Daly Negron Allen
Turning her Dream Into Reality
By Pat Tyson
As one of the owners of Vinicola El Cielo in the Valle de Guadalupe, Daly Negron Allen has realized the dreams she has long shared with her husband, Gustavo. For many years they worked, separately in hospitality and tourism-related businesses. They had discussed building a Boutique Hotel someday, somewhere, so that they might both retire and run their hotel together. Then, on a family trip to France about six years ago, they fell in love with the small boutique hotels with vineyards they found there. They thought it would eventually be the perfect retirement project for them.
“But while I am a Dreamer, Gustavo is a Visionary – the difference being is that a Dreamer is someone who thinks of things, while a Visionary is someone who does the things they dream about!” she explains. “However, as partners, my job is to be by his side, supporting him and helping him make these dreams come true.” What once started as a small romantic retirement project for them has become a huge and successful wine business.
Headed by Gustavo, El Cielo has many different divisions and activities as well as the winery, which she hopes will be bottling around 35,000 boxes by the year’s end. There’s the restaurant, Latitud 32, featuring Baja-Yucatan fusion specialties, and the Boutique Gourmet and Logo Shop – in which she is mainly involved.
“Here, we offer wine accessories, Regional gourmet products, as well as Mexican Designers’ Clothing and handcrafts,” she says. “The hotel is still under construction. We have started the first phase – the Villas; two out of twelve are already finished. With so much to do, new ideas and projects are developing in Gustavo’s mind every day.”
Born on the Island of Cozumel, Quintana Roo, at a very young age she and her brother moved to Merida, Yucatan, to attend elementary and junior high school. Later, they were sent abroad to study in Scotland, which they found an amazing experience. Following that, Daly went on to study Tourism and Hotel Management at a small, beautiful tourism school in Mexico City – Centro de Estudios Superiores de San Angel (CESSA). She always knew she wanted to work in Tourism.
“My idea was to manage my mother’s boutique hotel in Cozumel when she retired and, meanwhile, get as much experience as I could,” says Daly. “So, after finishing school, I joined Continental Airlines at Cozumel Airport.” She immediately fell in love with aviation and worked as an Airport Lead Agent and Supervisor for twenty-six years! She retired in December 2014 and joined Gustavo in what she terms as their “incredible new adventure.” She credits her parents with having the most influence in her life.
“My father, a well-loved physician on the island of Cozumel, was a highly honorable and knowledgeable man who always amazed me,” she says proudly. “His bust was placed in the main entrance of a public hospital there, which bears his name.” She also expresses her admiration for her mother: “An amazing business woman who, without a professional degree, was able to create and run our family business.” Of course, most important in her life is her husband, Gustavo.
“Our families have known each other for years, but I never paid attention to him as a teenager,” she reminisces. “We met again in Cozumel after finishing school, where I found him a handsome young man who kind of reminded me of my father – his vision of life and leadership, really impressed me.” And she loves life in Mexico.
With its beautiful landscapes, the astonishing turquoise blue of the Caribbean waters of Cozumel, the magic of pink sunsets over the mountains of Guadalupe Valley, Daly is constantly awed, and yet feels there is so much more to discover. When enjoying fresh seafood, she favors Yucatecan flavors. As for music, her taste varies from New Age and Celtic, but is also a “totally Eighties” fanatic! Naturally, for dancing she loves Latin music. With the increase in visitors from California she feels that people now feel safer in Mexico.
“I personally drive back and forth between Ensenada, Tijuana and San Diego on my own and find the road not only safe, but with such spectacular coastal scenery,” she claims. Travel is a pleasure she enjoys with Gustavo. They’ve visited various countries in the past and, being wine enthusiasts, try to learn more about the varieties from every country they visit. These include the Loire Valley in France, Spain, the Czech Republic and Canada. They delight in meeting and interacting with different people, cultures and beliefs.
“At El Cielo, one of the things Gustavo and I enjoy most is to share our Story and our Dream with our visitors, as well as hearing theirs, and show them a little bit of the amazing world behind a glass of wine!” Daly exclaims.
“Whenever possible have a nice glass of a good Mexican wine!” she advises.