Friday, April 3, 2009

Tepic, Tonala, Luis Moya and Back to Parras - Spring 2009

Leaving Mazatlan early in the morning, we drove to Tepic where we bought orchids from Jose Francisco Tovan Abad at Vivero La Orquidea in Pantanal, Nayarit. Street address Carr. San Cayetano KM 2.5 Rumbo al aeropuerto. All that information will mean nothing to anyone unless you are looking for beautiful orchids at reasonable prices from someone who really knows about orchids. I was so excited I forgot to take pictures. Oh, well . . .

On to Tequila. We were on the search for barrels to be used for wine aging. The story behind these barrels is rather interesting. According to US law, whiskey barrels can only be used once. Then, many of them are sold for aging and storing tequila. They may be refurbished several times during their life in Tequila, but finally, too thin to rework, they are sold to enterprising folks like David. He completely disassembles the barrels, selects only staves that are solid enough to rework and creates new barrels. They are somewhat smaller than the originals but serve our purpose beautifully. We bought three plain barrels from him and two more decorative ones from another company. It was a good buy!

The little town of Tequila is growing leaps and bounds. Just a few years ago it was impossible to find a place to stay, but now there are several very nice hotels and nice restaurants. The infrastructure for tourists is certainly improving. However, after procuring and packing all our barrels - made all the more difficult by all the orchids we had purchased the previous day - all the nicest places to eat were closed. Dinner consisted of tacos purchased from a street vendor and eaten on a park bench. Delicious!

On to Guadalajara and Tonala. By the time we reached Tonala the truck was full, but I did manage to squeeze in a couple of items I couldn't live without. Stanley made no purchases, but he did see an interesting sight that he thought we needed to capture on film.
Tonala was just as busy as ever. So much stuff! What a shame I have such a small home. I would buy more if I only had the space.
A quick stop in Luis Moya to make arrangements for grapes we would pick up in August, and we were back on the road. Just in case anyone is wondering, it's a long way from Guadalajara to Parras de la Fuente.

Shortly after we returned to Parras, Estella's grandson was baptized. Of course, there was the mandatory feeding opportunity and I was honored with an invitation. The lovely woman is my friend Estella. The charming little boy is Ramon - not so charming at this very moment, but he was still half-asleep.

The always charming Pable Montero paid us a visit. He's probably the most famous entertainer I ever shared a glass of wine with. He is as controversial as he is talented, but we throughly enjoy his company. Check him out on wikipedia at

And finally, Stanley got started clearing the site for the new vineyard. Look carefully and you can see 75 Zinfandels, 25 Cabernet Sauvignon and 25 Petit Sarah.

Included in the plan is space for a new vegetable garden. The entire area will be fenced, netted and ready for shade cloth when needed.
I can hardly wait.