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Trespassing at Chateau DeFay

September 19, 2011
After enjoying morning coffee in the park with the dogs (Socrates made it all the way home off leash without any barking or problems) and a great breakfast at Doña Luisa Xicotencatl Brian and I decided to head to Guatemala’s only winery (or at least to our knowledge), Chateau DeFay.

We researched online a bit to find out how to get there and decided we would have to take a taxi. When we got to the taxi stand we found out the ride would cost Q350, which we thought was a lot; but after trying to negotiate a bit with no luck we decided to go anyway. The road from Antigua to Santa Maria de Jesus is a nice concrete road with terrific views. But soon we realized why the taxi driver was not negotiating on the price- we hit a dirt road that was really not suitable for a 2-wheel drive station wagon. The driver did a good job, but we had to go 2 kms on the extremely bad road- where you only see horses, 4-wheel drive trucks and an occasional motorbike.

Here is a map of where we went in relation to Antigua. Guatemala City would be at the top right hand side if the map was larger. If you use the link below you can get a closer look at the terrain and the road.

Antigua through Santa Maria de Jesus to Chateau DeFay

View Larger Map

Finally we pulled up to the locked gate of Chateau DeFay.  We considered turning around for a moment… looked up their phone number on the Blackberry (disconnected)… decided just to skirt the gate and head in.  We walked down the drive surrounded by coffee plants for about a quarter-mile.  Quietly passed by two guys pruning trees with machetes…. passed by an out-of-place miniature golf course and turned the corner to find the castle esque chateau that was eerily empty and tranquillo.  After not finding any signs of life in the villa we turned around and D busted out some spanish on the gardeners… enough to secure a bottle of “Don Jacques” a 2008 vintage Cab/Merlot/Shyraz blend.  Maybe we will save it for a special occasion i.e. when one of you finally get your ass down here to visit.

After the rough drive to the winery we are welcomed by a locked gate

Coffee lined road to the winery

Trespassing past the gate

Chateau DeFay

Brian and Don Jacques

Another noteworthy discovery includes Monte Maria Country Club, a golf course in what might be the least likely location in the world, which is rumored to have been built with drug money, abandoned several years ago and purchased from the bank by an Korean businessman.  All homes adjacent to the course are abandoned, it is nearly inaccessible in rainy season, the fairways are toast in dry season and all signage is in Korean.  However, green fees are only $12 for 9 and $5 extra for a caddy.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Candice permalink
    September 21, 2011 5:36 pm

    did you buy that bottle of wine? And where was everybody? Sounds like a fun/scary adventure. love love and miss yous guys!

    • Denise permalink
      October 13, 2011 12:36 pm

      Yes, we did buy the bottle of wine- didn’t get to taste any though. I’m not sure where the owners were but the winery was technically closed because the road is ‘inpassable’ for customers. It won’t open again until after rainy season is over and the road gets fixed/graded. Miss you too!! Cheers!

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