Mexico produces world-class wine
Mexico’s wine industry is making waves — pardon the pun — for the glorious grapes that are producing world-class vino. Although the country is renowned for its vast range of tequila products, Mexico has been in the wine business since the 1600s.
Over the years, many local vintners have made a point to educate themselves on creating stellar wines that are able to hold their own against other world-class brands. Many of the country’s best grapes are grown in areas along the Baja coast in an area called Valle de Guadalupe. It is believed the local climate — the area’s close proximity to the Pacific Ocean — is responsible for creating an ideal growing climate that is cooler than the rest of Mexico. Nearby mountains help generate a desirable growing conditions that have proven favorable for chardonnays, cabernets and merlots.
Hugo D’Acosta, owner of four wineries including the esteemed Casa de Piedra, says, “The Baja region gets a lot of sun, which is good for full-bodied wines. It [feels like] Northern Italy.
D’Acosta explains that many wine growers from Mexico have traveled the world to learn more about grape growing, climate and wine making, saying, “There is a new generation of winemakers who have been traveling the world,” says D’Acosta. “They’ve been exposed to places like France and Italy and Spain and to the wines from there.” Finding world class wine in Mexico is as easy as finding a vineyard in the Italian countryside.
Due to wine producers like D’Acosta, the people of Mexico are able to enjoy first-class wines. Popular varieties of Mexican wine include Grenache, chardonnay, merlot and Bordeaux-style cabernet sauvignon. The characteristics for these wines are similar to what people will find in places such as France, Italy and California, but the prices are much better in Mexico, while the flavor of the wines, more distinctive.
Since the Mexican wine industry is still establishing itself, wine production tends to be limited to about 3,000 cases. Globally, this makes each winery a specialty, one of the many notable uniquneses to Mexico’s funky wine blends.
Marie Elena Martinez, founder of Baja Meets New York, an annual event that celebrates Mexican food and drink, says, “It’s still early in Mexico’s winemaking process and people are feeling free to experiment with different flavor notes. At the same time, though, you have Hugo D’Acosta who is a French trained winemaker. With people like Hugo, Mexican wine is steeped in tradition with a touch of the wild West. That intersection is pretty freaking cool.”