Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Viñedos Malagon: Finding Gold in Francisco Zarco


Baja Wine Country News
by Steve Dryden

Rancho Malagon or Viñedos Malagon is a “hidden jewel” located in the village of Francisco Zarco in Valle de Guadalupe. This family owned 400 acre ranch, vineyards, winery, bed and breakfast gets a gold medal for hospitality, first class service, romantic ambiance, hidden location, and for creating fantastic wine. In fact, one of their three premium wines won a gold this year in the 16th International Wine Competition in Ensenada and their 2006 Reserva received 92 points from Wine Spectator magazine. Until recently this amazing private estate has been “a little known haven” for selected friends and members of the Malagon family whose relatives have owned the property for several generations. One would never have guessed that such a special ranch exists behind the village of Francisco Zarco where lucky guests experience a stunning setting with valley and mountain views, an abundance of natural beauty, blessed with wealth of peace and tranquility.

The ranch was originally a Russian homestead established in the early 1900’s by Molokan settlers. In 2000 Jose Luis Malagon purchased the ranch from relatives with the vision of creating premium wine crafted from old vine Grenache grapes planted over fifty years ago on his property. Over the years, with the help of his wife, children and friends the Malagons have created the perfect Baja California retreat and getaway complete with a hacienda-style compound featuring a family bar, dinning room with fireplace, and a four unit bead and breakfast complex. The ranch reflects the traditional values cherished by the Malagon family and showcases their respect for nature, conservation, preservation of the land and the Baja California ranch lifestyle. And, somehow their wines seem to capture that same essence via the expression of the old vine roots that are deeply woven into the native soil of the valley, transforming mature fruit into rich, complex wine that speaks volumes about the strength and determination of the abandoned vines, who waited patiently for decades for someone to discover their palate pleasing treasures. Thankfully two local “vino desperadoes” Nathan Malagon and Jose Luis Durant came to their rescue with lots of TLC, and the rest is now Baja California history in the making.

Continued soon ...

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