Mexican Wine Tasting

Mexican beer, beans, and migrant workers may be some of Mexico's most famous exports; but now LCDs from the machiladoras? I know I was surprised to find that they now even support tourism via wine tours. In fact, while some university groups fundraise selling candy or car washes, Deb's school club garners funding by renting a bus and conducting the wine tour themselves. A professor is quite familiar with the area, so graduate students and cultured adults alike pour into the bus for a couple hours down the coast. Eventually, the bus stops, and we see this.

Our first stop was at the house of Dona Lupe at Valle de Guadalupe. For those not fluent in spanish, Guadalupe is actually a toponymn from the greek word wadi, which means river, and the latin word lupus, which means wolf. Combined with the fact that valle is the feminine form of vallo, or van, in spanish, the rough translation as "the minivan of the river wolf" may seem confusing to the unassuming.

The real story is that there once was a man, or hombre, who longed as a child to bring fine wines to this poor area in the mountains where his family raised crops. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough water to grow grapes, so the family was forced to cultivate their living by hand-picking raisins from the fields. Later, he went to school for chemistry, and invented a formula for powdered wine mix ground from raisins. He returned home to the warm embrace of his parents' pride and began the family business of raisin instant wine. As they learned about the intricacies of this new business, however, it became obvious that every packaging option was already heavily patented. Wine powder in packets was claimed by Kool-aid, who never learned how to incorporate two cups of sugar into their recipe, and therefore canned the project. Subsequently, Kool-aid also claimed powdered wine in a can, too, for their failed attempt. Wine powder in a box was done by the same companies that claimed wine-in-a-box, beer-in-a-box, and a brief stint of absinthe-in-a-box during the prohibition era. There was no way to get his wine powder to the masses, but this didn't make him sad. He put the wine powder into his minivan, and drove to the big city.

He drove and peddled for miles building on blocks and blocks of city streets and gentle rejections. No one wanted a handful of wine powder. He became predatory, lashing out to customers as prey, deranged prey that wouldn't accept his amazing invention from his family's roots and the fruits of their labor. People would call him mean, but not a wolf. They would call him annoying, but not a wolf. They would call him every name, but not a wolf. Finally, the rejection was too much for his heart to bear, and he couldn't return to his family with the minivan full of toils disregarded.

As he backed the minivan towards the city water supply to lighten his load burdened by his heavy sighs, he had no idea that opening the rear hatch would pour the wine powder into the water supply to the pleasant surprise of city dwellers who would taste the delicious concoction straight from their taps. And so he opened the rear hatch which poured the wine powder into the water supply to the pleasant surprise of city dwellers who tasted the delicious concoction straight from their taps. But he drove away, back home to his family's raisin vineyard.

Slowly, the city dwellers began to talk among themselves as to who turned water into wine.

They asked Jesus, who said no, not me this time.

They asked the other Jesus, who said no, not me this time.

They then remembered the man who peddled powdered wine from his minivan and tracked down his tire tracks leading from the water source to the long way home. And so the crowds followed in his tire treads, driving a mile in his treads, and felt his sorrow. When the city dwellers reached his family's vineyard, they were overcome with emotion and burst into gleeful tears as they ran to greet him and buy his wine powder. Because they felt bad for having called him every name but a wolf, they rejoiced that the River Wolf had opened their eyes to his wonderful invention. Exhausted and ecstatic, the city dwellers cried his success and filled the mountainside with tears, just enough water to convert the family's raisin vineyard into a grape vineyard, thereby ruining all future crops of fresh raisins critical for his invention. Today, the family still produces sub-par wine from grapes, but pays tribute every afternoon to the man that was almost famous, driving through those unassuming minds in "the minivan of the river wolf".

The vineyards now filled with grapes.

So many tourists who were moved by the history of the place, after crying, and providing another season of grapes.

A truck and a shack.

Wind rushing through the arid mountains.

More vines.

The man, so sad. So sad.

We then drove to another winery. This was a normal Mexican winery. Beautiful place to make wine.

A round house in front of the underground winery.

This vineyard represented a new direction for the winery. They had hoped for a bountiful crop of weeds to foster an entire market of dandelion wine. Sadly, the weeds would hardly grow and there would not be enough to harvest this year.

The back view.

The whole back view.

If you were young, crawling under the pipes and vines to catch your friend meters but minutes ahead as you struggle cross and catch him. I'm imagining ignored knee scrapes until we're just out of voice's reach.

The long path.

Passing a saturday afternoon no other way.

The last winery was owned by a Russian. He was crazy, and had us drink straight from giant metal barrels with spigots. He used to play piano, this piano, until one day it played a wrong note. Now it shall never play again.

The vineyard with heavy clouds rolling in.

Tasting wine inside.

A road next to another road. Mrs Hirt walked laps.

Wine props posing for pictures.

More wine props posing for pictures.

I don't know what this was, but if you find another like it, you could go to the Russian winery in Mexico and maybe make a deal to own a matching pair.