This past week I had the chance to take in Santa Cruz’s annual state fair/trade show/import-export exhibition that manages to enthrall the entire city for ten days around the celebration of the city’s founding on September 24th. The Fexpo convention center is completely taken over by exhibitors ranging from car dealers to Chinese steel companies to local artisan handicraft makers to put on EXPOCRUZ.
We got there right on time to beat the crowds, and had our pick of the samples, including quinoa frozen yogurt, fresh cinnamon bark shaved right off a branch, licor de piña (the spontaneity of its fermentation unmistakeable), sacha inchi (Incan peanut), lots of overly sweet artisan wines, and so on.
Notably, at one of the winery booths, they were serving their sweet red out of a small 5 gallon or so oak barrel, apparently produced by artisans in Camargo, Chuquisaca, which would represent the first source of barrels I’ve found in Bolivia. I picked up a card and brochure listing the contact information for the IG Valle de Cinti Association, which has a website here. Their representative in Santa Cruz is May Lee Naomi Mendieta Molina, (cel. 78428362, tel. 3241316). For anyone looking to start a barrel aging program here in Bolivia, this might be the place to start.
We ended the night in the Reineke Fuchs beer garden, which was nice to have, but half a liter of their draft dunkel was hard to get down when it was clearly infected with lacto. Not a pleasant experience.