Mexico is such a rich country in culture, food, music, art and spirits. But it is not only known for Tequila, Mezcal and beer. Mexican wine also occupies an important niche in the world of great wines.
It might seem new to some, but Mexico is the oldest wine-growing region in the continent. Wine, like many other imports that arrived to Mexican territory, was brought from Spain at the time of the Conquest around 1540. The King of Spain, Carlos V, ordered all ships sailing to the American continent to bring vines and olive trees for planting. Later, the main wine houses settled in Baja California, specifically in the Valle de Guadalupe region, and around 1940 when production in Europe was severely hit by World War II, viticulture really took off in Mexico.
Since then and due to the favorable climate conditions, especially in the north of the country, a prosperous wine industry began to arise and now Mexican wines have gained visible territory, prestige and worldwide recognition. The quality of Mexican wines has competed on an international level and its prices are usually equivalent to US prices.
Mexico has the perfect climate for great wine, a combination of hot days and cool nights in three specific territories:
From Mexicali to Ensenada, including Baja California and Sonora the granite-rich alluvial soils, humid winters and dry summers offer favorable climate conditions to obtain excellent quality in wine production. Valle de Guadalupe is the best known area although there are several other valleys that have an extraordinary wine production, responsible for 80% of the national production: Valle de Calafia, Valle de Santo Tomas and Valle de San Antonio de las Minas. A large number of vines are cultivated in this region, but the main ones are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Tempranillo. Many of the most important wine brands in Mexico are located here, such as Monte Xanic, Pedro Domecq and LA Cetto.
This region encompasses Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango, all with a very hot climate and average annual rainfall, the cultivation of vines in these states is very favorable. The vineyards here are located at almost 5000 feet altitude, providing a much cooler microclimate very well-suited for wine grape growing, in particular for Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Semillon and Syrah.
With a very favorable climate, slightly humid with frequent rains, these two producing areas have excellent conditions for the cultivation of the vine: Queretaro, Guanajuato, Aguasacalientes and Zacatecas, including the municipalities of Tequisquiapan and Ezequiel Montes. The main grapes produced are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Some of the most renowned wine houses in this area are Freixenet, Vinos Hidalgo and Ezequiel Montes.
There are different wineries in Mexico that offer excellent tours and experiences through their vineyards and bodega’s. You can explore the “ruta del vino” or wine routes in these three regions. You can also combine them with the cheese route, the bread route and also explore the lavender fields in the altiplano area for a complete experience.
If you are wine enthusiast and you are staying at The Beach Tulum Hotel, you can enjoy a wine tasting session on Thursdays in the privacy of our bar “Caracol”. You will be hosted by our enologist and led through the history of Mexican wine since its conception to our times. You will also be guided through a complete tasting with the best wines from each region accompanied by carefully selected snacks to pair with the wine tasting experience in Tulum.