Monday, February 23, 2009

Vinifera (1/2)


By Steve Dryden
Baja Wine Country news

Most of the world's wine comes from grapes belonging to the species Vitis vinifera, which originated in the Middle East. Today, these Vinifera grapes flourish in vineyards around the world, including Mexico, and in some cases have been crossbred with species native to North America, chiefly Vitis labrusca and Vitis riparia. In addition, Vinifera is the name of Ensenada’s newest Wine Bar and Wine Tasting venue located downtown near Mahi Mahi Restaurant. This noteworthy operation contains over 180 wines from Baja Caliornia Norte and is managed by one of Mexico’s most knowledgeable sommeliers. The next time you’re looking to sample some of Mexico’s premium wines, you might consider a visit and a taste. It’s also a great place to meet interesting people in a fun-filled and relaxed environment.

Juan Carlos Alvarez Sanabria is the manager and partner in this new business with a keen focus of educating and exposing wine lovers to Mexico’s “silent revolution” in creating high-quality wine. Juan Carlos had been working for Santo Tomas winery for several years when he decided to breakaway and form his own business. He tells me. “I just wanted to do what I love to do, in my own way, and share that passion with regional, national and international aficionados of wine.” He was born and raised in Mexico City where he attended some of the best institutions of higher learning. “I love Mexico City, but it was becoming too crowded and congested. For example, I calculated that I was spending a great percentage of my life in traffic, not really getting out there to enjoy the beauty of life as much as I desired.” He moved on to Puerto Vallarta for a brief period where he “enjoyed it very much, the beaches, the weather, it was amazing.” While there he was offered a position with Santo Tomas winery in Ensenada, he eagerly accepted, and made the move to this seaport town about 2.5 years ago. Many of you may have known him as a professional representative of Bodega de Santo Tomas where he appeared at and organized many of the better wine events in the region.

To be continued...

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