Summer time in Mexico is when local winemakers begin to harvest their grapes which means lots of vendimia celebrations and fiestas. The wine scene in Mexico is currently gaining popularity thanks to help from articles such as those featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and recognition from Wine Enthusiast Magazine as one of its top picks for this year’s must-visit wine destinations . However it wasn’t always that way, it took centuries to get there.
Mexico, which is technically the oldest wine-growing region in the Americas, was prohibited from making wine for almost a whole century (from 1699 until Mexico’s Independence from Spain in 1810)– with the exception of church wine. Once wine making was made legal again in the 19th century, Mexicans were too accustomed to their cerveza, tequila, and mezcal and it wasn’t until the 1980’s that Mexico began focusing on their quality and techniques that helped win over some of the crowd. Today, the reputation of Mexican wine is on par with some of the best international producers and it can be found in over 35 countries and in almost every fine dining establish in Mexico.
Over 6,000 acres of grapes are planted in Mexico and the most productive and popular wine producing regions are in Baja California (Valle de Guadalupe) and Northern Meixco (Parras de la Fuente) ; however, there are also ideal areas in Central Mexico (Queretaro, Zacatecas, Guanajuato) where grapevines thrive due to a combination of Mediterranean-like climate and high altitudes. The vendimias (harvests) in this area take place in late July and early August and it draws local and international visitors who are encouraged to celebrate with wine tasting, grape stomping, vineyard tours, cultural music, and other events. The vineyards and wine region in Central Mexico create the perfect getaway for lovers of wine and culture; check out our highlight of some of Central Mexico’s best wineries:
Dos Buhos – San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
Just outside the “World’s Top City”, San Miguel de Allende, is the Dos Buhos Vineyard with over 50 years of agricultural experience and three acres of ten different varieties of organic grapes. Dos Buhos is one of the most refined winieries of the region and design their wines in an artisanal fashion with a strong infusion of their personal creativity andp assion in the processes. Their first annual Festival de la Vendimia (August) invites guests to learn about their cellars, vineyard, enjoy wine tasting, art auction and exposition, and live music.
Produces: Tempranillos, Cabernet Sauvignons, Cabernet Franc, Agilanico, Sauvingon Blac, Moscato Giallo
Cuna de Tierra – Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato
Located at the halfway point between San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato is the Pueblo Magico of Dolores Hidalgo and is where you can find the Cuna de Tierra vineyard that pays tribute to the heroes of Mexico’s Independence. The vineyard spans a total of 39 acres (16h) of grapes: 22 for wine and 17 for eating. Their annual wine harvest festival in August, Aires de Vine y Arte, is unique as it invites other wineries from around Mexico and includes art and culinary elements.
Produces: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Shiraz
La Redonda – Ezequiel Montes, Queretaro
In the heart of Queretaro’s Wine & Cheese Route is La Redonda– one of Mexico’s better known brands of wine. With over 38 years of experience as winemakers, it was the first to cultivate a special variety of grape plants that were able to adapt to the region and has succeeded in creating a high quality white wines, red wines, and sparkling wines. In addition to their main Fiesta de la Vendimia in July, throughout the year they also host an 100 Mexican Wine Festival, Wine Colors Music Fest, and a Gastronomic Festival. Throughout August visitors can enjoy small weekend events to include wine tasting, live music, and vineyard tours.
Produces: Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Chardonnay, Trebbiano, Melot
Finca Sala Vivé by Freixnet Mexico – Ezequiel Montes, Queretaro
With a location chosen for its excellent climatic characteristics perfect for grapevines, the Catalan company, Freixnet, decided to make Mexico a home and built their vineyards based on old Mexican hacienda designs. With an incredible view of Peña de Bernal, the vineyard is the number one tourist attraction in the entire state of Queretaro. With that said, they offer diverse tours and events held throughout the year with their main harvest festival in August complete with cultural activities, mariachis, stomping of the grapes, and other wine-related activities.
Interested in Food, Wine, & Tequila in Central Mexico?
Delve into Central Mexico´s rich culinary, wine and tequila heritage with an exclusive five-night itinerary that provides a journey for all of the senses to include personalized private tours, an exclusive tequila tasting, hands-on cooking classes, visits to boutique wineries and more! The tour includes a visit to Mexico City’s magnificent Historic Center to learn about its rich and delicious culinary traditions; a lesson on the importance of cacao followed by 100% artisan chocolate tasting; shopping at the colorful San Juan Market with Chef Maycoll from J&G Grill followed by a hands-on cooking class; tasting wines from the oldest wine producing region in the Americas – Coahuila, Mexico – with a private sommelier; visiting the art-filled San Miguel de Allende and walking tour of the historic center; an exclusive tequila tasting of Casa Dragones, one of Mexico’s finest and premium tequilas; a farm to table experience with a market tour and private cooking class from a local renowned chef, Paco Cardenas; and a tour to two local wineries and tasting of their most recent labels accompanied by local cheeses. To learn more, contact a Journey Mexico Travel Planner.