Valle de Guadalupe: Mexico’s Growing Wine Country
Six hundred miles south of Napa and about 90 minutes away from San Diego is a 14-mile area surrounded by mountains and the sea. Across this land are a series of vineyards that produce some fascinating wines from the new world.
Introducing Valle de Guadalupe
Valle de Guadalupe has a dry Mediterranean climate, but many feel that it’s quite similar to that of Bordeaux. It is one of Mexico’s major wine producing areas and the valley can be found in Baja, California. The Mexican state that accounts for almost 90% of the country’s wine.
The wine region was recently dubbed as the “next Napa.” It’s the kind of gem that wine enthusiasts, tourists, and adventurous travellers love to visit. But it hasn’t always been so celebrated, and even now, the wine region still has a limited reach with regards to wine exports and brand exposure.
More than 20 years ago, Valle de Guadalupe’s wineries numbered less than a dozen. In 2012, that number increased to 50. Currently, there are more than 100 wineries in the region.
“All of the wineries here are family-based,” Fernando Perez Castro, owner of Valle’s La Lomita and Finca La Carrodilla wineries explains in a recent Bloomberg article.
“When you visit a winery, there’s a great chance you’ll see the owner or winemaker or the son of the owner hanging around.”
The rising star
There have been several developments that have helped position Valle de Guadalupe into global stardom; bringing it closer to the “next Napa” nickname it’s been given.
Several San Diego-based distributors are finding ways to bring Guadalupe wines directly to buyers in the U.S. There’s also been a push for Mexican blends to appear more at wine shops and grocery store shelves.
Endorsements from celebrity chefs like Chicago’s Rick Bayless and Javier Plascencia – both well-known American authorities on Mexican cuisine – have helped the profile of Guadalupe produced wines.
You can also find internationally acclaimed restaurants, stylish boutique hotels, and sprawling wineries – all boasting panoramic views of the lush, green valley and boulder-covered hills. These all help to to make Valle de Guadalupe,a trendy gastronomic destination for wine and food enthusiasts.
A Country with a rich wine history
Although not one of the top ranked wine countries in the world, Mexico actually holds an important place in wine history.
In fact, the very first winery in the American continent was founded in Mexico’s Parras Valley. Some claim it is from this vineyard that European vines spread throughout the Americas, via California to the north and Chile to the South.
In Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico has another chance to make wine history. But for now, it is definitely a wine region worth visiting.