Romancing an old colonial home or a turn-of-the-century liquor factory

October 1, 2009

That’s the beauty of Merida…you just learn to let the day unfold…

An elderly gentleman greets me at the property in Centro.  He is very pleasant, soft spoken and gracious—a trait I find common in the people here.  As we tour the large property, he tells me that it has been in his family for generations.   He opens the centuries-old wood and wrought iron carriage doors;  I see huge English oak barrels—rows of them.  A waft of warm air rolls over me scented with pleasant notes of smoke, dusty earth and warm carmel…hmmm…whiskey I thought…yep…it’s whiskey.  To the left, are a row of stainless steel tanks.  To the right—oak barrels.   His voice was beginning to fade and I was beginning to imagine myself comfortably seated with friends smoking cigars, having lively conversation and sipping fine whiskey that we just sampled from the barrel next to us.  My host’s voice return’s as he opens door after door to the bottling room; the labeling room; the packaging room, and so on.

I told him I had a similar history in my family in the 1900’s with a Bordello in Jack London Square of Oakland, California.  My great uncle had a bar there called the Overland.  I mentioned jokingly that I would do my best to be his surrogate son.  We had a terrific afternoon of pleasant conversation.  My host reached into a box where we were standing in a dusty, dark room full of boxes piled and stacked everywhere.  He pulled out a bottle of the finished product in perfect condition and handed it to me.  ‘For you’ he said, placing his hand on my shoulder with a warm smile, ‘enjoy’.

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