What's your favoritt Mexican wine? Red, white, bubbles...just name me one nice bottle of fermented grape juice and I'll be impressed. Mexican wine is a puzzle, the kind you don't start late a night.
In every country with enough sun, someone at one point came to the conclusion that "making wine is probably a good idea". Despite quite poor wine reputation Mexico is no exception. In fact the oldest winery in The New World (The New World: a name being used for Earth's western hemisphere ) is situated in Mexico. I'll get back to this later ;)
But yes... "The Puzzle", because Mexico stands a fair chance of making good wine, so why is this so hard to come by?
Running a quick background check on Mexico & wine, you soon discover that they have both soil, sun and passion for this historic drink. The Spanish conquistadors new they would need wine as they embarked upon new lands, and to insure this they brought vines from Spain. This was way back in the early 16th century. The soils of New Spain (Mexico) proved great for this celebrated activity, and rose quickly.
Then: enter Charles II of Spain. A childless, hairless and ruthless ruler who didn't enjoy the great success of wine growing in Mexico. So in 1699 he prohibited winemaking in Mexico, except for Church purposes. (Fucker!) Knowledge of winemaking died alongside with the vines and for two centuries barley any production was known off.
The good stuff
Alright, let's talk about the good stuff and leave taxes and history behind.
There are three major wine producing areas in Mexico. Baja California and Sonora - La Laguna and Durango - and som of the center areas of Mexico. Most of these areas have a fairly warm climate, which tend to make Mexican wines spicy, full-bodied and ripe. However the northern part of Baja California resembles much of the climate found across the border in the USA, making it a popular area for American look alikes. But who want's that anyway...? :)
The by far most interesting area is the Parras Valley, in Coahuila north East Mexico. It holds a unique microclimate in a dessert, situated 1500 meters above sea level. Warm days, cool nights and low humidity gives propper resistance to the graps, making them far more interesting than most other Mexican grapes. And in this valley, the most interesting winery is named Casa Madero, the oldest winery the New World, dating back to 1597 with continuously production. This making them the seventh oldest winery in the world. Impressing! They focus on Bordeaux style reds and also have rosé and an award winning whites.
The winery also run a non-profit charity organization, providing food, shelter and school for poor and homeless girls in the region. So they have a good karma thing going on in that valley.
Now these babies can be hard to come by, but we found some in the surfing village of Sayulita, some in Puerto Vallarta and the rosé in a posh shop on the Mexican countryside. Here's our tasting notes.
So if you happen to stumble across some of these Mexican beauties, check it out. Well worth it and super fun to taste.