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Mexican Wine

Updated on March 19, 2014

A very nice surprise

A few years ago, I made a trip to Baja. I first landed in Tijuana and then I took the bus to Ensenada, where I found a wonderful landscape. Vineyards that produced excellent wines. To my surprise I was told that the number of wine producers was increased, with the problems of having to compete with the most famous, worldwide recognized wines. It is worthy to take a look at these Mexican wines, some of them produced with the most innovative and creative ways.

In the wine world there are grapes and marks that have international recognition. Sometimes new products surprise us with its quality and flavor. In recent years, Mexican vineyards have produced wines of increasing quality. This has made the wines from Mexico to be more appreciated.

Wine + food: wonderful combination

Red Wine Grapes

Red wines are harvested from different grapes as

  • Nebbiolo
  • Tempranillo
  • Shyraz
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Merlot

Dona Lupe Winery Ensenada

White wine grapes

These are the white variety of grapes:

  • Chardonnay
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Macabeo
  • Moscatel
  • Pinot Chardonnay
  • Riesling
  • Semillon
  • Saugvinon Blanc
  • Viognier
  • Zinfandel


Wine Search:

Why Mexican wine?

Imagine yourself in the middle of a desertic place, it's sunrise and quite warm. You wake up and smell a marine aroma that comes from the Pacific Ocean. As the sun rises the vineyards reveal themselves to the eyes of the visitor. You can see a lot of vine rows perfectly lined, the green leaves and the different tones that comes from red to purple in the magnificent grapes that later will be combined into a fine, exquisite wine.

At noon, and after touring the vineyards, you take a lunch with local food and accompany it with a glass of a good old red. It is very interesting to find out how the wine is produced in the local facilities. The different combinations of grapes lead to awarded products that can be tasted in the different Casas. You can spend the afternoon on this activities until dinner time when a spectacular finale awaits. How about a lobster and a sparkling white to celebrate the night?

That is what you will find when you go to the main wine region of Mexico.

Cross the border from San Diego and you’re in Baja California, Mexico, home to a historic wine region that’s reinventing itself via boutique wines, top-flight restaurants and attractive lodging options. Michael Schachner, 2012


Some reasons to drink Mexican wines

The "Catavinum World Wine & Spirits Competition" is an annual event that evaluates wines of all over the world in different categories.

According to, the objectives of this competition are:

  • Inform consumers and professionals about the quality of wines / spirits winners, helping the dissemination and communication of the same.
  • Provide guidance message for 80% of consumers who expect international references about wines and spirits premium.
  • Increase the production and development of quality wines and spirits.
  • To contribute to the dissemination of the culture of wine and spirits.

The awards consist on the next diplomas and medals

  • Great Gold medal: the Wine/Spirit got 95 to 100 points after the evaluation.

    It has great intensity and aromatic complexity, is high bodied and well balanced and came with high global aromatic persistence.

  • Gold medal: the Wine/Spirit got 89 to 94 points after the evaluation.

    It is very intense and complex aromas, full-bodied and well balanced high and very persistent.

  • Silver medal: the Wine/Spirit got 80 to 88 points after the evaluation.

    It has intense and complex aromas, is full bodied medium-high and well balanced, and has good persistent finish

The 2013 competition results of the tasting of the best wines and spirits gave Mexican wines three awards in the category of red wines:

  • Gold medal to Equinox Nebbiolo 2008 from Lafarga
  • Gold medal to St. Thomas Gran Reserva 2006 from Santo Tomas
  • Gold medal to Xaloc Reserva 2005 from Santo Tomas
  • Silver Medal to LA Cetto Boutique Malbec 2007 from Cetto wines

In 2014 Casa Madero 2012 got the Silver Medal in the category of rose wines.



Other wines with medals

The Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is an annual event that primary aims to provide consumers with a guarantee: that it will single out wines of irreproachable quality offering a truly pleasurable drinking experience, wines from across the globe and the price points.

The 2012 edition gave the following results

Great Gold Medal to Santo Tomas Red Misión 2009 from Bodegas de Santo Tomás

Gold Medals to

  • Casa Madero Malbec 2010 from San Lorenzo
  • Don Luis Selección Terra 2008 from L. A. Cetto
  • Duetto 2007 from Santo Tomás
  • L.A. Cetto. Petite Syrah 2010 from L. A. Cetto
  • Monte Xanic Sauvignon Blanc 2011 from Monte Xanic

Silver Medals to

  • Casa Grande Chardonnay 2011 from San Lorenzo
  • Casa Madero Chenin Blanc 2011 from San Lorenzo
  • Chateau Domecq Red 2008 from Pedro Domecq
  • Furvus 2008 from Santo Tomás
  • Pitxos 2009 from Santo Tomás


The 2011 International Wine and Spirits Contest (CINVE) gave the

Great Gold Medal to Crugarage Grenache 2005 from Torres Alegre and Family

Gold Medals to

  • Shiraz 2009 from Emeve
  • Cabernet Suavignon 2008 from VI
  • Mogor Badan 2008 from Cavas del Mogor
  • Crugarage Nebbiolo 2005 from Torres Alegre and Family
  • Suavignon Blanc 2006 from Torres Alegre and Family
  • Petite Shiraz 2009 from L.A. Cetto
  • Familia Pedregal 2006 from Vinisterra

Silver Medals to

  • Cabernet Suavignon 2008 from Xecue
  • Merlot 2008 from Xecue
  • Reserva 2006 from Xecue
  • Tempranillo 2009, Cavas Valmar


Guadalupe Valley

The history of Guadalupe Valley begins in 1834, when Dominican priests introduced the growing of grapes at the nearby Northern Mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the official name of the Valley. This place has the unique characteristic of being one of the few places in the world where premium wine grapes can be grown.

Located 30 Km from Ensenada and 95 Km from Tijuana, the latter being at the border with the State of California, Guadalupe Valley is the place in Mexico where are located most of wine crops. The wine production there is considered the most Nordic of the country and the wine yards are at a distance from the sea between 15 and 20 km. It was quite recently, about thirty years ago, that Guadalupe Valley increased the diversity and quality of the wines since companies like Monte Xanic, L.A. Cetto and Pedro Domecq, together with several small wine producers settled down on the land.

Although there are privileged conditions to cultivate the grapes, there are some issues that Guadalupe Valley has to deal with; in particular salinity and water problems have the biggest impact on grape quality. This situation has forced to blend the local grapes varieties with those of the near zones. Instead of being a problem, it can be seen as an opportunity to improve on the production techniques and the enologist have found a wide range for experimentation with the different types of grapes, generating interesting wine varieties.

The association of wine makers of Baja California celebrates every year the Grape Harvest Fiestas in the Valley of Guadalupe and the town of Ensenada in the month of August. This celebration includes wine tasting sessions, concerts, soirées, and samplings of regional cuisine and Mexican wines.

Some call Mexico's Valle de Guadalupe, in Baja California, the new Napa – but a tour of its wineries, hotels and restaurants shows that it is very much its own place Sarah Gilbert, The Guardian, 2014

The Mediterranean climate of the Valle de Guadalupe makes it a good location for growing Spanish and Italian varietals like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Tempranillo. Meghan McCarty, The Californian Report, 2013


El pequeño Larousse de los Vinos, (In Spanish), Latin American Ed., 2006.

Adobe Guadalupe is one of the most successfully wine concepts in Baja California

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