mondavi.com/home.asp ( took detailed tour, wine tasting lesion, purchased Muscat, Flume blank)

2) http://www.vsattui.com/ ( wine tasting, Purchased Dry Johannisberg Riesling )

3) http://www.hesscollection.com/ The Hess Collection Winery and Vineyards

4) www.copia.org/

Some of wines we tasted aree: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Noir , Reesling.

The World of Wine making is fascinating and so is the growth and economy of the Napa Valley. The engraving on stone at the Copia quotes R Mondovi “Wines , like poetry, songs are carriers of culture and the celebration of life”

The complete essay is available at http://www.napavintners.com

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Elephant Seal at California




Hunted nearly to extinction for their oil-rich blubber, elephant seals have made a remarkable comeback.




Elephant seals form harems, in which the dominant, or alpha, male is surrounded by a group of females. On the periphery of the harem, the beta bulls wait in hopes of an opportunity to mate. They assist the alpha bull in keeping away the less dominant males. Fights between males can be bloody affairs in which the combatants rear up and slam their bodies against each other, slashing with their large canine teeth. Male and female have very differentdietary habits. Soon will post more pictures at my web.

Read more at www.elephantseal.org .

Velkommen! to Solvang



Welcome to the charming Danish village of Solvang; where sunny fields meet old-world craftsmanship and hospitality. Stroll the quaint flower-lined streets among windmills, thatched roofs and authentic bakeries. Made a quick stop on the way to Hearst castle.

Click the following link for more pictures. http://picasaweb.google.com/TusharPhotos/CA_HearstCastle

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Missionhas beautiful setting, unique twin bell towers, and lovely fa├žade have earned it the title "Queen of Missions." It is one of the most frequently photographed structure of California. Santa Barbara is also home town of Laura Shah. See http://sbmission.org

San Simeon, Hearst Castle, Califirnia



San Simeon (Hearst Castle) is on the Central Coast, in the Santa Lucia Mountains
Estate of publisher William Randolph Hearst. Encompasses the main house, known as "Casa Grande," as well as three guest houses and 127 acres of gardens

The castle is filled with statues and other items Hearst purchased in Europe and reassembled in California. The collection includes choir stalls from an Italian convent, Gothic tapestries, a mosaic from Pompeii and many artifacts from Italy.

Theater, visitor center, guided tours, concessions and rotating exhibits

There are 41 fireplaces and 61 bathrooms on the grounds