Elver Paya – Finca Los Pedregales

In Colombia Collective by Karl WienholdLeave a Comment

Producer:  

Farm Name:  

Farm Location:  

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Elevation:  

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Drying:  

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Tasting Notes:  

Elver Paya

Finca Los Pedregales

Gaitania, Tolima

10 hectares

Caturra Colombia F8

1800m (5906ft)

Washed, 24 hour dry fermentation

Marquesina - enclosed mesh floor & Elba patio

native hardwood shade, certified organic farm, 4 hectares of natural growth forest

floral, sweet blackberry, red grape, high malic and tartaric acidity, round body


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Farm and Family Background

Elever Paya's Finca Los Pedregales lies in the indigenous reserve of San Pedro where the Nasa We'sx tribe live peacefully in harmony with the land and nature, which is respected and cared for like a family member by the Paez people. The reserve is extremely isolated, in the shadow of the perpetually snow-capped Nevado del Huila volcano that provides fertile, volcanic soil. In the late 80's when the FARC insurgents attempted to take control of the area, Elver and the Paez people took up arms and staged a fierce resistance, eventually leading to a peace accord with the guerrilla in 1992, 25 years before the rest of the country was able.

Elver has spent his entire life working the land on his family's farm on the San Pedro reserve, an environment totally different from the rest of Colombia.  Here, traditional customs such as medicine, food, and education are respected and the Paez language is spoken.  Spanish is only spoken to outsiders and known only by some in the community that have spent time away.  Food is grown on the farm whenever possible and agriculture is strictly organic. Not for a price premium or to please inspectors, but out of respect for the land and the people that work it. While some deforestation has occurred as a result of technical recommendation in the 80's, the Nasa We'sx have realized the error of these methods and are taking steps to recuperate native flora.

Elver inherited his 5-hectare farm from his parents, and married the farmer's daughter next door who also inherited her family's 5 hectares, and that's how this farm grew to 10, and the family to 5! While many have left the area for economic reasons, Elver and his family have chosen to stay with the land that is their identity and a part of their being. They are ensuring that their children grow up and learn to work hard in the community, tradition, and culture of the Paez people and to respect the land, nature, and their surroundings the way they do. Life is hard out here, and modern luxuries are largely out of reach, but it is evident that this is the lifestyle and existence that's right for Elver's family and the Nasa We'sx people.

Regional Context

Gaitania is famous among Colombians for being the birthplace of the FARC. Gaitania is extremely remote, several hours and geographically separated from the nearest city.  The region is pristine and the landscape is breathtakingly beautiful and unique to other regions of Colombia, with steep, sharp mountain peaks in the shadow of the Nevado del Huila, the perpetually snow-capped volcano that gives Gaitania fertile, volcanic soil.

Due in part to its isolation, the area has been at times a stronghold of the FARC and other insurgent and/or drug trafficking groups, and often a point of contention between opposing armed forces with local residents caught in the middle.  The newly-found fame of specialty coffee in the region is providing a much-needed economic stimulus, improving the quality of life, and providing an alternative to joining insurgent or criminal groups.


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