Wines from Baja: The Guadalupe Valley Comes to San Jose del Cabo
by Chris Sands
Mexico has long been lauded (and occasionally cursed the next morning) for liquid treasures such as beer, tequila, and mezcal, but only recently (thanks to companies like Wines from Baja) have Mexican wines been getting the international recognition they so richly deserve.
Thanks to consistently high quality wines from Guadalupe Valley (Valle de Guadalupe) , and the unflagging promotional efforts of proponents like Wines from Baja, a direct import company formed in 2010 by Roberto Tame and Marvin Nahmias, Mexican wine is seeing more widespread interest and attention. An article on the Mexican wine revolution was recently published in Wine Enthusiast, and Baja’s best bottles have been featured in Saveur and other top food and beverage oriented magazines. Celebrity chef Rick Bayless has also proved to be a major advocate. Host of the long-running PBS show Mexico One Plate at a Time, author of Mexican Everyday, and winner of the Aztec Eagle, the highest award given to foreigners by the Mexican government, Bayless has been vocal in his belief that Guadalupe Valley is producing world-class wines.
Home to the oldest wine growing culture in North America, Mexico’s top wine producers are mainly found in Baja California’s Valle de Guadalupe, near Ensenada in northern Baja. The hillsides of the Guadalupe Valley benefit from warm temperatures throughout the growing season, as well as the cooling coastal breezes enjoyed by so many of the West Coast’s top wine regions, and the valley’s benchmark producers are known for distinctive wines that reflect the valley’s unique terroir. Typically, Guadalupe Valley wines showcase international grape varietals like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Syrah, Zinfandel, Grenache, Cabernet Franc and Nebbiolo. Today, with nearly 100 wineries and cavas in the area, and even a small wine school — La Escuelita — started by wine guru Hugo D’Acosta, the Guadalupe Valley is gaining international acclaim.
Wines from Baja has recently stepped up promotion in Los Cabos with stands at the San Jose del Cabo International Airport, and the Cruise Ship Terminal in Cabo San Lucas, where visitors to the area are now welcomed with a taste of one Guadalupe Valley’s finest wines. During my recent visit to the stand at the Cruise Ship Service Center, the taster of choice was Monte Xanic‘s 2011 Chenin Colombard blend, a mineral-driven stunner boasting lovely tropical fruit notes, and a perfect antidote to the midday heat.
Want to find out more about wines from Baja? The Guadalupe Valley? Visit Baja.com!
Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.
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