That would be the statue of Eusebio Francisco Kino, a Jesuit missionary of such humanity and zeal that Vatican officials are considering him for sainthood.
Stylistically, "Padre Kino" wines aren't far removed from the simple everyday jug wines that emerged from California's San Joaquin Valley early in the evolution of the state's wine trade. They're viscous, sweet and fresh. The white is a touch floral and peachy. The red is the more interesting of the two, with a note of spiciness to provide its only fetching complication. Their labels suggest they be served chilled, and used as the foundation for sangria.
What the original Padre Kino would think of the wines is anybody's guess. He was accomplished in many disciplines, including cartography, exploration, horsemanship, astronomy, ranching and writing, but he seems not to have had much of a hand in tending vineyards and making wines. He's recognized mostly, however, for building missions in Baja California and the Pimeria Alta, the vast region that includes the upper portion of the northern Mexican state of Sonora and the lower portion of the state of Arizona. Missions, of course, were instrumental in cultivating an appreciation for wine during the West's development.
In 1965, U.S. and Arizona officials dedicated a statue to Padre Kino at the Capitol. At that time, Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall praised Padre Kino as a missionary who "came not to conquer, but to build." Another speaker on that day, the Rev. Ernest J. Burrus, head of the Historical Institute of the Jesuit Fathers, noted that Eusebio Kino, born in 1645 at Segno in the Tyrolese Alps, sought passage to the New World from Spain in early 1681. When Kino found that the quota for foreigners already was filled, he performed what may have been his first miracle: "His name was changed from Eusebio Kino to Eusebio Chavez, his birthplace was altered from Segno, Italy, to Cordoba in Spain, and Kino was on his way to the New World, which he reached at Veracruz, Mexico" that spring, said the Rev. Burrus.
|Vatican stamp honors Padre Kino|