The Hacienda de San Simón, also known as La Baranda, is a magnificent example of the rural architecture of the medians of northern Tenerife. The house is located in an old farm and preserves all the essence of the rural world of the island. The construction dates back to the 17th century and consists of numerous interesting details such as the polychrome coffered ceiling on the roof of its hermitage. As in other Canarian haciendas, the main rooms are located around a large central courtyard, axis on which the main activities of the house were organized.
Miguel Canino Afonso, was part of the last family of mediators who was in charge of the farm since the 60s of last century. Today, her daughter Laly works here, right in the same house where she and her brothers were born, and is aware that every corner of this building hides numerous stories.
The construction we see today is the result of the passage of time and a deep restoration project. The hacienda currently houses the Casa del Vino, a large exhibition space with an auditorium and tasting room, shop and tasca-restaurant.
Traditionally, these rural haciendas were formed by large extensions of cultivated terrazgos and a central building, catalyst for agricultural work. Throughout its history, the Hacienda San Simón was dedicated to the cultivation of wine, being a reference in the winemaking tradition of this area of northern Tenerife. In the twentieth century, the Treasury was the second residence of its owners, to which they went to spend the summer months. At the care of the house was a family of mediators, responsible for the exploitation of the property. There was a time when the size of the farm came from the coast to the upper part of the municipality. The owner marriage was formed by Don Blas Pérez González, Minister of the Interior during the years 1942-1957, and Doña Otilia Bencomo. After the death of these, the farm passed to their three children. Fruit of the distribution of the inheritance, the property was fragmented in three parts, a coastal zone, another zone of mediation, in which the house was included, and a last high zone.
The wine was undoubtedly one of the most important products in the agriculture of this farm. Before the partition of the same, the vines occupied a great strip of land from the coast to the medians. The presence of the winery in its original location testifies to the importance of wine in the agricultural production of the house, in addition to offering a beautiful image that recalls the rural past of the house.
“On the farm, with the outside and inside, more than 12 wine hulls were taken. With the other part of the farm above and below, this was a cellar of twenty-hundred wine hulls. In the entire farm, before splitting it was all butt helmets. It happens that later as they split it because the farm between the outside and here they took 10 or 12 hulls of 600-liter wine ”
Miguel Canino Afonso
This farm has been an example at the time of the great fertility of the land in this part of the island. In addition to the vineyard, other crops were also protagonists of the great agricultural production that the farm offered every year to its owners and mediators. Tomatoes, onions, potatoes or millo, were some of these crops that colored the landscape, fed the families that lived here and allowed the development of a commercial activity dependent on what the land gave.
“… And Millo, I remember Millo in this courtyard. It was filled with pineapples, there was a donkey there, that came a Don Manuel who was working, was a couple of days carrying millions in baskets.
Miguel Canino Afonso
As was the case in other Canarian farms, the patio was the axis on which the main activities of the house were developed. Potatoes, onions and mills already collected for later transport were stacked here. It was also a place for children’s games and gathering and celebrations.
“I have a photo roasting the meat. And my in-laws were alive and everything. And celebrating and the people who came. Some sat here, took out a bottle of wine and we sat here and drank a glass of wine … ”
In this place was the old cistern of the House (deposit intended to save water from the rain). The space we see has been restored and transformed into a meeting room, recovering it for more current uses. In this unique space, the carefully restored arches of the roof and the rocks on the sides stand out, reminding us of its ancient use as a water tank.