Ever exciting and brimming with new leisure opportunities, Antigua Guatemala now boasts Guatemala’s first winery.
Chateau DeFay (tel. 7832-5078 or 5883-3911, www.chateaudefayvineyards.com), on the slopes of Agua Volcano in neighboring Santa María de Jesús, is a 3,000-case winery and vineyard. Its owners, Jacques and Angie Defay, purchased a former coffee farm and converted part of the land into vineyards using plants brought in from Washington state.
The farm also grows asparagus. Jacques, a former economist with the International Development Bank (IDB), retired to Guatemala from Falls Church, Virginia in 2002 after numerous visits to the country.
The winery is open for tastings Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Chateau DeFay wines come in several varieties, including Angie’s Blend, Chardonnay, White Merlot, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot, and Bruno’s Favorite. The latter is named for resident winemaker Bruno Coppola.
The first year of wine production was 2008. A bottle of wine costs Q149, or about $20.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com