San Juan de la Vaquería
Just south of the city of Saltillo, in the center of the Valle de Derramadero, formerly known as ‘Valle de la Buena Esperanza’, is San Juan de la Vaquería, an old hacienda with a colonial population that was a resting place for travelers on their way along the ‘Camino Real’, which linked Mexico City with populations of Texas and Louisiana.
At 1,800 meters above sea level, its semi-desert climate is of warm days and cool nights; The limestone soil derived from its reddish lands make San Juan de la Vaquería an ideal place for growing and maturing the grapes. The elaboration and aging processes in French oak barrels give this wine character, giving it the opportunity to enjoy the “expression of the land.”
Wine made in Saltillo
Balanced, structured and fine wine that evokes the majesty of the valley where it is produced, also reflects family union, wisdom and the visionary spirit of the men of this valley who generously elaborated it, perpetuating an admirable tradition.
It is a wine that has positioned itself among those from Saltillo, who have adopted it as “the house wine”. Its label reflects the growth of this wine area, which in recent years has grown to have more than 20 vineyards who keep company to the centennial Casa Madero vineyard. Gerardo Aguirre, current owner of Antigua Hacienda San Juan de la Vaquería, which dates back to 1570, made his first vine plantation in 2008; With the idea of discovering the potential of this land as a vineyard and the quality of the wine. He realized that with the combination of height, land, climate and work of the people of the valley, it was possible to produce wines of excellent quality that reflect the expression of the land of Saltillo, which offers infinity of riches.
After the success of the first harvests, the project grew, until today reaching the established 20 hectares, harvesting Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varieties. Experiencing the same great success in the elaboration of a rosé wine with the same red grapes, carried out with a process that seeks the best quality and delicacy, to achieve a wine with great aromatic expression and a soft and refreshing flavor that it always remembers the origin of this land.
The red wine is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, giving it a softness and finesse that always tries to maintain the great fruitiness and colors that are achieved in this expressive land. The barrel helps us to potentiate these factors so that the wine is the most pleasant for those from Saltillo who have recognized and tasted this local product that evokes the majesty of our valley.
Attractions it offers
The vineyard offers guided tours with prior reservation, where the care and maturation of the grapes is explained, as well as the techniques to obtain the best quality and the entire process until its harvest and aging. Wine and charcuterie tasting. Also a walk through its walnut tree farm, where there are areas for rest and recreation, explaining the complete process and the delicate care of the production of pecan nuts.
San Juan de la Vaquería is located within the municipality of Saltillo, 25km south of the urban area. Saltillo offers a great variety of tourist attractions and hotels, as well as the best quality restaurants, museums, churches and all the comforts of a capital.
The main attraction of San Juan is its history, it is speculated that it is the oldest settlement in the state, in 1568 the conqueror Francisco Cano discovered this valley, but it was not until 1629 when the explorer Francisco de Urdiñola incorporated part of these lands and speaks of the dairy farm of San Juan and over the centuries it became a hacienda. As time passed, the hacienda ceased to exist as such, but its large house still stands next to the church.
In the midst of this semi-desert climate, the marsh that attracted the first settlers is still alive, where you can admire the large trees, such as mesquites, willows and ash trees that grow among ferns and lily.
Likewise, about 8 kilometers south of San Juan, is the imposing Catana mountain range that protects the entire valley. At the foot of this mountain there is a small town called El Pino, where you can see large cedars, stone pines, mirrors of water and wooded vegetation that we would not imagine to find in that region.
30 km away is the town of General Cepeda, considered one of the largest latifundia in America, run by the Marquis of Aguayo; In the center of the town is the former San Francisco de Patos hacienda, built in 1577, which is currently the municipal presidency. Of its main attractions are Rincón Colorado with its paleontological remains, such as mammoth and dinosaur fossils; remains of their skins and tracks. Also, Narigua with the petroglyphs where the history of the first inhabitants of that region is narrated.
¿Did you know?
Ichthyosaurs were marine reptiles that remind us of modern dolphins. They had a great diversity of shapes and came to measure more than 21m in length. It is estimated that they could swim at speeds of up to 40 km/h.
The ammonites received their name for the resemblance to the ram’s horns of the God Amun of Egyptian mythology, its external shell in the form of a spiral being its main characteristic . In the towns of Northeast Mexico they are known as “suns”. These mollusks are ancestors of the current squid, cuttlefish, octopus and nautilus, they had tentacles on their heads.
It is here on the outskirts of Saltillo, at 1850 meters above sea level where the desert and mountains converge, a territory once occupied by the Tethys Sea, where through millions of years the Valley of Derramadero has formed, land of ammonites, where the Hacienda de San Juan de la Vaquería is settled, and uses the force of the sun, cool nights and its limestone soils derived from its reddish lands to proudly produce the first wine from Saltillo.
”Vinos & Dinos” a wine and paleontological tour which came toghether thanks to the unified efforts between society and government, offers our visitors a unique tourist experience in Mexico.
LOCATION: NORTHEAST MEXICO