Huatulco Life was inspired by people with a passion for Huatulco and the Mexican lifestyle. It is a place to find out more information about the region and enjoy the beauty of the Oaxacan coastline through the photo gallery. From time to time, other interesting tidbits about Mexico make their way into the pages of this blog. Enjoy!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mexican Wine?

Like anything in life, what you don't know or don't understand, will always surprise you.  We all know that Mexico is famous for its beer and  Tequila, and now Mezcal is becoming more popular and more understood.

What about Mexican Wine?

Mexican wine making actually began in the 16th century with the arrival of the Spanish and Hernán Cortés. The legends says that Hernán and his troops arrived in what was to become New Spain (Mexico) and they brought with them loads of wine that were quickly depleted.  But as part of his agenda when he became the governor, was to plant new vines and produce wine.  Vines were brought over from Europe and flourished in the states of Puebla, Coahuila, and Zacatecas.  It was these vines that would later be sent to Napa Valley and South America.

However, in 1699 it was Charles the II that placed a prohibition on all wine with the exception of wine made exclusively for the church.  The prohibition lasted until the Mexican Independence in 1810.  From the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century most wine was still being produced by the church but production opened up to everyone again.  From these days forward, wine production grew steadily until the Mexican Revolution began in 1910, lasting until 1920.  This event was yet another blow to the progression of wine production in Mexico and impacted northern Mexico the most, virtually halting all production of wine.  The years to follow were again growing years as vineyards began to be tended again, and wine production continued to rise slowly.   

Today, the Baja California produces approximately 90% of the countries wine but sells a relatively small volume of cases.  This area is still young, and has only been producing quality wines since the 80s.  Now, advances in vineyard management and technology are enabling higher quality wines to be produced.  The Valle de Guadalupe, located in the northern Baja California is perhaps a relatively little known area on the world wine scene, but is being called the "next Napa Valley", and its geography and climate are perfect for producing world class wines.

It will be interesting to follow the evolution of wine in Mexico.  Be on the look out for some great things coming out of the Valle de Guadalupe in the future.

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