Mexican wine could be unknown for some people, but maybe what they don’t know is that Mexico is one of the greatest wine regions in North America. Would you know its history and its strengths?
Winemaking in Mexico started in the 16th century when the Spanish brought vines from Europe. This was an effort to modernize the country’s agriculture. In 1597 appeared the first Mexican wine estate, Casa Madero. But the advance of viticulture in Mexico was slowed down by the prohibition established in 1699 to produce any type of wine apart from the one for Church purposes. But after Independence, winemaking was no longer prohibited and the production starts increasing again. Since the 1980s, the quality of the wine is better and better. But wine drinking is not widespread in Mexico, and nowadays 80% of the wine in Mexico is been exported to Europe and the US.
The principal varieties produced in Mexico are Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Merlot, Chenin Blanc, Muscat Blanc, Tempranillo, and Nebbiolo. It is clear that the European influence on the Mexican wines is clear since some of their major varieties come from Spanish, French or Italian viticulture.
The main wine regions in the country: Baja California and Sonora, La Laguna and The Central Region. The north area is the most promoted one in Mexico, this is Baja California and Sonora, and produce 90% of the Mexican wine. La Laguna is the warmest, so it is the area where the wines have spicy notes. In this area, we can find the Parras Valley, a zone with its own microclimate with an important characteristic, the humidity is very low, so the possibility of suffering fungal diseases is low. The last area, but not least, is The Central Region. This is a zone in which vineyards are located in very altitudes (2000m) and it’s well known for producing sparkling wines.
Although beer and tequila are the country’s quintessential beverages, wine takes more strength every day and positions itself as a quality drink.