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“Crazy professor” is what people who know him say about Marcelo Castro Vera. His passion and zest for life just takes you completely by surprise. A man of strong conviction, he does not dilute his message and goes straight to the core of why natural wines, or any of his life choices really, most of which are unconventional, is the road he decided to pursue.

Marcelo’s professional background is in hospitality. With training in a Swiss hotel school followed by working experience in one of the renowned hotels of Washington, DC, he has returned to Mexico to take charge of the family hotel. For 8 years he has steered that ship - an experience to which he refers to as being the best business and life education he could have received. It is during that time that Marcelo’s fame for being a daring entrepreneur began to establish. His vision went far ahead of current trends and as most visionaries, his views were often misunderstood. Despite the resistance however, he relentlessly led his team towards an exciting future which made the hotel what it is today and helped shape the tourism industry of San Miguel de Allende.

The course of his life drastically changed a few years ago which took Marcelo from a stable but limiting work environment to a wild ride of establishing his own business. True to his visionary nature, he and his family embarked upon an adventure of trial and error resulting in a group of brands, which all together form one integral tourism concept. El Nidal - the shipping container hotel in the middle of Central Mexico’s mountains being the heart of them all, followed by the Octagono winery, Penca and Piedra distillery, Serrana brewery and a brand of spring water Rocosa. El Nidal boasts an unpretentious but an absolute powerhouse of communal eatery named Cocina Abierta - an open air, wood-fired kitchen where a team of local community women produce comforting and flavour packed food that will steal your heart and rouse your taste buds.

Nowadays you can find Marcelo giving degustations in his new endeavor - Tasting Room which is located on Tenerías #2 in San Miguel de Allende, where you can try every single beverage that Marcelo produces along with a small taste of Cocina Abierta offerings. The best way is to opt for an all-in package with a group of people who you enjoy spending time with, or go on your own and meet exciting new people who seem to be gravitating naturally towards the tiny 400 square foot space that packs a much bigger personality.

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