Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wine and Mexico

I recently became interested in learning about the wine industry in Mexico. I have visited Mexico at least two dozen times throughout my life to visit family and see sites. I have been in Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Acapulco, Celaya, San Miguel de Allende, Guadalajara and Leon. In all of these cities I can recall Sangrias, Rums, Tequilas, Cervezas and Micheladas but, in all of my dining experiences in Mexico, I do not recall wines. 

With this in mind, I looked into the topic to see if there were some solid facts on wine consumption and trends in Mexico. The results look like China might not be the only market worth watching. 

According to the California Wine Export Program  "Currently 70% of the wine consumed in Mexico is imported from foreign countries." This was no surprise considering the hot climate but, what did generate interest was the following piece, " Nationwide wine consumption has increased in the last few years... some wine experts estimate an annual 12% growth rate in consumption in the next few years. Mexico’s transition to more wine consumption over other alcoholic beverages, increased interest among different consumer sectors including women and young adults, and growing interest among consumers in trying novel wines makes Mexico an excellent market for the promotion and sales of U.S. wines."

As for the other 30%  of consumed wine, the home-grown wine seems to be growing in stature and abilities. I even found a few sites promoting Mexican Wine Tours which I would otherwise consider to be a scam but, the majority are in Baja.

The wine growing regions do not  go below Mexico City. The regions include:
           Baja California, Sonora (Wine region North) 
           La Laguna- (Coahuila and Durango)
           Center- (Zacatecas, Aguascalientes and Queretaro) 

Though 70-75% on the grapes are used for distillation and 10-15% are used for table grapes, as you move North, the wine production increases. You will find CariƱena, Barbera, Chenin Blanc, Syrah, Malbec and many more. 

This is a brief tickler, stay tuned for a more in depth look into Mexican wine consumer's habits and the capabilities of the wineries. 


  1. Hi Angelica,
    I am looking forward to this conversation. I am linking an interesting study on beverage consumption in Mexico. You might find it interesting.

  2. The area holding the most promise for expansion and qualitative enhancement in Mexico is Valle Guadalupe, just northeast of Ensenada, in nouthern Baja. Surprisingly, there is a handful of good wines being produced there, and a robust enology any viticulture program at a local university. Many of the local people in the industry have interned in Napa and Sonoma wineries as well. As the climate is favorable, keys to success mainly involve proper matching of site, soil, varietals and clonal selections as the knowledge base evolves in the area. Definitely worth a visit.

  3. See info related to Valle Guadeloupe, northern Baja. Major growth in this emerging region for Mexican wine. Too bad the industry is hobbled by a burdensome tax rate, making competition and export nearly impossible.