Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lifestyles: Mexican Wines

Actually, Mexico produces some respectable wines in several distinct growing regions. The country is also home to the oldest vineyard and winery on the continent. All kinds of wines are produced there, including sparkling wines from one of Spain's most famous producers. So, in the spirit of NAFTA, I thought it might be fun to take a look at the wine industry south of the border, down Mexico way.

It turns out that there is a long tradition of winemaking in Mexico - not surprising, really, when you think about it. When the Spanish Conquistadors so politely moved into the country in the 16th century, they naturally brought with them from their native land a taste for wine. (Also a taste for murder, mayhem and genocide, but that's a story for another type of column.)

The Parras Valley is in the northeast of Mexico in the state of Coahuila. Exploring the region west of Monterrey, Don Lorenzo Garcia found an oasis among the surrounding desert. Here he found springs and native grape vines growing in abundance. The year was 1597. Don Lorenzo established Casa Madero, a vineyard and winery that are operating to this day - the oldest winery on the continent. Casa Madero concentrates on reds, producing Cabernet, Merlot and blends of the two. Recently they planted Chardonnay and it shows promise as well.

Continues here: ...