Angelo Rivas

Mexican wine then, 2000

By Angel Rivas - jun 17, 2020

Some of us were very eager as the year 2000 was approaching. Everyone thought the new century was going to amaze us with innovations and technology; everything was going to be easy. We would be at the pinnacle of gastronomy and drinks, but the path would be different.

In those years Mexico wasn’t considered a wine producer, at least outside of the country. Some good efforts of wineries like Monte Xanic, Château Camou and L.A. Cetto were changing the quality of wines, while others kept on the volume business with products that today would not be appealing to anyone

The industry grew along with the new trends in restaurants. In Mexico City, Nicos and El Bajío were popular places to eat, some local chefs were recognized only by their researchs.

Pujol restaurant opened and the nationalism started to flow. Mexican food began to pair with mexican wine, although spanish, chilean and french wine were the most elected in restaurants.

The race for quality began and all wine producers had to change their vineyards yields, look for new technology, change varieties and start to plant new hectares. Some other countries were praising national wine before Mexico.

Casa Madero, the oldest winery in the Americas, exported most of their production, nowadays their wine isn’t enough for the local demand. L.A. Cetto turned into the biggest winery, Domecq lost the track and in hands of Pernod Ricard the brand almost disappeared.

Enologists like Hugo d’Acosta, Víctor Torres, Laura Zamora, Francisco Rodríguez and many others were the names that started to appear in the media and new generations started to try the local drink.

20 years ago the wine consumption in Mexico was 355 ml, or a can of coke as many remember, today we are at a 1 liter rate or even more.

Baja California state was and has been the top producer, but has growth from less than 50 producers by the beginning of the century to over 200 today.

Zacatecas and Aguascalientes states were big producers of grapes but some areas changed into other crops and now they are returning to plant vines.

And we got some help form our neighbors, U.S. winelovers have bene trying our bottles in Baja and many touristic spots where they go in Mexico.

Hopefully in two decades the scene will be very different, but better.


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Food and wine journalist with two decades of experience. Editor and reporter at Reforma newspaper in Mexico and current collaborator in different media. Awarded with the Best Journalism Career 2011 by Vatel Club Mexico.

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