History of winemaking in Mexico
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Regions And Producers

Production is still dominated by the large international wine companies, and small producers are deterred by difficulties in obtaining licences to sell wine and the apathy of the domestic market towards anything other than basic-quality wines.

Baja California
Baja enjoys a temperate climate and the greatest vineyard expansion is here more than 10,000ha (25,000 acres) are currently under vine. Most grapes are grown in the Guadalupe Valley and near Ensenada. The oldest and best-known producer is Bodegas de Santo Tomas which makes very promising Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Cava Valmur and Domecq are also known for their Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sonora has many brandy producers, including Martell. Much of the vineyard produces Thompson Seedless and other table grapes for export

Laguna, Torreon
The climate in this largely cottongrowing district is warm for aristocratic grape varieties, whose best chance is at higher altitudes. The best-known producer is Vergel, founded in 1943, which has upgraded its facilities and introduced temperature-controlled stainless steel fermentation tanks.

Parras, Saltillo
North of Mexico City is the Parras Valley, possibly the cradle of American wine. Better vineyards are at 1,500m (5,000ft), where the climate is suitable for fine wine production. Vinedos San Marcos, a modern winery, is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon and sparkling wines. Bodegas de San Lorenzo (part of Casa Madero) is the second-oldest winery in America (founded in 1626), and produces a range of vinifera wines as well as brandy. There are several large brandy facilities in this area.

San Juan del Rio
This is a more recently developed vineyard region 160km (100 miles) north of Mexico City. Most plantings are at a cool 1,800m (6,000ft). Cava de San Juan is showing the way with aristocratic vinifera such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir (Hildalgo label) and sparkling wine (Carte Blanche). Martell produces table wines in this region.

With vineyards at 2,000m (7,000ft), this is the highest and coolest grape-growing region. Planting began in the 1970s. The first producer was Bodegas de Altiplano.

Wine regions of the world.

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