On the streets of Havana you can find Orestes Estevez and his family’s one-of-a-kind winery. What makes this winery so unique is actually a result of Cuba’s lack of access to thousands of basic household items, meaning that sometimes a little creativity is required to get the job done. At the winery, the Estevez family gathers glass jugs and fills them with grapes, ginger, and hibiscus, then slip a condom over each glass neck to start the process of winemaking. Imagine seeing hundreds of bottles capped with condoms that slowly inflate as the fruity mix ferments and produces gases.
Once there are no more gases and the fermentation is over, the condoms stop inflating and fall, signaling the wine is ready to be enjoyed. Since the condoms do not have valves to allow for a slow release of gas, the process used in most wineries, the condoms are instead pricked with a pin. The process takes between a month and 45 days to produce a jar of wine.
Estevez sells about 50 bottles a day for 10 Cuban pesos a bottle, which is about 40 US cents each. The wine is made from Cuban grapes and other tropical fruits and vegetables, such as guava, watercress, and beets. If you ever take a trip to Cuba, make sure to put this winery on your list of places to go, as it is sure to be a truly unforgettable sight.