A Sip with the Good Friar

A Sip with the Good Friar

“When we entered the region, we saw grapes growing wild along the rivers of Tejas and they looked like I imagined they did for hundreds of years. The vines were thick, hanging from the trees on the river banks, and sometimes covered rocks and ledges.”

This is how Father Garcia de San Francisco y Zúñiga recalled the local landscape in 1659 as he, Father Juan de Salazar, and ten Christianized Indian families made their trek into what was then called Tejas. It was a raw, wild land that harbored Native American tribes. Both land and tribes were unforgiving to trespassers, especially those who were faint of heart or weak in faith.

They started a mission on the south bank of the river [Rio Grande]. It became known as Mission Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. {Father Garcia said, ”

Father García said, “We cultivated the land around the settlement as part of our missionary work. We brought vine cuttings from which we grew grapes to make sacred wines for our masses.”

[My] ethereal tasting with Father Garcia took place on a patio just off the plaza near the Guadalupe mission in the shade of a lone live oak tree.

Excerpt from Chapter Three, A Sip with the Good Friar

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