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By Susan A. Mahalick

June 11, 2014 (Baja California, Mexico)--Designed by Jo Ann Knox Martino, and situated in the eastern portion of the valley in the same area as Baron Balché in Porvenir, is the elegant cava built for storage, wine making and tastings of her famous Tango wines. The name, Vintango, comes from Jo Ann’s love of tango.

The cava is made from natural materials occurring on the property, such as the granite inside walls that were discovered when digging into the hill for the structure containing grays and pale reds. The façade is made up of softball sized balls of sandstone to give it texture, with large wooden doors and wrought iron handles. A deep sink carved out of stone is in the enclosure that is a work of art itself. She picked out antique light fixtures to hang from the ceiling. Cases of wine line the back with barrels of wine in progress on the sides. Bathrooms for the public are also on site.

Four varieties are available, Zinfandel, Nebbiolo, a blend of both, and a Chardonnay. She uses art done by famous local artists for the labels which make the bottles most attractive. For those who are not familiar with her, Jo Ann won the top prize at a blind tasting her first year making wine. It was then that her lifetime dream of making wine started to happen. She is the featured winemaker for Fiesta de Sabores in Tijuana on June 12th through the 15th which is a food festival to showcase chefs and winemakers of the region. For more information on this event:

Nestled on hill overlooking vineyards and fruit trees, the cava was completed March 2013. Cabernet and Nebbiolo grapes grow on the property along with a line of orange trees not far from the cava, lemon trees, orange trees and avocado and figs as well. It is a perfect place to stop and enjoy the natural setting this part of the valley offers, to refresh with wine and visit with friends.

Her master builder, Donato Ochoa Najera,  a handsome man wearing a cowboy hat, seemed to be quite proud of his work.

Jo Ann plans on making her award winning wines on the top of the hill behind the cava, using gravity feed to get the young wine into the indoor space. The temperature inside is cool, but refreshing. What a great place it will be on hot summer days.

         Call for a tasting appointment and directions or send an email:

646-0072  Mex cel      619-630-1170 US


Susan A Mahalick has written for the Baja Times, Secretary of Tourism and has a new book on Amazon called My Gold Coast—Baja, 2nd edition.



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