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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Three Women Winery is a Unique Venue

Three Women Winery is a Unique Venue
by Steve Dryden

[Three Women: l-r-Laura, Eva, Ivette]

Three Women Winery or Tres Mujeres is a favorite wine tasting adventure for those who love artisan wine, country hospitality and intimate conversations with the winemakers. This cozy little winery is located on Highway 3, along the Tecate-Ensenada wine route near km marker 87. Drive between the rock columns at the entrance to the drive and follow the road to the left towards the foothills. Don’t be confused by the winery and vineyards to the right, keep going to the left another half mile past the Three Women tile sign and you’ll find some wonderful people and excellent handmade wines. The big news is that all the artisan wines sold there are only $20 USD.

Eva Cotero Altamirano, Ivette Vaillard, and Laura Mac Gregor Garcia are the original Three Women or Tres Mujeres. Today there are six women and two “token” men involved at the cooperative winery. Eva is a top research oceanographer in Mexico and has a cult following for her premium handcrafted wines. Currently she creates three excellent wines: 100% Tempranillo—Besod’eva 2006, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon—Ibi, and 100% Merlot—Isme. She’s increased her bottle aging to one year with great results, creating superior quality.

Laura is getting very serious about her craft. In fact, this year she’s taken classes in enology and viticulture from UABC in Ensenada where she’s received her most recent certification. Her two newest premium wines, 100% Tempranillo and 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, are excellent and fully reflect her intense focus on creating high quality artisan wine.

Ivette currently handcrafts 2006 and 2007 vintage wines from Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, and Terrazas and Grenache. She states, “The Cabernet Sauvignon complements the old vine Grenache well. I craft my wines to be drinkable at a young age, light in body and fruit forward. I listen to what my clients want, and this is what most of them desire in my artisan wine.” Her wines are popular with many guests who are looking for a light-bodied, easy to drink wine that will pair nicely with most foods.

One of the men in this female wine cooperative is Aime Desponds, a former gourmet chef in Mexico City and in Tustin, California. Having built a cob home of clay, under the warm sun of Valle de Guadalupe, he’s designed an appropriate wine label called Sol Y Barro or Sun and Clay. His 2007 blend of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sarah is stunning! Currently his “bottled treasures of delight” can be purchased only at the winery and for a limited period of time due to a small, select production.

Tres Mujeres winery is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. You’ll have to visit the winery to find and purchase their wines, but it’s well worth the effort as the wines are very good and the hospitality unsurpassed.

Steve Dryden is a wine, food and travel writer living in Guadalupe Valley where he guides individual and small group wine tours. He books wine country lodging and can be reached at sbdryden@hotmail.com