Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 10, 2011- Perote News

Last Sunday afternoon, just as I was publishing last week's post, it started raining.  In less than two hours, we got more than two inches of rain, most of which fell in about 45 minutes.  I just published a separate post trying to explain what happens when we get that much rain locally and in the surrounding mountains that quickly.

For us, the rain came a little too late to do any good, but the local farmers were thrilled.

I don't know if there was any connection between the rain and the local election, but the PRI party carried Sunday's election. 

Stanley spent most of most of the week repairing the berm around our pecan tree.  The rain almost destroyed it.

Aside from that, our week was pretty quiet until Friday.  We were invited to attend a meeting of the local grape growers.  The meeting was held at one of the local vineyards.  I might add we had no idea this vineyard even existed until Friday afternoon. 

Had I seen this place in Napa Valley, it probably wouldn't have impressed me so much, but it was amazing to see a place like this here in northern Mexico.

Forty acres of grapes and that many more of potatoes.  A huge field of alfalfa.  Another of corn.  And a herd of cattle that looked about as fat and happy as cattle can look.  All snuggled up against the mountains.  Not a piece of liter, cigarette butt, plastic bag, empty water bottle or weed in sight. 

The dinner was delicious:  rib eye steak, asparagus, and squash all grilled over charcoal, along with boiled new potatoes and tortillas.  Of course, there was guacamole and three kinds of salsa. And, did I mention wine?

For a few hours, we rubbed shoulders with some of the most interesting people in Parras:  the owner, general manager (an old friend who helped us get our own vineyard started), and wine-maker from Casa Madero; the owner of Rivero-Gonzales along with his son and his wine-maker; the owner of the place we were visiting along with his son; the owners of a brand new vineyard (also my personal bird expert); our very good friend, Antonio, as representative for the new vineyard at Jardin Botanico; and Manuel Rivero Larrea, director of Parras, Pueblo Magico.

The first objective of the group seems to be the establishment of an appellation, Valle de Parras, to define the geographic area of the wine and minimum requirements for the wine which could claim the appellation.
The second objective is to abolish the extremely high tax imposed by the federal government.
The third objective is to work together on issues of pest control - especially Pierce's disease.
The fourth is to increase tourism in Parras.
And the fifth is to increase the national and international markets for quality Mexican wine. 
I'm not sure these are in any particular order, but I'm sure I left out something important.  After all, the entire meeting was conducted in Spanish so I was pretty proud to be able to follow this much.  We were very impressed with the thoughtful consideration these men had given each issue and the high level of articulation.  It was a pleasure to meet with them.

Saturday, we finished up the pergola and rested up from our big day on Friday.

We've had some beautiful sunsets.  This one was the best.

My only real accomplishment was getting the Fancy Cooking blog started.  Check it out.  Hoping you get something good cooking at your house.