Saturday, November 12, 2011

King Noah's Wine

One of the many public works projects King Noah promoted was the establishment of a viticulture industry in the land of Nephi Mosiah 11:15. The venture was quite successful. The text says they made enough wine that many of the locals became connoisseurs.
Current LDS scholarly consensus places the city of Nephi in highland Guatemala near present-day Guatemala City. This suggests a legitimate question - can you really plant vineyards and make wine in the tropical latitudes of the greater Guatemala City area?
It turns out the answer is yes. Chateau DeFay is a commercial winery on the slopes of Agua Volcano. After some experimentation with grape varieties, the DeFay family in 2008 began producing fine chardonnay, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon for the Guatemalan market. In 2011, they began exporting Guatemalan wine internationally.
Brochure from the Chateau DeFay winery near Guatemala City.
Chateau DeFay, in the Department of Sacatepequez, is less than 25 air kilometers from Kaminaljuyu. At 1,700 meters, the vineyards and winery are about 160 meters higher in elevation than the ancient Maya site.
Location of Chateau DeFay on the slopes of Agua Volcano
near Antigua, Guatemala.
The foregoing was written in November, 2011. What follows is from my visit to Chateau DeFay on Dec. 26, 2015. I hired a taxi in Guatemala City and spent about an hour in the vineyards and on the grounds of the winery which is located in the municipality of Santa Maria de Jesus, Sacatepequez.
Road Sign en route to Chateau DeFay from Santa Maria de Jesus
This is the gate leading to the estate.
Chateau DeFay Entrance
This is the Chateau.
Chateau DeFay Winery
These are some of the vineyards.
Chateau DeFay Vineyards
And this is some of their wine.
Vintage 2009 Chateau DeFay Blanc & Rose
I brought these two bottles home in case they proved useful as illustrative material someday. The sales people in the Chateau store were mildly amused that I only wanted to purchase, not taste their product.