Little is known about wine production in Mexico. But slowly, the world seems to be catching on. For good reason: Mexico is one of Latin America’s oldest wine-producing countries.
Though vines have existed in Baja since the 1700’s, during the 18th and 19th centuries, wine was mostly produced by the clergy, strictly for the Church. During the early 1900’s, production for commercial purposes began, but poor practices and sub-standard techniques led to poorly produced wines. That all changed in the 1980’s, when better vineyard maintenance and incorporation of modern oenological advances helped Mexican wine production steadily improve, particularly in Baja California. Hugo d’Acosta, a French-trained winemaker from Mexico City, inspired the movement and has since become the face of Valle de Guadalupe’s independent winemaking community. A semi-arid geographical region sandwiched between a sprawling mountain range and the salty air of the Pacific Ocean, the Guadalupe Valley offers a unique microclimate that protects the grapes by day and cool the vines as evening rolls in each night. Paired with mineral-rich soil, the “Valle,” as locals call it, is prime grape-growing real estate. As d’Acosta himself attests, “great wine is made in the vineyard; not in the winery.”
This region, essentially a diamond in the rough on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, has some enthusiasts calling Valle de Guadalupe the next Napa Valley. With over 50 wineries and some of Mexico’s top chefs populating Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe which runs along the Ruta del Vino’s Highway 3, Baja wineries and Valle de Guadalupe have been covered by such esteemed press as the The New York Times, New York Times’ T Magazine, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Wine Enthusiast and Conde Nast Traveler’s website.
Baja Meets New York is a multi-day, multi-format showcase of wine and food events that will shed light on the wines of Baja California, the chefs of the region, and the accompanying food-wine-travel intersection. Showcasing the region is tantamount to giving Valle de Guadalupe and Mexican wines the respect and exposure they deserve. Mexico is already known for tequila and, more recently, mezcal, but never has one imagined that the production of great wine is also taking place in this incredible microsystem with so much beauty and bounty.