Dia de Ostiones
2017 marks the 18th year of Provino's annual Fesitval de las Conchas y Vino Nuevo (Festival of Shells and New Wine). For 2017, Provino offered a weeklong series of demonstrations, tours, dinners that culminates with the largest event on Sunday. This week long festival is also the unofficial kick-off for the event season in Valle de Guadalupe.
The first event of the week was held on Monday April 17, 2017. The event was titled Dia de Ostiones (Day of Oysters) and was held at Drew Deckman's Conchas de Piedra restaurant at the Casa de Piedra winery. The event started at 1:00 PM and carried a ticket price of $250.00 pesos ($14.00 USD).
Upon arrival guests were given a souvenir wine glass (etched with the Provino logo) and a printed card allowing you six (6) oyster samples and five (5) glasses of wine. It was a pleasant surprise to see that over 45 different wines were offered at this one event. For many guests, myself included, it was a truly difficult challenge to narrow our selection down to just five wines. Guests could also purchase additional glasses of wine for the reasonable price of $15.00 pesos (.83 cents USD).
After selecting our first wine, we headed to the nearby counter to receive our various oysters. Here, Drew Deckman was diligently instructing his staff on the proper presentation of the oysters. Despite the need to monitor his staff and the need to open countless oysters, Drew kindly looked up from the task at hand to say hello and welcome guests to the event. With each plate of oysters, guests were also provided with a card indicating the type and source of each individual oyster.
The event had a total of three (3) demonstrations for guests. The first was an informative presentation on how to open an oyster (without cutting off a finger). The second presentation discussed the pairing of oysters and wine. The third and final presentation offered instruction on the preparation of the oysters.
The event was well organized and it was an absolute value for what was a very low ticket price. Although this event was open to anyone who was willing to purchase a ticket, it clearly did not attract the general public. It was a little disappointing to see that this event was filled with only those who are in the Mexican wine industry. It must have been a challenge for non-industry types to attend the event which was held the day after Easter. The event was very informative and I wish it would have been a more attractive option for tourists to the area. I don't doubt that the general public will be out in force for the events on Saturday and Sunday.
After consuming my five glasses of wine and my plate of oysters, it was time to say goodbye to everyone. A good number of us will be at it again in less than twenty-four hours time for the second event of the Festival titled Tarde de Mejillones (Afternoon of Mussels). We offer our gratitude to both Provino and Drew Deckman for what amounted to an excellent afternoon.