Mexico is probably the oldest wine-producing country of the New World. Vines were introduced by the Spanish conquistadors under the command of the faimous Henando Cortez in the sixteenth century.
The results were very disapponting though because of the tremendous heat and arid conditions.
The Spanish searched for better places to plant the vines further north in satisfactory. It was only in the eighteenth century that Franciscan monks imprived the Spanish vineyards and extended those in the former greater California. After California was separated from Mexico, wine-growing in Baja California (the Mexican part of California) fell into total neglect. Several large American and European wine and drinks companies saw an opportunity in the later twentieth century to establish a wine industry in Mexico in the best locations.
Of these companies the firm of Domecq achieved short-term success with Mexican wine. Because of the very hot and dry conditions it is essential for wine-growing to find cooler places so sites were sought on the high plateaux. Hence some vineyards are sited at 3,300-5,000 feet. Although there are well-hnwon internationally. These are L.A. Cetto, Mission Santo Thomas, and Domecq to a lesser extent in terms of the wine than the name.
L.A. Cetto and Domecq have vineyards in Baja California, about 50 miles south of the bode with the United States, tin the Guadalupe Valley, and Mission Santo Thomas has them in the Santo Thomas Valley. There are also vineyards in the Baja California of the smaller scale but high quality wine producer of wines, with a sultry and unforgettable Chardonnay and excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. Both wines are very expresive and difficult to get and appers to be less interested in wine. Mission Santo Thomas has entered into a joint venture with the famous Californian company of Wente and is extremly busy. Their Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon are absolute gems.
L.A. Cetto makes a wide range of different types of wine from very acceptable cheap ones for local consumption to excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Zinfandel, and Petite Syrah that are mainly intended for export.
Mexican wines, as the taster will soon discover, are long on sensuality and short on finesse.
|The success of Mexican wine is due to the soft acidity and fulsome, rounded, and warm taste. In addition the wines from producers such as L.A. Cetto are really quite cheap for the quality they offer. Drinking temperature is 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C) for the Cabernet Sauvignon and 60.8-62.6°F (16-17°C) for the other red wines.|