Friday, 4 May 2018

A Great Wine Cellar - Another Cuban Surprise

Palacio de Valle

Cuba's third largest city, Cienfuegos sits at the top of a protected bay. The marina is nothing fancy, a spread of concrete wharves in fairly poor condition, so we were happy to anchor off the shore, with the majority of visiting boats.

Just north of the anchorage was the Palacio de Valle, once a private home but now part of a large tourist hotel, Hotel Jagua.

After the very basic infrastructure we'd seen over recent weeks on the Cuban coast, this area was like arriving in Disneyland. The Palacio even boasted a serious wine cellar, where we were able to re-stock with reasonable wines.

Cellar Door
The cellars are absolutely original, built into the basement of the Palacio, behind heavy locked doors.  The basement also hosts a Tapas Bar - ask at the bar to look inside the cellars. You can purchase wines at very reasonable (wholesale) rates here, the range is OK and the storage is all air conditioned so we don't expect any losses.

El Jeffe, President Castro, had a holiday residence nearby and would come to these cellars for his wine, even eating in the cellar dining room. We figured that was good enough for us, and held a tapas dinner there with cruising friends, in the same tiny room, full of character and history.

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