Casa de Piedra is a modern winery built in the style of an intimate stone farmhouse. Covered in brightly colored bougainvillea and flanked by fields of glorious vines, the exterior of the main building itself is charming and inviting. First time visitors exiting the Tecate-Ensenada highway in Valle San Antonio de las Minas may be in for a surprise when they enter its modest but lovely premises and discover the highest quality modern wine production: computerized processing, a semi-gravitational system and stainless steel tanks. Dedicated wine enthusiasts, however, will certainly not be surprised by this technological excellence and innovation as the wines of Casa de Piedra have become well known within elite circles as the very best that Mexico has to offer.
D'Acosta imagined and built Casa de Piedra as a winery on "a human scale". A family-run operation that bottles approximately 3000 cases if wine per year; its yield is small enough that he is actually involved in every aspect of wine production ~ from growing and harvesting the grapes to creating the wine, then later throughout the aging and mixing process. "The grapes picked by hand are later bottled by hand,"* says D'Acosta. Rather than simply managing a wine operation, he has personal contact with each barrel, ensuring that all bottles sold are of the highest possible quality.
Since its first harvest in 1997 Casa de Piedra has brought the world a select number of highly sought-after wines which have achieved cult-like celebrity. A single bottle may retail within high-end Mexico City restaurants for as much as $200. The wines are well known nationally and internationally for being "exclusive, expensive, and hard to find".
Casa de Piedra has two main offerings the velvety red Vino de Piedra and its lively sister Piedra del Sol. Both have been described by connoisseurs and news media as "groundbreaking", "impressive" and "sensational".
Vino de Piedra is a blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon aged in oak barrels. With an aroma of berries, cocoa and forest seedlings, it is known for its lightly earthy tones and (depending on the year) a subtle hang of wood. The granite limestone soil upon which the red grapes were grown ensures that acidity is never a problem. With its voluptuous taste and spicy flavors, this complex wine ages very well.
Pale golden Piedra del Sol celebrates simplicity. Created from 100% chardonnay grapes grown close together in the vineyards, this unique wine reveals the pure character of its grape without adulteration or layering. Its fresh flavor reflects green apples, citrus and a delicate end of honey. D'Acosta recommends it as an ideal companion for seafood.
Visitors to Casa de Piedra are warmly welcomed by appointment to tour, taste and enjoy. This small boutique winery may be unassuming in appearance but its wines have made a strong and lasting impression upon enthusiasts from all around the world.
Km. 93.5 Highway 3 Tecate-Ensenada
San Antonio de las Minas
Sources: Casa de Piedra Website, Article in Wine Report by Thomas J. Reagan Jr, Baja: A Wine Tour by Abe Opincar