Friday, December 29, 2006

Calixa wines from Monte Xanic: White, Rosé and Red

White: Chardonnay

A young wine marked by intense fruit and hints of vanilla and spices.Both a cocktail wine and a dinner wine, it is ideal to serve with cream-based soups, oysters Rockefeller, wild mushroom risotto, cheese fondue, or chicken in a pipián verde chili sauce.



Rosé: Granache Rose

Presents a salmon pink color that is both brilliant and luminous and offers aromas of strawberries and melon and hints of citrus (manderin). It is a fresh wine that is easy to drink.It can be served alone or to accompany light dishes such as fruit plates, pastas, rice, and poultry. This wine compliments both Oriental and Mexican food..


Red: Cabernet Sauvignon

A young wine with a silken palate, Calixa Cabernet Sauvignon is characteristic of the grape variety and is distinguished by its taste and its rich aroma of black cherry, raspberry and black currant.Upon observation against the light, the wine displays a deep, dark, brilliant red tone with violet-colored scintillation.It is an excellent wine to accompany grilled beef and game, including duck, goose, venison and wild boar, pastas with red sauce, or a Mexican mole poblano sauce.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Hoildays to my Friends, wishing you the best for 2007.


Happy New Year.
2007 is already off to a great start here in Guadalupe Valley. Several of the Baja wineries went up to COPIA in Napa Valley during January to feature their wines to the California wine enthusiasts. Mexican wines are moving up in quality and getting better by the day.
For regular Baja Wine Country News read my wine column every two weeks at: http://www.bajatimes.com.

Steve Dryden

New Year's Eve Show and Menu at Sancho Panza Wine Bistro and Jazz Club


This year we will have a Cuba Cabaret theme for all of our esteemed guests. Every year we try to offer something very special. This year promises to be the most fantastic yet. Eight professional dancers, singers, great live Cuban band, and much more. Many surprises.

Guaranteed to be the most fantastic entertainment, the best food, and the most fun in Baja! Reserve early. Reservations limited and will be filled soon. The price will be $180.00 usd per person. No one admitted without a prepaid reservation. The celebration begins with a welcoming reception between 7 & 9 pm. (Ask for bar seating)

Sancho Panza- wine bistro
Cabo san lucas
Baja California
More informartion here: http://www.sanchopanza.com/wine.htm

Thursday, December 21, 2006

History of Bodegas de Santo Tomas


Nowadays both large and small wineries are experimenting with newer styles of higher quality wines, many using new varietals and combinations to determine those appropriate to the terroirs and audience. But have a look back into the past of some wineries ...Bodegas de Santo Tomas.

In 1791, Jesuit priests established the "Mision de Santo Tomas" in Baja California, about 90 miles south of present day San Diego. They brought and planted vines of grapes named "uva mision" (mission grape), and produced the first wines in the Californias.

In 1834, Dominican priests founded the "Mision de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Norte," about 70 miles south of San Diego. This was the last mission established in the Californias and the one that functioned the least time. But the valley retains the abbreviated name "Valle de Guadalupe." Today the valley produces about 75 percent of Mexico's wines, many winning international recognition. The valley was blessed as one of the rare places in the world where premium wine grapes can be grown.

The road to the present wasn't easy for the valley and its wines. In 1857, after Mexico's War of Reform, the Catholic Church was stripped of its land holdings, which included the missions in Lower California that was left to Mexico after the U.S.-Mexico war. All church property became the property of the state. The government sold the former lands of the Mision de Santo Tomas to a private group, which established the Bodegas de Santo Tomas in 1888.

Nothing notable happened in the Valle de Guadalupe until 1904, when a group of 100 Russian families settled the area. The group belonged to a pacifist religious group which abandoned Russia to avoid its men being conscripted into the Czarist army.

The Russians bought several hundred acres, dedicating a good portion to planting vines producing grapes for wine, raisins and for sale as fruit. Others who came later followed their example, and more and more grapevines were planted.

The wines from Santo Tomas had by then acquired a good reputation, but sales of Mexican wines were dormant, as wine drinkers preferred French, German, Italian and Spanish wines, although they were exorbitantly priced.

The large Santo Tomás, Baja California's oldest winery established in 1888, has formed an alliance with California's Wente Brothers, and the two are producing a wine together: Duetto.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The vineyard of Monte Xanic


Everything a wine can ever be is in the grape. Through the vine the grapes absorb the characteristics of soil and climate; the grape interprets them while contributing its varietal character.

While the characteristics of the vineyard are natural and cannot be reproduced by technology, it can be used to allow the grapes to develop their full potential. This is why at Monte Xanic the vineyard is cultivated with both traditional and modern techniques in order to obtain the maximum expression of our vineyard. One of the most important aspects is controlling yields, sacrificing volume for quality.

Each vine is pruned to yield a limited number of grapes, but each one of these has a high concentration of flavors and aromas which will be revealed in the wine. Monte Xanic also leaves prune and branches to reduce herbaceous aromas. Drip irrigation controls the amount of water that goes into the vineyard, and we protect the vines from birds with nets, as they not only make off with part of the crop but damage the remaining fruit.

Source: http://www.montexanic.com/english/inicio.html

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Visit Casa Madero winery



Casa Madero is not only a winery with a fascinating history, but a weekend retreat for the wealthy owner’s family. This fall, I had the unique opportunity to stay there and experience how the Mexican gentry have lived for generations! The Casa Madero Winery occupies the oldest vineyard on the North American Continent, in the valley of San Lorenzo, 8 kms north of Parras de la Fuente in the State of Coahuila in North Eastern Mexico. Their temperate weather, 1700 metres above sea-level, and the spring fed earth make it ideal for pomegranate, pecan, walnut and grape growing.

I was fortunate to stay at the winery in the Posada Casa Grande de la Hacienda de San Lorenzo, the twenty-five bedroom weekend retreat of the Madero family. In this beautiful setting the five thousand extended members of the Madero family come for their annual reunion. The reunion is held by the illuminated swimming pool surrounded by a colourful display of purple bougainvillea bushes.

More here: http://www.madero.com.mx/

Friday, November 24, 2006

Mexican vine and wine varietals in Mexico



Discover here the wine grapes and varietals of vines raised by the Mexican wineries. A nice presentation with a list of vines at one side and of wineries at the other side. These wine grapes can be used for sole varietals wines in Mexico.

More here:
http://mexicanwineries.homestead.com/grapes.html

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Import and export mexican wine... more


Hello,

My name is Juan Pablo Gauna I work for a Texas Wine Distributor of wines and liquors. I am interested in the Wine Industry of Mexico, for both suppliers and distributors.

Thank You,

John P. Gauna
Market Development Manager-Wine
Hispanic Marketing
1.800.749.7532 Ext. 7208- San Antonio
1.800.292.3303 Ext. 1456 -Houston
e-mail: mailto:JohnGauna@RepublicBeverage.com
mailto:www.bizhelpinc.com

----------------------------------------
Dear Sir or Madam:

My name is Ida Ferraz and I am with a company called Bizhelp Inc. (http://www.bizhelpinc.com). One of our main focus is the beverage field specifically the wine industry, a industry ever growing in the United States. In 2002, retail sales for wine reached $21.1 billion and the American public consumed 595 million gallons of wine in the same year.

We are very much interested in representing wineries from Mexico in the United States.. We would like to invite you to visit our website. We would appreciate if you could indicate or provide us with contact information of wineries that could be interested in working with us as well as indicate where can we find wine events/trades convention or expo in Mexico for the year 2005.
Thank you for your attention,

Best Regards,


Ida Ferraz
BizHelp Inc
14241 Ventura Blvd. Suite 205
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Phone: 818.995.6249
e-mail:ida@bizhelpinc.com
www.bizhelpinc.com

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Import and export mexican wine


I'm contacting you in regards to wine distribution in the United States, in particular, the state of Texas. As you may know, the state of Texas has some of the best Mexican food restaurants in the United States. I have traveled quite a bit around the US and noticed that most states have a hard time matching up to the great Mexican food restaurants in Texas. I have also noticed that although Texas offers outstanding Mexican food, we can not say the same about the Mexican wines offered.

Many wines that are offered in Mexican food restaurants currently are your typical wines that any restaurant would carry, most originating out of Napa Valley and display the typical American winery name. I find this to be disappointing and others that I've spoken with agree with me on this issue.

If Mexican wines were to be brought into the Texas market, I believe the success rate would be significant. More and more restaurant goers are now taking part in wine consumption and eventually I believe the US will carry on the European tradition, where wine is apart of every dinner meal, from households to casual Friday night dinner with the family.

The reason I'm contacting you is because I would like to know if you currently use a distribution company in Texas? I'm looking at starting my own wine distribution company focusing solely on Mexican wines. My place of residence is Houston, Texas. Because Houston is such a large city, there are many, many ethnic restaurants available, with Mexican being one of the largest. Because of this correlation, I think that Mexican wines would go over very well with the routine Mexican food eater.

If you do not have a sole distributor in Texas and would like to talk further with me about starting a distribution in Texas, please contact me by email or by phone. I would appreciate any correspondence, even if it is not to become a distributor. Thank you.

With best regards,

Andrea Boots
713-665-1061 (home)
andreaboots@sbcglobal.net

More information here: http://mexicanwines.homestead.com/ImportExport.html

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Eco Friendly Jute Wine Bags from India


We are pleased to introduce oursleves as Manufacturer Exporters of Eco Friendly Jute Shopping Bags , Jute Wine Bags etc from India.

Please find herewith our catalogue displaying few images of Jute Wine Bags.

Our mission and mantra is to design, produce and sell stunning wholesale Jute Wine Bags and accessories unlike any others. Our style, quality, service, price and packaging are our point of difference from others.

If interested we can send you our scanned catalogue through e-mail and samples are provided on request.

We hope that we both can be good partners in the business and look forward to your favourable reply at your earliest.Best Regards,Vishal Saraogi
Vijay International
10, Narayan Prasad Babu lane, 1st Floor
Kolkata - 700007, India
Tel: +91 33 22701287
Fax: + 91 33 22701290
E-mail: vintl@vsnl.net
Web Site: http://www.vijayecobags.com

Monday, October 30, 2006

Visit the wine country of Baja California











Visit the wine country of Baja California with the wine writer for The Baja Times and the former manager of a Napa Valley winery.
Private and motor coach tours are availalble for intimate tastings at four wineries, lunch, and detailed history of the region. Tours focus on meeting winemakers, barrel tastings, artisan wines, new releases and hidden treasures.

Contact: Steve Dryden
E-mail: sbdryden@hotmail.com
Phone: (619) 300-4976 US or (646) 118-9801 MX

Friday, October 20, 2006

Wines from Zacatecas



The Zacatecas' very low annual rainfall means that irrigation is essential in this area as it is in the rest of Mexico. The vine varieties planted include a range of European red varieties (e.g., Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot) supplemented by those more common to California (e.g., Zinfandel) as well as American hybrids such as Black Spanish and Lenoir.

The historic Mission grape, planted by Spanish settlers, has all but disappeared. A range of white wine grapes are also grown.

More information, here: http://www.mexicanwines.homestead.com/REGIONCenter.html

Friday, October 13, 2006

A revolution ferments in Mexico: Winemaking


You can count on south-of-the-border spirits to be flowing this Friday, Cinco de Mayo. Mexican beer. Tequila. How about wine? Mexico? Wine? It's no joke.

Last fall, accompanied by Maria Romero of the Baja California Tourist Bureau, I toured the area's principal vineyards. About 90 percent of all Mexican wine, I learned, is grown about 30 miles inland from Ensenada, on the Pacific Ocean Baja coast. There, serious winemakers have been zeroing in on one particular stretch, the dry, rocky Guadalupe Valley, which benefits from the temperate climate generated by ocean breezes gliding over the hills.

Nobody is confusing the Guadalupe Valley with Bordeaux or Napa, at least not yet. But entrepreneurs are investing millions of dollars to put the region on the world wine map."It's the Napa Valley 100 years ago," enthuses Steve Dryden, a wine and travel writer who lives there. The growing wine industry, he says, is "Mexico's secret revolution."

The Spanish conquistadores brought winemaking to Mexico, planting vineyards as soon as they got a foothold. (Cortés and his men drank their supply of Spanish wine celebrating the defeat of the Aztecs.) But in 1699, Spain, fearful of New World competition, put an end to commercial Mexican wineries.

Continued here: http://www.azcentral.com/home/wine/articles/0503wine0503.html

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wines of Baja California: Touring and Tasting Mexico’s Undiscovered


The first comprehensive book on Mexican wines published in English. This modern account starts with a preface by Dimitri Tchelistcheff, former Technical Director at Bodegas Santo Tomás—oldest winery in Baja California, and a historical prologue by Dr. Enrique Ferro, whose father was the first Manager at Santo Tomás.

Each winery is described by location, contacts, size, production, and winemaker’s name. Winery history, winemaker notes, and vineyard-fermentation techniques follow. Tasting notes and suggested foods for currents wines are included.

Sections on Wine-Related Terms, Grapes of Baja, Wine Festivals and Events as well as information on where to eat, rest, and read more about this exciting region will assist the visitor. Included are a brief history of winemaking in Mexico, from the shocked Cortés, “No Rioja?” to the dauntless missionaries and the mysterious Mission grape. Directions, travel tips and special attractions make this book ideal for the wine enthusiast and the armchair traveler.

Wine Appreciation Guild, ISBN: 1-891267-65-5, Paperback

Friday, September 22, 2006

Greater New York Wine and Food Expo


We are producing the Greater New York Wine and Food Expo on October 21 & 22, just outside of New York City. It is a trade and consumer event presented by the area's largest newspaper.

We would love to have Mexican wines represented. Who would be interested ? More details here: http://www.thejournalnews.com/wine/
Thank you,

Fern Amster

Fern Amster
PM Events Ltd.
PO Box 3193
Kingston, NY 12402
PH (845) 331-4580
FAX (845)-331-8209
http://www.thejournalnews.com/wine/

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Italian wines in Mexico

Inquiry. Italian wine on the international market: problems and perspectives within the markets

Hello, my name is Carlo Flamini.

I am an Italian wine writer, and I am contacting you because I have been entrusted with the task of putting together an extensive dossier on the current position of Italian wines in various countries abroad: problems the wines face with respect to image, promotion, pricing structure, and communication programmes that perhaps leave something to be desired. This dossier will be the main feature of /Enotria/, an annual supplement to /Il Corriere Vinicolo/, the weekly organ of the most important professional organisation in the Italian wine world, the Unione Italiana Vini. Publication is scheduled to coincide with Vinitaly, in April 2007.

We have selected certain countries that we believe are important strategically for Italian wine today. For each of them I have tried to choose a wine writer with outstanding credentials and with expertise in areas relate to the wine market, hoping to find collaborators who can provide us with ideas and proposals.

The objective is to put together one survey on each country, covering the promotion of Italian wine in that country, analysis of the current state of affairs, strong points if any, areas of weakness where improvement is needed, plus a number of ideas/suggestions, based on your experience, whereby Italy could gain a more incisive presence in the UK market, through improved communication, promotion, and presentation of its wines. A kind of analysis of the consumer, of their attitudes to, and expectations of, Italian wines, as well as an analysis of the market in your country, which would highlight marketing strategies that are working, with possible examples of currently successful strategies of European or New World competitor countries. Criticism is welcome, of course, all the better if it is constructive.

Each collaborator will be given 4 pages in Enotria; the assigned text will be 2,700 words long (or 10 pages of 1,800 keystrokes each), with submission by the end of October.
The text should be in English if at all possible, to facilitate translation into Italian; the argument should be backed by statistics and graphs relevant to the growth and market performance of Italian wine and wine in general in the country under discussion, and should feature some attractive photographs in *.jpg format at 300 dpi resolution.

The publication is offering a payment of 600 euros.

In addition, Enotria has decided to sponsor a competition for design schools/Italian art institutes, with the objective ³of creating advertising for the promotion of Italian wine throughout the world, with a single design that would be suitable for all countries.² The editorial department here will receive the submissions and will ask the journalists who are writing for our dossier to serve on the jury, selecting the design sketch and publicity proposal that they think the most effective, in the context of the market situation and demands of their respective country. We would ask our dossier partners to make their decisions both according to their own professional criteria as well as by showing the projects to a number of their acquaintances or colleagues. The journalist should then comment on the submission judged to be the most successful and effective, communicating the reasons behind the selection (20 lines should be enough). At the end of the process, the editors will examine the evaluations from all the various countries, as well as those of a jury here in Italy, and will present the award to the winning school during the presentation of /Enotria/ at Vinitaly 2007.

For Mexico, I thought that you would be the most qualified professional to collaborate with us on this important project, given your experience and familiarity with all aspects of the market, and your interest in Italian wines. If this project is compatible with your current commitments, I hope that you will accept the invitation to be part of our team.

I would ask you then to let me know your response as soon as possible. I would be pleased, naturally, to furnish any other information you may require. As project coordinator I am responsible for coordinating the team members and for ensuring top-quality results for this extensive inquiry.

I thank you very much for your consideration and I eagerly look forward to your response.


With my warmest best wishes,


Carlo Flamini
Corriere Vinicolo-Unione Italiana Vini
Via San Vittore al Teatro 3, 20123 Milano
Tel. 02 72 22 28 51
Fax 02 86 62 26
mailto://c.flamini@uiv.it

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Request for Mexican wine in Los Angeles


Women & Wine, a lifestyle company that creates signature experiences for savvy women (men optional!) who love wine, food, travel and the other great things in life, is presenting the Women & Wine and Film Series at the Crest Theater in West L.A. this fall. The evenings will feature culinary classic films and the food and wine they inspire.

On October 3, we are showing "Like Water for Chocolate." We will be serving Mexican food and we're trying to get some Mexican wines to showcase. Can you help us? We're expecting two hundred guests and would like to offer them tastes of several. I've tasted the new wines coming out of Baja and other parts of Mexico -- while I was in Mexico. Don't know where to get them here in Los Angeles. The event is already getting lots of publicity, so this will be good for the Mexican wine industry.

thanks,


Sharon Boorstin Sr. V.P. & Editorial DirectorWomen & Wine (www.WomenWine.com)
9915 Westwanda DriveBeverly Hills,
CA 90210310-271-8710
Sharonboor@aol.com

Women & Wine offers wine clubs, custom wine-country travel and signature hotel packages that include wine tastings, gourmet fare and spa pampering. Women & Wine is the leading online community for women who love wine, travel and living well - and who want to feel more confident about their palate and learn more about wine. Women & Wine has been featured on NBC, CBS, CNN, and in TIME, USA Today, O Oprah Magazine, Bon Appetit and Travel & Leisure.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Baja California Mexico Wine Tour



9 hours
Starting from USD $75.00 per person

Commences: San Diego, CaliforniaDeparting from San Diego, this tour is the perfect one day weekend getaway tour. Anticipate a wine and culinary adventure that will take you to new heights on how Baja California wine is made and produced in the beautiful Valle de Guadalupe, north of Ensenada, Baja California Mexico. Visit famous wineries Domeq and L.A. Cetto and afterwards, travel into the city of Ensenada and enjoy a Mexican inspired lunch.

Click here for more information and Booking Details »

Friday, August 18, 2006

Mexico's 'boutique wine' renaissance



The school band practises noisily outdoors in the sleepy town of Porvenir, where olive trees line the dusty roads.

By Matthew Wells In Baja California, Mexico

Some people are calling the place the "next Napa valley"Directly opposite, there is a school of a different kind, where locals are learning the true value of the grape vines that festoon the landscape in the beautiful but rugged Valley of Guadalupe.

Wine arrived in Baja along with the Spanish colonial-era priests.
But the collapse of trade barriers since the late 1980s, opened up Mexico's small wine industry to foreign competition, and the market began to wither.
Some wild enthusiasts are calling this place the "next Napa Valley" - a reference to the hugely profitable centre of the Californian wine business.
But though the climate is similar, locals are unconvinced it can ever attain that growth, or whether they even want it to.

"The wine industry is going through a renaissance in Mexico," says Don Miller, one of the few foreign wine-makers in the area, who has moved lock, stock and barrel to Baja.
Boutique wineries
This former Californian banker runs an upmarket inn and equestrian centre, alongside his large winery.

But the more profound development is happening on a smaller-level: through the wine school.
If this region were to have no problems with water, without a doubt we would be growing 10 times faster

Josef BackhoffMonte Xanic winery
There is a realisation that micro-managed, boutique wineries can make a profit and draw discerning tourists to the area.
"You can see 20 people making wine here on any particular day," says Phil Gregory, who has just started to enjoy the heady flavours of his first mini-harvest, down at the school.
Local schoolteacher Juan Carlos Bravo was one of several small-scale producers who brought some of his latest crop along to a tasting at Phil's newly-completed and locally crafted guest house.

Until he attended the wine school, Juan Carlos was going to tear-up his mature Carignan vines. Now he will produce around 7,000 bottles of wine this year instead.
The best known organic producer in the valley is Dona Lupe, whose grapes nestle alongside the country's largest winery, LA Cetto - which even has its own bullring for special festivals.

The article continues here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4555238.stm

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Winery tour at Chateau Camou, Baja California


Discover at Chateau Camou, a premium Mexican Winery, situated in Baja California different winery tours:

A) CLARET: tour the winery (25-30 min), wine tasting at the end of the tour (3 wines from our “flor de guadlaupe” label and 1 of our “chateau camou” label) . Keep the glass.

$ 5.00 USD ea.

B) BOREAUX: tour the winery (25-30 min), wine tasting at the end of the tour (3 wines from our “flor de guadlaupe” label , 2 of our “chateau camou” label and our dessert wine “el gran divino”). Keep the glass.

$ 10.00 USD ea.

C) MAGNUM*: tour with winemaker and/or owner. Tour the vineyards (15-20 mins), tour the winery with a comprehensive tasting of our wines, including barrel sampling (35-40 mins). Lunch at the end of the tour with your choice of paella, quails, ostrich or carne asada. (glass of wine included w/lunch)

$ 40.00 USD ea.

* FOR A MAGNUM TOUR, PLEASE MAKE RESERVATIONS. PAYMENT IN ADVANCE AND PARTIES OF TEN AS A MINIMUM, WILL BE REQUIERED.
** ALL PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO EXCHANGE RATES.

When can one visit Chateau Camou ?

BUSINESS HOURS
Monday - Saturday 8:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m.
Sunday 9:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m

More about this winery here: www.chateau-camou.com.mx

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tasting Mexican wines in a good restaurant


El Gusto! Restaurant
Our cuisine is Mexican Gourmet with an international fusion. Our Chef has the highest of standards. Using the best of local organic produce , meats, and a myriad of the freshest seafood, it just doesn't get any better. There will also be a tapas menu available on the whale deck/sunset terrace.

El Gusto! is open:
Lunch: 11:30 - 15:30
Tapas Menu 15:30 - 18:00
Dinner: 18:00 - 21:00
(Closed Thursdays)

El Gusto Restaurant takes great pride in presenting you one of the most complete wine lists of Mexican wines. After a personal visit to the medium and smaller winemakers of Ensenada, all the wines presented have been individually selected with great care.

More info here: http://www.lapoza.com/menu_wine.html

Friday, July 28, 2006

Buy Mexican Wine at Wally's (Los Angeles)


Interested in Mexican wines?
Want to buy in in Los Angeles?
Already tasted wines from Adobe Guadalupe
or from Casa de Piedras, both Mexican wineries
from Baja California, Mexico?

Than this is THE place, click on the following link
http://www.wallywine.com/s-770-mexican.aspx

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Future Of Baja California Wine

The fundamental problems faced by Baja California (and all Mexican) wineries, are two:
- First, there's little tradition of wine drinking in the country, except among the Europeanized upper and upper-middle classes.
- Second, Mexicans still look to Europe, and increasingly to Chile and Argentina, when they want wine.
Baja California producers must build a reputation for their wines among Mexican nationals, just as California needed to persuade New Yorkers that its wines could compete with European imports. Time and increasing quality will help.

To expand their markets, many Mexican vintners hope to export their wines, particularly to the U.S., with its large population of Mexican descent. In truth, there's little reason to expect that strategy to succeed. Aside from cultural ties, the Mexican foods most popular in the U.S. aren't particularly compatible with wine, and U.S. (and Australian and Chilean) wines are better values and often better quality.

The Mexican wineries need to persuade their own large population of 100 million people to drink their wines, rather than trying to get U.S. consumers to do so.

That said, the many excellent wines coming from a few Baja California wineries show what the region can do. They don't need to take a back seat to anyone--just get the word out and increase production to match.

(Sources of information: In addition to the wineries, Gilberto Salinas, an importer and wine seller, is very knowledgeable and helpful. E-mail him at gsalinas@gsalinasvinos.com or phone + 52-664-971-0953. Gary Sehnert at Wines of Mexico, 619-233-VINO or mexwine@cox.net, is also a good contact.)
COPYRIGHT 2006 Hiaring Company

Friday, June 09, 2006

Day Tour to Mexican Wine Country with BajaVinoTours.com


Visit the Mexican wineries and discover the fine wines made in Mexico

Date: Jun 10, 2006 (Sat)
Phone: 619 2690874
Time: 8:30 am
Cost: $85 per person

More info here: http://www.localwineevents.com/San-Diego-Wine/event-85344.html

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Marketstudy Mexican wines 2005


Snapdata's Mexico Wine 2005 report provides 2004 year-end market data, with 2005 estimates and five-year forecasts.

The report gives an instant overview of the Mexican wine market, and covers red, rosé and white wines, champagne and sparkling wines, fine wines and others.Market size is based on apparent consumption.The data is supplied in both graphical and tabular format for ease of interpretation and analysis.

Mexico Wine 2005 forms part of Snapdata's Alcoholic Drinks industry coverage.

Summary
Page 3 - Executive Summary
Page 4 - Category Definitions
Page 5 - Market Size by Value (2000-2004)
Page 6 - Market Segmentation by Value
Page 7 - List of Main Players
Page 8 - Company Websites (Main Players)
Page 9 - Market Forecast by Value (2005-2009)
Page 10 - Socio-Economic Data for Mexico
Page 11 - Sources for Further Research

Interested? Contact us at mexicanwines@hotmail.com

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Wine festivals 2006 in Baja California, Mexico



Program from 4 to 20 August 2006
Ensenada, Baja California in Mexico


Thursday 3 August

9.00 a.m. : III INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR OF VITIVINICULTURE

Conferences on vineyard management and zoning of soil and climate in the production of quality wines. The Spanish experience.
WHERE: Hotel Santa Isabel
SPONSOR: INIFAP, CYTED y Asociación de Vitivinicultores
COST: 25.00 Dlls.

Friday 4 August

9.00 a.m. : 14th INTERNATIONAL WINE CONTEST “ENSENADA LAND OF WINE”

Professional judges select the best wines in the competition
WHERE: Coral y Marina
SPONSOR: Asociación de Vitivinicultores

7.00 p.m. : 16th WINE EXPERIENCE

A presentation of the wines, labels and vintages of Baja California, music, food tasting and art
WHERE: Centro Cultural Riviera
SPONSOR: Asociación de Vitivinicultores
COST: 25.00 Dlls.

Saturday 5 August

9.00 a.m. WINEMAKERS VISITS I

The winemakers host visitors at their wineries to taste and describe their wines.
WHERE: Different wineries
SPONSOR: Asociación de Vitivinicultores
COST: $300.00 M.N

1:00 p.m. WINE + LOBSTER

Lunch in our San Antonio vineyard, with Puerto Nuevo-style lobster and wide selection of award-winning Santo Tomás wine.
WHERE: Rancho San Antonio Km. 95 carr. Ensenada-Tecate
SPONSOR: Bodegas de Santo Tomás
COST: $600.00 M.N.

6:30 p.m. TANAMA, MUSIC AND WINE

A sunset in the Tanama Valley vineyards, music by the INNUENDO group of Mexicali, acompanied with hors-d’oeuvres by the famous La Diferencia Restaurant of Tijuana, CALIFORNIO & TANAMA wines.
WHERE : Viñedos Tanama, Tecate, B.C.
SPONSOR: Vinos Tanama y Corredor Historico, (CAREM A.C.)
COST: 35.00 Dlls.

6:30 p.m. GALA DINNER
Formal dinner, music and wine auction.
WHERE: Vinícola / Adobe Guadalupe Winery, Valle de Guadalupe
SPONSOR: Vinícola Adobe Guadalupe
COST: 80.00 Dlls.

Sunday 6 August

1:30 p.m. :COUNTRY LUNCHEON
Lamb, house wine and music
WHERE: Viña de Liceaga, San Antonio de las Minas
SPONSOR: Viña de Liceaga Winery
COST: 50.00 Dlls

6:00 p.m. SUNSET CONCERT
At our vineyard in Valle de Guadalupe, we present works from the classical repertoire, accompanied by fine cheeses and house wines.
WHERE: Monte Xanic Winery Valle de Guadalupe
SPONSOR: Monte Xanic Winery
COST: 55.00 Dlls

7:00 p.m. A NIGHT IN CASA DE PIEDRA
Music, wine, ambigu
WHERE: Winery Casa de Piedra Winery, Highway Tecate-Ensenada, Km.93.5 San Antonio de las Minas.
SPONSOR: Winery Casa de Piedra
COST: $1200.00 M.N.

Monday 7 August

2.00 p.m.: WINE AND FOOD CASA DE PIEDRA-LAJA
Ingredient interpretation with Casa de Piedra vertical wine tasting
WHERE: Restaurante Laja
SPONSOR: Winery Casa de Piedra, Restaurante Laja
COST: By invitation only

6.00 p.m.: SUNSET CONCERT
At our vineyard in Valle de Guadalupe, we present works from the classical repertoire, accompanied by fine cheeses and house wines
WHERE: Monte Xanic Winery
SPONSOR: Winery Monte Xanic, Valle de Guadalupe
COST: 55.00 Dlls

Tuesday 8 August

7:30 p.m.: WINE, MUSIC AND SEMINAR
Wine tasting, culinary exhibition and wine seminar
WHERE: Rest. La Candelaria, Tijuana, B. C.
SPONSOR: Cofradía del Noble Vino de Tijuana
COST: 40.00 Dlls.

Wednesday 9 August

7:00 p.m.: 10TH WINE EXHIBITION IN MEXICALI
Tasting of selected wines acompanied with hors-d’oeuvres, music, art and wine topic lectures
WHERE: Centro Estatal de las Artes de Baja California, Mexicali, B. C.
SPONSOR: Cofradía del vino de Baja California, Capítulo Mexicali
COST: $250.00 M.N

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wines Down Mexico Way

FEATURE STORY

Wines Down Mexico WayGo on a tour of the history and wineries of Mexico with Star Chefs. Start with the conquistadors and the Axtecs and wind up with modern Mexicans teaming up with Californians bringing life back to the wine industry....
More details here: http://starchefs.com/wine/features/html/mexican_wines.shtml

Grapes in Baja California - Mexico

FEATURE STORIES:


Grapes in Baja CaliforniaIn the past few years, the country's leading wineries have collected an impressive array of accolades, gaining a following among wine lovers excited by the prospect of finding excellent vintages in unexpected places.

All details here: http://www.chiff.com/a/wine-baja.htm

Marvelous Mexican Wines

Woman on Wine

By Amy Reiley

While the region may not be ready to take on the best of Bordeaux, the wines of Mexico’s Baja region are coming into their own. An influx of European vintners looking for affordable vineyard property has sparked the recent growth of an area in which grapes have been cultivated for centuries.

Find here some tastings of Mexican wine by Amy Reiley: http://www.travellady.com/Issues/August04/845MarvelousMexicanWines.htm

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

TOURING AND TASTING MEXICO'S UNDISCOVERED TREASURE


TOURING AND TASTING MEXICO'S UNDISCOVERED TREASURE
RALPH AMEY, PHD, CWE,
Preface by Dimitri Tchelistcheff

The first comprehensive book on Mexican wines published in English. Dimitri Tchelistcheff was technical director at Bodegas Santo Tomas, oldest winery in Baja. A historical Prologue is provided by Dr. Enrique Ferro.

Each winery is described in an “Essentials” section listing location, contacts, size, production and winemaker. History, winemaker notes and vineyard and fermentation techniques are included along with tasting notes and suggested food matches.

Chapters on Wine Terms, Grapes of Baja, Wine Festivals and Events assist the visitor, as well as sections on where to eat, rest and read more about this exciting region; plus how to get there and what to see in the wine producing valleys. Ideal for any wine enthusiast or armchair traveler

Monday, May 01, 2006

Baja Winery Tours



Baja Winery Tours

Visit Mexico's premier wine country with Steve Dryden, a former Napa Valley winery manager, wine writer for The Baja Times and local valley resident. Taste the wonderful variety of Mexico's "world class" wines and experience the beautiful scenery in this garden of Eden.

Tour includes luxury motor coach, departs from San Diego, tasting at three wineries (L.A. Cetto, Doña Lupe and Vinisterra) and lunch at Mustafa's Moroccan Restaurant. $80 per person.

More details here: http://www.bajawines.com/winery_tours.htm


Friday, April 21, 2006

Mexican wine makes a comeback in the land of tequila

Mexican wine makes a comeback in the land of tequila

15.09.05By Tim Gaynor

ENSENADA, Mexico - Long before Mexico gained fame for its cool bottled beers and searing shots of tequila, pioneering winemakers were planting vines and laying down the New World's first vintages there.
Banned in the 1600s by Spain and subsequently eclipsed by local brewers and distillers, the once flourishing industry is now making a comeback in three semi-desert valleys a few miles south of the US border.
Twenty-two wineries dot the San Vicente, Santo Tomas and Guadalupe valleys, close to the Pacific coast resort of Ensenada in Baja California state, and are winning critical attention both in Mexico and abroad.

Production is small at just 1.5 million cases a year, but the reds and whites produced in the region of 7,400 acres have won more than 20 medals at international fairs in Europe and the Americas in the past decade. Aided by wine technicians and enologists from as far afield as Chile and Italy, Mexican growers have invested millions of dollars in their vine stocks and in state-of-the-art equipment, to put the local wine industry back in business.

"When people think of Mexico they think of beer and tequila, but winemaking is having its renaissance," Baja California Winemakers Association manager Blanca Acosta said as she drove through rows of vineyards near Ensenada. "The climate and soils are producing some really world beating wines," she added.

Continued here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/organisation/story.cfm?o_id=170&ObjectID=10345545

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Comments about Mexican wines - by Jose Morales

Nice idea about these mexican wines. Here is my opinion.

What about a bottle of Mexican Wine?You'll find some, but not many in the US. Because of the heavy export duties to the United States, they haven't been recognized as they should. One suggestion is Duetto, made in both California and Mexico.

It's made from two kinds of grapes grown in each place.Connoisseurs of both domestic and imported wines will appreciate Sancho Panza Wine Bistro, hidden within Plaza Las Glorias Hotel. Owner Ron Kleist stocks 160 types of wine from South Africa to Chile. Bottles range from $15 - $200.

Jazz musicians perform every night, and Wednesday is wine tasting night - for a nominal fee, you can have an appetizer and sample all the wines you want. "I was in a phone booth in Des Moines, Iowa, setting up a company there," says Kleist."It was snowing, and I said 'that's enough.'" He came to Cabo six years ago and named his restaurant after Don Quixote's squire.

When it comes to Mexican wines, he recommends those from Valle de Guadeloupe, near Ensenada. Chateau Carmou is another good choice, he adds.

Mexan wines at Copia (USA)



COPIA is the American Center for Wine, Food, & the Arts located in downtown Napa. Yesterday, they had a free Wines of Mexico walk-around wine tasting. Paired with its free admission to COPIA for the month of January, it drew a large crowd, despite the persistent rains.

The show featured the wine-growing region of Baja, California, which is comprised of three valleys near Ensenada, about 60 miles south of San Diego. Thanks to an Arctic current that pulls cold water up from the depths of the ocean to create a Mediterranean-like micro-climate in this area, it has become a wine growing region. Wine has been made their on and off for the past 300 years. Oddly enough, in 1905, it was a colony of Russians who had arrived and revived its vineyards, which have been producing and multiplying ever since.

The show was exceedingly well done. The tables were arranged on the perimeter of the room, so that all you had to do was walk up, wait for a few people in front of you, and then have a choice of about 4 wines to try. One table even had grappa. There were a few food tables and plenty of room. None of the wines were for sale, it was just a tasting. I have to admit, I felt like I was stealing--so much free stuff so graciously offered.

I wish I'd liked more wines, but I was jolted by a zinfandel with a syrupy sweet start.... a sour cabernet sauvignon.... a puckery syrah. I guess I like balanced wines, so if a strong flavor bursts out, I retreat. But I did enjoy the refreshing, crisp Chardonnay Reserva 2004 at Vinicola L.A. Cetta.

More info, pictures (and source) at: http://sweetnapa.blogspot.com/2006/01/mexican-wines-at-copia.html

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

MEXICO'S BAJA REGION VIES FOR ATTENTION ON THE WORLD STAGE AS WINEMAKERS CHANGE THIS REGION'S IMAGE AS THE LAND OF TEQUILA AND BEER


MEXICO'S BAJA REGION VIES FOR ATTENTION ON THE WORLD STAGE AS WINEMAKERS CHANGE THIS REGION'S IMAGE AS THE LAND OF TEQUILA AND BEER
By Thomas J. Reagan Jr.

The mere suggestion that there could be a spot for wine on Mexico's list of quality libations might raise a few eyebrows. But contrary to what many believe, wine is nothing new South of the Border and there are a number of winemakers reviving viticulture in the land where Spanish explorers planted vines hundreds of years ago. As their wines increase in quality and notoriety, these winemakers threaten a New Mexican Revolution, which is gaining a considerable number of believers North of the Border and beyond.

"What is so fantastic about the Mexican wine growing regions is that the vineyards are easy to access on day trips from Ensenada, with time to return each evening to hone wine and food pairing skills at one of the many great restaurants," says Al Boyce, who for the better part of three decades has visited and studied the northern Baja peninsula. Wine production in Mexicoalmost exclusively comes from three areas in the northern part of Baja, California, near the Mexican city of Ensenada.

Boyce notes that progress of every kind is apparent in the region. Good roads and highways, better education, improved economy and first-class hotels and restaurants exceed the demands of the most seasoned traveler. While recent improvements push back the once shoddy image of many Mexican industries, the Baja Peninsula's heritage has not been forsaken by developers. Everything from architecture to local culture remains distinctly Mexican. But perhaps the most impressive chapter in this success story is the wine.

THE BIG THREE
Driving to wine country in the Guadalupe and Calafia valleys from Ensenada provides insight into why winemaking has undergone such a positive transformation in the past 30 years and why the past 10 years have been so dramatic. Well-tended vineyards and modern advancements in viticulture are obvious.
Three wineries anchored the industry during the tough times and continue their important leadership role. In the Calafia Valley, Viños L.A. Cetto andneighbor Viños Pedro Domecq tend a sea of vines of all varieties as does Bodegas de SantoTomás in the more southern Santo Tomás Valley. All have won acclaim in internationalcompetitions, including two medals taken by Bodegas de Santo Tomás at this year'sVinoChallenge International in Atlanta.In the L.A. Cetto tasting room, we met the affable Alahandro, who was pouring behind the bar. He began with the the Chauvenet-Valle de Guadalupe, which produces blanco (white), rosado (rosé) and tinto (red). All were fruity, well-made and finished with a clean essence on the palate. We were mildly impressed until Alahandro mentioned that it retailed in the U.S. for a mere $3. Our appraisal quickly changed to wildly impressed.Christian MacKay, the assistant winemaker there, happened by and began a tasting of each wine in L.A. Cetto's line, including the 2001 Reserva Limitada Chardonnay, 1996 and 1997 Nebbiolos, 2000 and 2001 Reserva Privada Chardonnay and a fine 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon. "We are improving the quality of the wine [by] improving the quality of our grapes, while continuing with traditional winemaking," says MacKay.The Bodegas de Santo Tomás tasting room in Ensenada, presents the same hospitality and positive attitude. "Our wine is good; it will speak for itself,” says Medardo Barreda, who manages L.A. Cetto's tasting room. “But how do you get the first sip in the [customer’s]glass?"At Viños Domecq, three labels make up its portfolio, including Old World and New World style wines and highend premium red and white blends. Our tasting there took on a different twist as winemaker José Louis Durand Zúñiga, marketing director Carlos Pease and public relations manager Ana Luisa Suárez put this visitor to work. Experiencing a hands-on tour of the winery, or "Domecq 101" as it came to be known, we participated in everything from barrel washing to setting up an informative slide show. After such an intensive, back-breaking appreciation, it's clear that Domecq sets high the bar for quality with an eye toward a more commanding presence in the world wine market.

SETTING STANDARDS OF EXCELLENCE

The "Big Three" wineries may provide good, affordable wine for the mass market, but the small wineries are providing the enthusiasm in sophisticated wine circles. These elite vintners areelevating the quality and the reputation of Mexican wine, As the excitement grows, several wineries and winemakers are well on their way to achieving cult status.Hugo D'Acosta at Casa de Piedra, whose first vintage was in 1997, is the standard-bearer for the small boutique wineries in the valley. The unique winery is new, but looks old and wasdesigned to look like a stone house as the winery name implies. "We wanted to keep itsimple," says Hugo, "like our wine." While the winery makes a subdued architectural statement, the "simple" wines, as it turns out, are elegant and concentrated.Casa de Piedra produces only two wines: a white, Piedra de Sol, made from Chardonnay grapes grown in high-density vineyards, and a red, Viño de Piedra, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo. Production currently sits at 1,250 cases, which D'Acosta hopes will soon double, as he is optimistic about the future of Mexican vines, especially the old vineshe's bringing back to productive life. "Old vines planted many years ago by the Russian emigrants may take on a new life.... The roots go very deep on these head-pruned plants and they are better adapted to the arid conditions. They could make beautiful wine," smiles D'Acosta.

A LITTLE BORDEAUX IN MEXICO

Located a short distance away at Viña de Liceaga, Edwardo Liceaga concentrates on makingred wines that are dignified, classic and gracefully layered. The 2001 Cabernet Franc with hints of ground pepper and smoke is drinking well and the 1999 Viña Liceaga Grand Reserva is ashow stopper with great depth of flavor.Deeper into the Valle de Guadalupe is the small town of Francisco Zarco. Driving down the bumpy, unpaved road toward wineries Château Camou and Monte Xanic is like stepping into an old Mexican movie set. Horses, goats, dogs and people roam the streets and on both sides of the road, houses and buildings have an authentic "well-worn look." Entering Château Camou at the edge of town, dusty clay gives way to lush green. Winemaker Dr. Victor Torres is one of the fathers of the wine revolution in Mexico and his Bordeaux-stylewines reflect his time at the University of Bordeaux, where he obtained his doctorate in enology."One of the miracles here at Château Camou is the presence of very old vines; many over 60 years old–they are our treasure," says Fernando Favela, whose family owns the winery. JesusRivera oversees this entire process with fanatical pride and guards the esteemed reputation of the winery, whose bottles grace the tables at haute cuisine restaurants throughout the U.S.

ICE WINE AND BEYOND

Another star leading the quality charge is winemaker Hans Backhoff of Monte Xanic. The winery produces a Calixa line offering high quality, oakaged white and red varieties at a reasonableprice. There's also the premium or Monte Xanic line. The biggest surprise, however, comes fromBackhoff's Mexican ice wine. He found the nearby refrigerated lockers used by the local fishing industry perfect for freezing the grapes despite the Mediterranean-like climate.While Mexican ice wine may seem a little out of place, so too did the idea of producing wine in Mexico, period. To the chagrin of skeptical critics, the commitment by Mexican winemakersto produce quality wine is paying off. A growing number of wines now compete with top-tier winemaking regions around the world. And the best is yet to come, as is evidenced by the enthusiasm, dedication and confidence found throughout the Baja Peninsula. Says Christian MacKay of L.A. Cetto Winery: "With over 100 international awards, we are showing the wine drinkers of the world our best. Our wine is great; we only need to spread the word."

A freelance writer and retired international airline captain, Thomas J. Reagan Jr. travels extensively seeking great wines of the world.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Four interesting articles about Mexican wines

Find here our monthly selection about Mexican wines

1. Mexican Wines at COPIA

COPIA is the American Center for Wine, Food, & the Arts located in downtown Napa. Yesterday, they had a free Wines of Mexico walk-around wine tasting. Paired with its free admission to COPIA for the month of January, it drew a large crowd, despite the persistent rains.

More information here:
http://sweetnapa.blogspot.com/2006/01/mexican-wines-at-copia.html



2. Mexican wineries Ensenada

More information here:
http://thetopwineinformation.com/blog/?p=3713


3. Baja Mexican wine

More information here:
http://the1topwineinformation.com/blog/?p=2668


4. Mexico's wine industry lure people with award-winning vintages

VALLE DE GUADALUPE, Mexico - When the market for Mexican wines plummeted 20 years ago, growers in this valley northeast of Ensenada started ripping out their grapevines.

More information here: http://latinamerican-markets.blogspot.com/2005/11/mexico-wine-industry.html

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Just discovered

Hello,

I just discovered your website and find it very interesting. I'll try to promote it with my friends.

Hubvdv

Monday, February 13, 2006

More opinions about Mexican wines and wineries


A Tasting Tour of the New World's Oldest, Newest, and Most Promising Wineries...
Quiz time everyone! Where is the oldest winery in the entire western hemisphere (in all the Americas -- from the Arctic Circle all the way down to Tierra Fuego)? Maybe California you say? Nope. Chile? Sorry, guess again. Maybe somewhere on the east coast. Not a chance.
Surprise! It's in Mexico!



1. Yesterday's Myths vs. Today's Reality
-------------------------------------------------------
In 1998 at the Challenge International du Vin, held in France, judges awarded gold medals to Monte Xanic 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon and to Monte Xanic 1995 Merlot. Chateau Camou 1995 Gran Vino Tinto was awarded a silver and the Prix d' Excellence (like a "best of show" blue ribbon) went to the Monte Xanic 1995 Cabernet.
My point isn't that Mexican wines are better than those of any other country, just that they can be every bit as good and complex as their better known brethren. Mexican wines can be as intense, as intriguing, and as well-made as the wines of any other country in the world.
There are some outstanding vineyards, and there are some wines that can really tickle the palate of an adventurous consumer. I'd like to help you find the better brands.
A couple brands that are consistently good include the Monte Xanic wines (which I held up as award winners a moment ago) and some of the venerable wines from Bodegas de Santo Tomas. One tip that can help you find the gems among a pile of ordinary stones is to stick to the reds.
It's no coincidence that all of the awards I mentioned a moment ago went to red wines. Red wines tend to do better in the southern parts of the northern hemisphere's wine belt, while whites do better in cooler realms. There could be exceptions, of course, but I think it's no accident that most of the wineries in Mexico will tell you that their best offerings are merlots or cabs.
Let's start off by figuring out what parts of Mexico you might want to visit if you're looking for wine.
2. Where the Wines Are.
----------------------------------.
Most wine production is in the Baja California Peninsula, but there are at least 3 mainland viticultural areas with at least a dozen small, local wineries. Let's start with Baja...
Baja
Baja California is to Mexican wineries like California is to United States wineries. By far, the lion's share of wine production (over 90 percent) happens on the west coast. There are two parts of Baja where you will likely find vineyards: the Guadalupe Valley near Ensenada, B.C. Norte and a relatively small number to the north of Los Cabos in B.C. Sur. Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe are the points to remember here.
Ensenada is no Napa, but the region is developing something of a reputation as Mexico's "wine country". From Ensenada, it is easy to visit at least 10 wineries. While it may have once been true that only a handful of varietals were produced in Mexico, today you can find at least a dozen or more different kinds of varietals.
If you want a chance to sample a large number of different Mexican wines at one time, try to time a visit to Ensenada to coincide with the opening of their Fiesta de las Vendimias celebration. The celebration includes a "Wine Experience" tasting.
Valle de Guadalupe runs along highway 3 between Ensenada and Tecate. You can drive route 3 and stop in at several wineries (maybe cross at Tecate and drive south towards Ensenada). The wineries along this route include (roughly in order as they appear along the road from north to south) L.A. Cetto, Pedro Domecq, Bodegas Valle de Guadalupe, Chateau Camou, Monte Xanic, Vina Liceaga, and Casa de Piedra.
After doing the wine tour drive, you could plan to spend the night in Ensenada and visit a couple of wine tasting rooms in the city.
Bodegas de Santo Tomas is the oldest and most venerable winery in Baja California, having gotten its start in 1888. They run a tasting room in Ensenada at Av. Miramar 666. Cavas Valmar is about a century younger, but they also run a tasting room in Ensenada; theirs is at Av. Riveroll 1950, at the corner of Calle Ambar.
One of the more interesting developments in recent years is that Spanish vintner Freixenet (famous for their satiny black bottles as much as for their dry sparkling wines) opened a winery in Baja.
Other Regions
As I mentioned, the lion's share of Mexican wine is produced in Baja California. Yet it is categorically wrong to assume that Baja is the only place in Mexico where wines are made, just as it is categorically wrong to say that all American wines are from California. Knowledgable wine drinkers know that there are small local boutique wineries along the east coast and in quite a few states throughout the U.S. (even here in Texas, a land known more for scrub lands and longhorn steers, wineries proliferate especially in the rolling hills northwest of San Antonio and west of Austin).
In Mexico, wineries exist in several states, including Sonora, Zacatecas, Querataro, and Coahuila.That one winery that deserves special attention from wine connoisseurs is Casa Madero.
Casa Madero is a very special winery because it is the oldest winery anywhere in the Americas. The winery was established in 1597 in Parras de la Fuente, Coahuila. Coahuila is a rugged state in the north central part of Mexico, and Parras is a small town on Carreterra 40, about an hour west of Saltillo (figure two hours driving from Monterrey). Casa Madero is located on an old hacienda about 2 miles north of the town (on the road to La Paila). The winery welcomes visitors and a tasting room is open from 9am to 5pm.
Casa Madero produces several varietals including chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot. They also produce two reserve brandies that are generally regarded as better than any other brandies in Mexico. While none of these are held up by connoisseurs as the benchmark by which to judge all other wines, they are still very good wines of above average quality. Most critics will probably rank them as 3-1/2 to 4 star wines. I find the chardonnay to be softer than some of my favorite California chardonnays. The cabernet sauvignon has a very big, well rounded character with a lot of intense fruitiness. Their merlot is a soft, rounded red that many people regard as the best of the winery's regular brands. All three of these wines are imported to the U.S., though in very limited quantities.
Parras is a fascinating little place that's well off the tourist path. It's got a fascinating history behind it (it's the town where Pancho Villa was gunned down), but the place is interesting to me, because it is a town where wine has been made for more than 400 years. While Casa Madero is the undisputed quality leader in the area, there are also a handful of smaller wineries around the town producing mostly low-end wines (including sherry and port) for a purely local market. Like some of the Baja wineries, most of this production is destined for the stills.
If you want to sample some of the obscure wines of the region, stop at one of the bodegas in town. Ask a local for directions to either Vinos Caseros Santo Madero or Vinos Caseros Fuantos.
You can also find a small scattering of local wineries around the colonial city of Zacatecas (often called the "pink city"). I absolutely love Zacatecas, and a visit is made even better by enjoying a bottle of local red wine at dinner. There are at least four small wineries in Zacatecas, and the best-known local brand is Cachola. The winery itself is outside the city in Valle de las Arsinas at the intersection of highways 45 and 49. If you plan to visit the winery, they ask for advance notice.
Some Mexican Wines You Might Find
Here are a few of the wineries that I mentioned in this review, along with recommendations for some of their wines .
* Monte Xanic (Cabernet Sauvignon)
* Chateau Camou (Gran Vino Tinto)
* L.A. Cetto (Petit Sirah)
* Casa Madero (Merlot)
* Domecq (Cabernet Sauvignon)
* Santo Tomas (Merlot)
* Freixenet Mexico (Sala Vive)
* Cachola (Ruby Cabernet)

Anonimous opinion about Mexican wines





1. What about a bottle of Mexican Wine?

You'll find some, but not many in the US. Because of the heavy export duties to the United States, they haven't been recognized as they should. One suggestion is Duetto, made in both California and Mexico. It's made from two kinds of grapes grown in each place.

Connoisseurs of both domestic and imported wines will appreciate Sancho Panza Wine Bistro, hidden within Plaza Las Glorias Hotel. Owner Ron Kleist stocks 160 types of wine from South Africa to Chile. Bottles range from $15 - $200. Jazz musicians perform every night, and Wednesday is wine tasting night - for a nominal fee, you can have an appetizer and sample all the wines you want. "I was in a phone booth in Des Moines, Iowa, setting up a company there," says Kleist.

"It was snowing, and I said 'that's enough.'" He came to Cabo six years ago and named his restaurant after Don Quixote's squire. When it comes to Mexican wines, he recommends those from Valle de Guadeloupe, near Ensenada. Chateau Carmou is another good choice, he adds.


2. The Mexican wine industry

While you could say that Mexico has the oldest wine industry in the hemisphere, it is really a much younger industry than you might think. Most of Mexico's wine is made in Baja, but with the exception of Santo Tomas, none of today's wineries existed there prior to the early 1990s. Even Santo Tomas is a very, very different winery than it was 10 years ago -- they've updated techniques and modernized equipment. While there are really only a handful of small wineries in Baja today, the excellent growing climate of the Valle de Guadalupe could portend the growth of several more...if only Mexicans drank more wine. Mexico is not a wine-drinking country. People drink beer and they drink tequila. They might reach for a brandy, but very seldom do they reach for a wine. (Mexican per capita consumption is about 2 glasses per year, compared to about 10 bottles in the United States and about 60 bottles in France.)

Mexico is a country with a fascinating winemaking history and several young, energetic vineyards producing some interesting wines and even the occasional excellent vintage. An adventurous palate would do well to give them a try.

Opinion about mexican wines

Opinion about Mexican wines
by Patrick Pollak

Yes, it's me again, but this time I am not here to talk about the elixir of the gods called Tequila, but about a much more common product… wine.
Wine production is widely spread throughout the globe. Not only countries like France, Italy, Spain, the United States or Australia produce wine. But let's focus on the region I want to talk about today, Mexico.
If I am lucky you might have heard that Mexico produces wine, however I am pretty sure you have a certain, not very good or quality oriented image of them. Well it is time to change.
Mexico has been producing wine for more than 5 centuries. This might come to a surprise, but the oldest vineyards and winery in America is in the state of Coahuila in Mexico. This winery founded by Don Lorenzo Garcia in 1597, 73 years after Aztecs fell, is nowadays called "Casa Madero". This house is a fine example of the wines that Mexico can produce: Clean, fruity, elegant and straightforward products like their Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Try them you will not be disappointed.
Like other wine producing countries, Mexico has passed through many changes and cycles. Many varieties of grapes have been used in the past, however today, the most popular ones are the basic grape types like Chardonnay or Cabernet. A bit rough some might say, however this is changing, the proof being Mexican wines have won several medals in different international contest like the "Challenge International du Vin" in France or the "Orange County Fair" in California or still the "Selections Mondiales" fair among many. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc are among the ones that excel in the warm Mexican climate.
There are a few wine producing regions in Mexico: Queretaro which produces mostly Cavas (Spanish version of Champagne), Parras in the North Eastern state of Coahuila. However the elite region is located near the town of Ensenada in Baja California, which has the best climate for wine growing. This is where we will find almost all of the wineries of this vast country.
The wine industry in Mexico has a tremendous potential and future. However it is still young in regards to modern wine production techniques and definitely young in terms of quality.
But quality is what brought me here and that is a common characteristic found in several of the Mexican wineries. Monte Xanic might be the best example of it. They have successfully positioned themselves as the first quality making winery in Mexico. This goes back to the 80' when they started producing wine. Nowadays, it is Mexico's finest large scale producing winery. They actually have 2 lines: the "Monte Xanic" label and the more easy drinking, less complex "Calixa" Line. Then comes the Ultimate "Gran Ricardo" which is a very limited production only bottled in Magnums. Exquisite and elegant. This winery is mainly recognized for producing wines of complex aromas, big fruit concentration and cellaring potential. Their newest line (Calixa) is made for day to day drinking with more flexibility and user friendliness. Their Chardonnay "Calixa" is a delight with tropical flavors, a lot of freshness and crispiness but not heavy.
Bodegas Santo Tomas is another big player in the Mexican industry. They produce some fine wines like the "Santo Tomas Gran Reserva Unico" among others. They have successfully produced a joint venture wine with Wente Bros in Livermore California called "Duetto": Elegant, complex and very well made red wine.
Domecq might be a familiar name for some of you and why not, it is one of Spain's most notorious names in regards to sherry. This traditional house, which begun producing Mexican brandy some 60 years ago also brings some interesting choices. The "X-A" range is a well made all day line of wines, whereas the "Chateau Domecq" is the real stuff: Complexity and extraction with cellaring potential.
You might be familiar with the wines from L.A. Cetto. This winery has done a very good job at exporting their products overseas, like to the UK, which by the way is still the best client of Mexican producers. L.A. Cetto produces several examples of fine wines, one of their best being the "Nebbiolo Reserva" and the fairly new "Don Luis" line, which is a premium line with interesting blends.
And then there are the small wineries... Ranging from size and production, these emerging wineries like Chateau Camou, Casa de Piedra, Vinas de Liceaga, Mogor Badan or Cavas Valmar produce some of the most interesting wines. These houses, some of them we could refer to as boutique wineries bring some of the best examples of the New Mexican "savoir faire". Their wine makers are constantly producing new and exciting wines like the red "Vino de Piedra" and the white "Piedra del Sol", which for me exemplifies the driving desire to produce fine wine. These two wines are certainly some of the best wines I have tasted from Mexico and getting your hands on a bottle of these might be either costly or difficult to do.
El "Gran Vino Tinto" from Chateau Camou is another fine example of Bordeaux like wines, which have received numerous awards. This house also produces a good oaky style chardonnay and Fume Blanc.
Reviewing in detail each of these wineries would take too long and I would probably confuse you with the funny names. So let's wrap it up, just remember that there is another exciting wine region out there with products to suit every taste and whose industry is still flowering. I am sure it will come to you as a different & nice surprise.
Salud!!
Written By Patrick Pollak
Patrick Pollak is a native of Mexico & the Assistant Director of Food & Beverage at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Chicago.

Comment on Mexican wines and wineries


Opinion about Mexican wines
by Patrick Pollak

Yes, it's me again, but this time I am not here to talk about the elixir of the gods called Tequila, but about a much more common product… wine.

Wine production is widely spread throughout the globe. Not only countries like France, Italy, Spain, the United States or Australia produce wine. But let's focus on the region I want to talk about today, Mexico.

If I am lucky you might have heard that Mexico produces wine, however I am pretty sure you have a certain, not very good or quality oriented image of them. Well it is time to change.

Mexico has been producing wine for more than 5 centuries. This might come to a surprise, but the oldest vineyards and winery in America is in the state of Coahuila in Mexico. This winery founded by Don Lorenzo Garcia in 1597, 73 years after Aztecs fell, is nowadays called "Casa Madero". This house is a fine example of the wines that Mexico can produce: Clean, fruity, elegant and straightforward products like their Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Try them you will not be disappointed.

Like other wine producing countries, Mexico has passed through many changes and cycles. Many varieties of grapes have been used in the past, however today, the most popular ones are the basic grape types like Chardonnay or Cabernet. A bit rough some might say, however this is changing, the proof being Mexican wines have won several medals in different international contest like the "Challenge International du Vin" in France or the "Orange County Fair" in California or still the "Selections Mondiales" fair among many. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc are among the ones that excel in the warm Mexican climate.

There are a few wine producing regions in Mexico: Queretaro which produces mostly Cavas (Spanish version of Champagne), Parras in the North Eastern state of Coahuila. However the elite region is located near the town of Ensenada in Baja California, which has the best climate for wine growing. This is where we will find almost all of the wineries of this vast country.

The wine industry in Mexico has a tremendous potential and future. However it is still young in regards to modern wine production techniques and definitely young in terms of quality.

But quality is what brought me here and that is a common characteristic found in several of the Mexican wineries. Monte Xanic might be the best example of it. They have successfully positioned themselves as the first quality making winery in Mexico. This goes back to the 80' when they started producing wine. Nowadays, it is Mexico's finest large scale producing winery. They actually have 2 lines: the "Monte Xanic" label and the more easy drinking, less complex "Calixa" Line. Then comes the Ultimate "Gran Ricardo" which is a very limited production only bottled in Magnums. Exquisite and elegant. This winery is mainly recognized for producing wines of complex aromas, big fruit concentration and cellaring potential. Their newest line (Calixa) is made for day to day drinking with more flexibility and user friendliness. Their Chardonnay "Calixa" is a delight with tropical flavors, a lot of freshness and crispiness but not heavy.

Bodegas Santo Tomas is another big player in the Mexican industry. They produce some fine wines like the "Santo Tomas Gran Reserva Unico" among others. They have successfully produced a joint venture wine with Wente Bros in Livermore California called "Duetto": Elegant, complex and very well made red wine.

Domecq might be a familiar name for some of you and why not, it is one of Spain's most notorious names in regards to sherry. This traditional house, which begun producing Mexican brandy some 60 years ago also brings some interesting choices. The "X-A" range is a well made all day line of wines, whereas the "Chateau Domecq" is the real stuff: Complexity and extraction with cellaring potential.

You might be familiar with the wines from L.A. Cetto. This winery has done a very good job at exporting their products overseas, like to the UK, which by the way is still the best client of Mexican producers. L.A. Cetto produces several examples of fine wines, one of their best being the "Nebbiolo Reserva" and the fairly new "Don Luis" line, which is a premium line with interesting blends.

And then there are the small wineries... Ranging from size and production, these emerging wineries like Chateau Camou, Casa de Piedra, Vinas de Liceaga, Mogor Badan or Cavas Valmar produce some of the most interesting wines. These houses, some of them we could refer to as boutique wineries bring some of the best examples of the New Mexican "savoir faire". Their wine makers are constantly producing new and exciting wines like the red "Vino de Piedra" and the white "Piedra del Sol", which for me exemplifies the driving desire to produce fine wine. These two wines are certainly some of the best wines I have tasted from Mexico and getting your hands on a bottle of these might be either costly or difficult to do.

El "Gran Vino Tinto" from Chateau Camou is another fine example of Bordeaux like wines, which have received numerous awards. This house also produces a good oaky style chardonnay and Fume Blanc.

Reviewing in detail each of these wineries would take too long and I would probably confuse you with the funny names. So let's wrap it up, just remember that there is another exciting wine region out there with products to suit every taste and whose industry is still flowering. I am sure it will come to you as a different & nice surprise.

Salud!!

Written By Patrick Pollak
Patrick Pollak is a native of Mexico & the Assistant Director of Food & Beverage at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Chicago.