The other day I had the opportunity to taste what was in effect the first introduction of Mexican wines to India at the residence of Ambassador Jaime Nualart of Mexico. And if these examples are anything to go by, I hope we’ll see more of them in future, says Reva K. Singh.
Mexico is not normally associated with wine in India, although Spanish explorers planted vines there hundreds of years ago. The nascent industry was eclipsed when Spain started exporting its own wines to Mexico. In the last 30 years, however, its winemaking has revived and has made dramatic progress. Baja California in the far northwest of the country – an area that compares in climate to California’s Napa Valley and France’s Rhône Valley – is where 90% of all Mexican wine is produced.
Mexico’s largest wineries are concentrated in three regions within easy reach of the town of Ensenada, 70 miles south of the US border. They are San Antonio de las Minas including Guadalupe Valley, San Vicente Valley and Santo Tomas Valley.
The varieties of red wine produced in the Baja California region are Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Grenache and Mission, which is an indigeneous grape that was originally cultivated by Spanish missionaries. The white wines are Chenin Blanc, Palomino, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Saint Emilion and Malaga.
All the wines we tasted were red and included Italian varietals such as Nebbiolo and Barbera. The quality was exceptional and ranged from a Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon blend for $ 9 (retail tax-free price) from Santo Tomas, the third largest producer in Mexico and a Nebbiolo Reserva Privada for $ 10 from L A Cetto, the biggest producer and exporter, to Albarolo from Shimul for $ 23.
Considering the spicy cuisine of Mexico, these wines are likely to go down well with our own varied cuisines. If you are adventurous and like trying wines from unexpected places, go down Mexico way. You won’t be disappointed, because as Ambassador Nualart told me at our first meeting, “Mexico is a country of enormous cultural and gastronomic richness and wine occupies a very important position in both.”
Some important wineries of Mexico under various wine regions
1. Valle De Parras, Coahuila
Casa Maddero www.madero.com.mx
2.Valle de Santo Tomas, B.C
Bodegas Santo Tomas www.santo-tomas.com
3.Valle de Gaudalupe, B.C
Bodegas Adobe Gaudalupe www.adobeguadalupe.com
Bodegas Baron Balche www.baronbalche.com
Bodega L.A. Cetto www.lacetto.com
Bodega Monte Xanic www.montexanic.com.mx
Bodegas Shimul www.shimul.net
Bodegas Paralelo www.vinoscasadepiedra.com
4.San Antonio De Las Minas, B.C
Bodega Casa De Piedra www.vinoscasadepiedra.com
Bodega Pijoan www.vinospijoan.com
Bodega Vinisterra www.vinisterra.com
Bodega Liceaga www.vinosliceaga.com
Bodega Tres Valles www.vinostresvalles.com
Bodega Aborigen www.vinoscasadepiedra.com