Okay, so in a recent post I was telling you I met some nice people at Hostal Rana in Villa de Leyva. They were going to take a little wander out of town to a winery they’d heard about and they invited me to tag along.
First we checked out the town’s big Saturday Market which was full of color, smells, and people shopping for fruits, veggies, and meats.
After strolling through the market and buying a few handmade souvenirs (and shots of Aguardiente, a strong anise-flavored drink–blech!) we took a short hike barely out of town to a local winery (Vinicola Y Posada Guanani) run by a German expat named Joachim Herzberg. We arrived to find there was no tour of the vineyard like we were told. It was past cultivation season and I guess there was really nothing to see. And we were also the only ones there. So I proceeded to stumble through some Spanish and asked for a tasting. We were given five different glasses (actually more like tiny plastic cough syrup cups—two reds, two whites, and a sweet, dessert wine. The owner, a large, scruffy fellow, came over and sat down with us. I can’t really confirm everything he said because he seemed, well, a bit out of it, but it appeared he was an “agricultural engineer” from Berlin, Germany and had moved to Colombia twenty-six years ago. The rest of everything he said was a mélange of bits of introspection, pieces of confusion and scraps of drunken wit.
Suffice it to say, the wine was downright awful (seriously, to be compared to cough syrup would be a compliment…maybe it actually was different flavors of Listerine), but the company was some of the most entertaining I had experienced during my travels through Colombia. And by entertaining I mean uncomfortably entertaining, but so much so that I kept plying him with questions just to be amused at the answers that came out of his mouth. We couldn’t exactly figure out if the German owner was drunk or possibly a little messed up in the head. He actually called it (his words, not mine) PVC: God-damned Chronic Oldness. Of course that would be GDCO, so not sure where his acronym came from or if it was maybe from the Spanish or German translation for “God-damned Chronic Oldness.” We’ll never know. He was pretty funny and took forever to finish his thoughts, sometimes just trailing off with a big smile forming around the bottom of his pasty, white-whiskered face. He didn’t charge us for the small tasting we did, perhaps he just enjoyed the company or maybe he actually knew how truly nasty the vino was. But I laughed a good part of the time I was there and actually think I would still recommend checking it out…actually, yes, definitely check it out if you are in Villa de Leyva…if for nothing else but the strange company. You just never may know what might happen. Salud!