La Finca de Gualfin is a legend. Over the centuries, many people in the area had heard of the land at the end of the valley and the fierce, independent people who lived there. Few had ever actually seen it. No road led to it. Few travelers, on horseback, ventured all the way to reach it.
The people…and the place…were left alone to develop their own culture and their own traditions. The air was as pure as any on the planet. People were ‘autonomous,’ – able to take care of themselves without help from the outside world. People lived and died without doctors or supermarkets. They ate their own vegetables, chickens, cattle and goats. They made cheese and fruit preserves. They enjoyed the warm sun…and huddled in their adobe houses on the cold nights.
It wasn’t until 1986 that the first road was brought to the ranch…a single dirt track, up the dry riverbed and across the valley floor to the “sala,” as they call the ranch headquarters and main house,
This is place that still cleaves to tradition; the people who cultivate it do so in the manner of their ancestors, and are raising their children to do the same.
Since then, there has been much more communication with the outside world, but folks here are still unique and independent — as much a part of the land as the mighty mountains themselves. This is place that still cleaves to tradition; the people who cultivate it do so in the manner of their ancestors, and are raising their children to do the same.
Their sun-weathered faces reflect lives that in some ways are more integrated, more connected with the earth, than that of many in the so-called “modern” world. And integration is not easy here. This is a place where even cacti struggle to survive. Not to mention grape vines…
Grape vines? At over 8,400 feet? You betcha. But don’t take our word for it — come witness mountain winemaking first-hand.