Winery became a flourishing business in Cuba’s “EL Canal” that they annually produce thousands of gallons of wine with guava, watercress ,and beets flavours.
Orestes Estevez and his family had been making wines for decades in Havana. Estevez started his business after a career in the military and security services. He opened a winery in 2000 after Cuba allowed private enterprises.
Today, Estevez, his wife, son and an assistant makes 300 jugs; each jug contains five gallons or 20 liters of wine. The main ingredient is grapes, added by tropical fruits and different varieties of vegetables. The family fermented fruits by filling grapes, ginger and hibiscus. The only difference with their wine-making technique is the use of condoms.
They slip a condom over each glass neck bottle to start the unusual process. Hundreds of bottles were capped with condoms that slowly inflate as the mixture ferments and produces gas.
The only time that the wine is ready for bottling is when the fermentation has stopped. The condom stops inflating and falls.
For Estevez, putting a condom on a bottle is just like putting it in a man, it stands up the wine is ready, and then the process is completed.
It takes about a month to 45 days for a jar of wine to be produced. The product is bottled and sold in homes and restaurants. Sales averages 50 bottles a day and is sold for 10 Cubanese pesos (40 cents) per bottle. An average Cubans earns $25 a month; they can’t afford imported wines, making Estevez wine an accessible pleasure.
Angel Garcia, a 43-year-old state auditor says, he earns $16 a month and is not going to spend his money on wine store that is why he comes to Estevez home a lot.