Category: New World

Mexican Wine, Sustainability Has Kicked In 

It’s no secret that Mexico is an up-and-coming wine-producing country. The North American country is the 34th largest wine producer, and although its yearly wine consumption is still negligible compared to prominent wine-loving countries, with just over six glasses of wine per person, Mexico’s winemakers are making everything right — that’s exciting for wine lovers worldwide.

The new and not-so-new generations of winemakers in Mexico are looking at the current trends in the wine world and jumping into them. This means that more vineyards are being converted to organic and sustainable farming every year. Here are the most interesting sustainable wineries in Mexico.

 

1. Bodega Santos Brujos 

Santos Brujos, the ‘Holy Sorcerers’, is the only biodynamically-certified winery in Mexico. The wines are made with organically grown grapes and no additives in the vineyard or winery. The estate also uses natural fertilizers and works the vines according to the lunar calendar — biodynamics in a nutshell.

The Baja Californian winery has been Demeter Certified since 2013, and its wines have earned praises in global competitions, including the International Organic Wine Awards.

Tempranillo

Located in the well-known Valle de Guadalupe, Santos Brujos produces a full-bodied Chardonnay with expressive tropical fruit, a ripe but earthy Tempranillo, and a mineral (and a bit funky) rosé.

2. Rancho San Miguel, Ley XVIII

RANCHO SAN MIGUEL, 100% CARIGNAN, ORGANIC

Rancho San Miguel, a relatively new estate in Ensenada, Baja California, makes a superb 100% Carignan with organic grapes and ages it for 12 months in new American oak. The fruit bomb is one of the region’s most notorious wines made with organic grapes. At the same time, Ley XVIII is giving notoriety to a lesser-known and not-all-that-popular grape variety.

The wine’s name, Law XVIII, refers to the Royal Decree of 1595, in which the Spanish Crown forbade wine production in its American colony, AKA Mexico. The legend says the country’s wine was so good it was stealing the spotlight from Spain’s own wines. Ley XVIII is undoubtedly turning a few heads for its originality and quality.

3. Casa Madero 

Santo Madero Church near Casa Madero Winery

Casa Madero is not only one of the largest wine estates in Mexico, but it’s also the oldest. In fact, this is the oldest winery on the entire continent, founded in 1597.

Casa Madero is also worth mentioning for its uncommon location. Although over 70% of Mexican wine is produced in Baja California, Casa Madero is not in Baja but in Coahuila. The estate is located in the paradisaic Valley of Parras (the valley of vines). An authentic oasis, the verdant region is surrounded by one of the driest deserts in the world.

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

The historic winery is also one of the first to achieve a USDA Organic certification, although only a few plots of the estate’s 400+ hectares of vines are tended organically. The winery’s Chardonnay and Cabernet, made with organic grapes, are amongst their finest releases and tasting them side by side with its non-organic wines is revealing.

4. Mogor Badan 

El Mogor, Valle de guadalupe

Mogor Badan makes Mexican wine “à la française” (French Style). Located in the Guadalupe Valley, the family-owned estate makes wine with organically grown grapes. Its catalog includes a bold Bordeaux blend and a refreshing white wine made with, Switzerland’s flagship grape, Chasselas.

Mogor Badan vineyards

The Badan family tends their estate, El Mogor, like a garden, and their winery is one of the oldest in the region, going back to 1987. Sadly, there’s not enough Mogor Badan to go around; the winery produces limited amounts of wine every season. Of course, the wines are scooped by connoisseurs and enthusiasts swiftly. Mexico’s vinous future is bright for sure, and it’s also green.

 

Oray Wine


Wine is a gourmet treasure, do not abuse alcohol!

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I did not receive any gifts or free samples that could be related to this article

Brazilian Wine, The New Frontier

Brazil is immense; it’s the fifth largest country after Russia, Canada, China and the USA. And although Brazil is known for its tropical rainforest and warm climate, the country’s southern tip has the right conditions to grow wine grapes.

Brazil produces over three million hectolitres of wine from its 83,000 hectares of vines, making it the third-largest wine-producing country in Latin America (after Argentina and Chile) and the 16th worldwide, right after New Zealand. So, is the wine any good?

Due to Brazil’s tropical latitudes, only 10% of its vineyards are planted with Vitis vinifera varietals (used worldwide to make fine wine). What’s even more interesting, although producers in Brazil make wine in all styles, the country is gaining recognition for its sparkling wine! Let’s talk about the five most representative wineries in the land of samba and capoeira.

Chandon Brazil

Chandon Brazil is by far the largest winemaking company in Brazil. Established in 1973, this is a branch of the well-known Champagne house, Moët & Chandon. As mentioned above, sparkling wine is a big deal in Brazil, and every bottle produced is consumed within the country.

Chandon Brasil Rosé

Chandon Brazil produces sparkling wines in all styles, from Brut to Demi-Sec; they make pink bubbles as well, all from fruit grown in their vineyards in the Serra Gaucha and Campanha. Interestingly, the company’s flagship Brut style is made with roughly equal parts of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Riesling Itálico. Note that the Riesling Itálico (probably of Italian origin) is sometimes called Welschriesling and is different from the German Riesling grape. While remaining a white grape, the Welschriesling is better adapted to hotter climatic conditions and gives a different aromatic profile.

Casa Valduga

Casa Valduga is an iconic Brazilian winery at the heart of the Vale dos Vinhedos (the valley of vineyards), the first Denomination of Origin in Brazil.

Casa Valduga

Luiz Valduga founded the family-owned estate in 1992. The entrepreneur wanted more than just making fine wines in Brazil; Mr. Valduga single-handedly established the foundation of the region’s thriving wine tourism industry. Try the estate’s award-winning Gran Chardonnay D.O.

Miolo

Miolo is a quality-minded winemaking group making wine in four distinct estates in Brazil’s finest terroirs. Miolo makes still and sparkling wines from its own grapes grown in Vale dos Vinhedos, Campanha, and Vale do Sao Francisco.

Miolo Riesling

Miolo is also one of the few Brazilian estates with a presence in international markets. The wine to try? Miolo Single Vineyard Riesling Johannisberg. After sparkling wines, Riesling might just be the country’s most exciting category.

Lidio Carraro

Five generations of grape growers and winemakers have put Lidio Carraro winery on the map as one of the most prestigious estates in the country. The family-owned winery has vineyards along the State of Rio Grande do Sul, including some of the most exemplary plots in Vale dos Vinhedos.

Lidio Carraro

Although Lidio Carraro produces award-winning sparkling wine (sponsor of Brazil’s Formula 1 event), they also make superb white and red wines. Try their Grande Vindimia Quorum, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat and Cabernet Franc.

Família Geisse

Mario Geisse was Chandon Brazil’s winemaker in the late 70s and 80s before founding his own family estate. This winemaker’s skills have made wine enthusiasts in the country and abroad seek his creations, considered the first Cult Wines in Brazil. The winery was named New World Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast in 2014.

Laranja Nature

The estate is located in the small wine region of Pinto Bandeira, where Mr. Geisse grows premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes for his exclusive sparkling wines. Wine to try: Cave Amadeu Laranja Nature — sparkling wine made with the Champagne method that’s as good as any premium sparkling wine from anywhere in the world. Is the world ready for Brazilian fizz?

Oray Wine


Wine is a gourmet treasure, do not abuse alcohol!

None of this content has been sponsored

I did not receive any gifts or free samples that could be related to this article

The Unexploited Potential of the Mexican Wine Market

Mexico is a large country, home to nearly 130 million people with growing expendable income. Mexicans like to party, too — they drink an average of 233 bottles of beer yearly; not bad compared to the 282 consumed in the neighboring United States, the world’s leading market for alcohol consumption. Still, there aren’t many wine lovers in Mexico. Is this a missed opportunity?

“This might be one of the most under-developed wine markets worldwide”

Let’s talk about the Mexican wine market, its challenges and the opportunities for wine producers, distributors, importers and exporters. This might be one of the most under-developed wine markets worldwide. Is there an opportunity in Mexico for you?

 

Wine Consuming Habits in Mexico

Mexicans consume on average 0,8 litres of wine yearly. In comparison, the French consume 46.9 liters, and Italians are not far behind. Still, Mexican wine enthusiasts are catching up and have the second-highest consumption growth in America, with yearly increments of around 8%.

“Wine consumption in Mexico is increasing, representing an extraordinary opportunity for everyone involved in the trade, but not without challenges”

Wine consumption in Mexico is increasing, representing an extraordinary opportunity for everyone involved in the trade, but not without challenges. It goes without saying, wine is not part of the Mexican diet, and people are not used to the fermented beverage. This might change in the future — after all, Mexico is a wine-producing country in its own right.

 

Mexico as a Wine Producer

Mexican wine producers make 22.5 million liters of wine annually, mostly up north, in Baja California. There are 8,431 hectares of vines destined for wine production, planted with Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Ugni Blanc, Carignan, Merlot and others.

Nebbiolo and Tempranillo, although not as widely planted as those mentioned above, show the most promise. At the same time, grapes reminiscent of the country’s Brandy days in the 70s-80s, including Ugni Blanc and Colombard, are often the least attractive; of course, the Mexican market has yet to discorver the extraordinary European renditions of these grapes. Overall, Mexican wine is getting better every year. The problem is that there is not enough to go around.

 

Most Popular Wine Styles in Mexico

Wine consumers in Mexico are deeply in love with red wine, representing 56.29% of the market, followed by sweet, fortified wines (16.82%), sparkling wine (14.10%) and white wine (11.94%).

“There might also be an opportunity for value brands to capture the emerging market’s attention”

There’s a strong consumer preference for Mexican wine, but local production only makes for 2.3% of the available wine due to its small scale. Spain and Chile dominate nearly half the Mexican wine scene and, along with France, Italy, Argentina and the USA, have a hold on 98% of the market. What does this mean to wine importers, wholesalers and retailers? These are the hard facts.

  • The Mexican wine market is growing at an astounding rate. Mexico’s wine production is also increasing, although it might never fully satisfy the country’s demand for wine. Imported wine will continue to dominate the sector.
  • Mexican wine drinkers are just discovering the complexities of the wine world, so consumers will stick to recognizable brands and wine grapes for the foreseeable future. You’ll sell plenty of Cabernet and Tempranillo, but don’t expect bottles made with rare varietals or from lesser-known wine regions to fly off the shelf.
  • Wine is expensive in Mexico, especially for the high taxes on alcoholic drinks, expected to rise during the current administration. Alcoholic beverages in the country have a 26% production tax plus a 16% value-added tax. Shortly, wine lovers are expecting to pay 46.5% of taxes on alcoholic beverages.
  • Wine consumption might be increasing in Mexico, but the fermented grape juice is still almost exclusively consumed by people with middle-high to high incomes; in other words, the country’s privileged one per cent. This represents an opportunity, even if small, for luxury brands and high-profile wines. There might also be an opportunity for value brands to capture the emerging market’s attention. Still, wine meant for connoisseurs will have to wait for Mexico’s wine consumers to develop a wine-friendly palate. Will Mexico ever fall in love with wine?

 

Oray Wine



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Wine is a gourmet treasure, do not abuse alcohol!

None of this content has been sponsored

I did not receive any gifts or free samples that could be related to this article

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