In addition to Carnaval parades, markets, and sand drags, among other activities, this past weekend (Feb 17th & 18th) here in Rocky Point there was even the chance to taste delicious wines from vineyards near Ensenada in Baja California. The “chamacos” (young men – as defined by the senior member of the group) set up the wine tasting experience within Don Julio’s on Blvd. Fremont and welcomed numerous visitors and wine aficionados during the evening of the 17th and all day on the 18th. We were happy to see that Friday evening drew quite a crowd while on Saturday, as the vineyard representatives explained, many people came buy to buy bottles for casita. The vineyards presented were Viñedos Villarino (represented by Luis Villarino Lopez and his son Luis Villarino Gil), MD Vinos (represented by brothers Eduardo and Manuel Delgado Albo) and Viñedos Santo Domingo (wines which were presented by the other wine producers).
Speaking for the four “chamacos”, Ing. Luis Villarino Lopez of Viñedos Villarino explained they are part of a cooperative of wineries found along the “old wine route” near Ensenada in Baja California. The cooperative, named La Cava Antigua Ruta de Vino, was formed in 2006 and consists of 17 small producers of grapes and wine. They are located along the Transpeninsular Highway of the Santo Tomas Municipality in Ensenada, B.C. at Km 41.5. They currently manage approximately 100 hectares of vineyards and produce 12,000 boxes of wine bottles annually.
Villarino Lopez went on to state the La Cava corporative has participated in local, state, national and international events, including the International Wine Event held at the UABC (Autonomous University of Baja California). They have been awarded prizes including a gold medal for a 2007 Syrah and a silver medal for 2008 Syrah, both of MD Vinos, as well as high marks (80 of 100) for various wines from the entire cooperative by a national wine guide magazine. Last year, they won a state contest for successful businesses in Baja California, which gave them the right to participate on the national stage of RENDRUS (National Network of Rural Sustainable Development) held in Guadalajara, Jalisco and as a cooperative they were invited to display their wines at the 2011 AGRO-CHIAPAS. They have received recognition and positive results from all of these experiences.
So, what did they think of Rocky Point? They were pleased to see the peace and calm in the area and said they would return to Rocky Point “without question.” Plans are already in the works for the wineries to return to our beaches around mid-April and promises to be an exciting time as well, with wine tasting and even possibly a special dinner event at Mare Blu on the Reef. We will post information on the Event Calendar as it becomes available.
For those seeking an adventure to the wine region of Ensenada, Baja California and particularly a visit to La Cava, Luis Villarino Lopez tells us they are open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from noon – 6 p.m. as well as by appointment. For more information: Viñedos Villarino tel: 646-176-0593 or MD Vinos www.mdvinos.com.mx as well as: http://www.descubrebajacalifornia.com/la-ruta-del-vino.php