Patrick was preparing the Moana Cancun Catamaran and his crew for a Sunset Wine Cruise when I asked him about his wine list for the evening. He reached into a box, pulled out two armloads of bottles and clunked them onto the galley table. “Here is your wine list, Andy!” Patrick can be a master of subtlety sometimes. What he pulled out were all bottles of Mexican wines from the Monte Xanic Winery, one of Mexico’s premier vintners.
Your wine list for the Sunset Wine Cruise
Later on during the cruise, this is the question we heard most: “Mexico has wines? And great ones? Tell us more! Better yet, pour us some more!”
Since we can’t pour you a glass here (yet), we’ll clue you in on 7 amazing facts about Mexican wines.
Mexico is Home to the Oldest Winery in All of the Americas. Yes, the oldest.
Casa Madero…oldest winery in the Americas
Yes, 23 years before settlers landed on Plymouth Rock, Hacienda San Lorenzo began making wines in 1597 in Santa María de las Parras (Holy Mary of the Grapevines) in the Mexican State of Coahuila. The vines that were established here were later exported up to the Napa Valley in California and down to South America.
Today that winery is called Casa Madero, producing award-winning chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Syrah varietals.
Almost ALL of Mexican Wines are Produced in Baja California
The northern region of the country produces ninety percent of Mexico’s wines today. Almost all wines come from three regions not far from Ensenada: the Valley of Guadalupe, the San Vicente Valley and the Santo Tomás Valley. This area has deep granite soils, warm sunny days, and nights cool due to breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean. The area is ideal for both red and white wines, and one of the few locales in the world that can grow grapes for world-class wines.
Mexico Got So Good at Making Wines, the King Prohibited It.
Carlos II of Spain…not a fan of competition
Legend has it that Hernán Cortés (Google him if you don’t know history) and his soldiers quickly finished all the wine they brought with them from Spain. Conquest makes a man thirsty I suppose. Because of this, one of his first acts as governor was to order the planting of grapevines throughout New Spain. Vineyards were so successful that wine exports from Spain to the Americas plummeted. Because of this, in 1699 Charles II of Spain decided to prohibit wine production in Spain’s colonies, except for the Church.
That prohibition remained until Mexico’s Independence…in 1810. In 1843, Dominican priests began growing grapes at the nearby Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Norte mission, located in what is now called Valle de Guadalupe. This valley is one of the few in the world, along with others such as the Napa Valley and the Rhone Valley, in which premium wine grapes can be grown.
Mexicans Only Drink 2 Glasses Per Year!
Despite Mexico’s Spanish heritage (they will throw back some vino in España), it is not a major wine-drinking country. Number 3 above may have had something to do with that. Cerveza and tequila are far more popular. The average wine consumption per capita is only two glasses a year. However, today wine consumption in Mexico is growing, nearly four times higher than ten years ago. Most wine is consumed in major cities like Mexico City, but is also commonly found in tourist areas, such as Cancún and Cabo San Lucas. We could have told you that.
Well, in the interest of increasing boosting our national GPA (Glass Per Average), my wife and I may have to up our game.
Mexican Wines Made a Comeback–Thanks to the Russians?
During the period of Mexican history known as the Porfiriato (1880–1910), wine production in Mexico increased and spread to other regions of the country. In the Baja California area in 1904, Russian immigrants known as Molokans, a pacifist religious group fleeing service in the Tsar’s army, purchased 40 hectares (100 acres) of land and began producing wine grapes. They encouraged others to do the same, helping the area acquire a reputation for making good wine.
To that we say: За здоровье! You may want to Google that too.
Baja is Going to Be the Next Napa Valley
Even though Mexican grapevines helped establish some of the vineyards in the Napa Valley so many years ago, wine enthusiasts are saying it’s nowpoised to become the “New Napa”.
Since the 1980s, wine production in Baja California, has been steadily improving with better tending of vineyards and incorporating modern advancements in winemaking. Most wineries here are young, established only since the 1980s and 1990s. Mexican wine can be found in 38 countries in the world and many vintages have won international awards.
The outlook is good. I’m gonna need a bigger glass.
Since Patrick Jouault first began operations as owner of the Moana Cancun Catamaran, his mission has been to provide guests with the finest foods and delicious wines and an amazing experience here in the Mexican Caribbean. His background as a sommelier and wine expert have led him to find some fabulous Mexican and international wines to treat his guests as they cruise the Bahia de Mujeres between Cancun and Isla Mujeres.
Not only do we invite you to the Moana Cancun Catamaran to enjoy some epic Mexican wines, but we encourage you to look for fantastic Mexican wines back home too!
Enjoy some of the best food and drink you can have in our area when you spend the day chartering the Moana Cancun Catamaran. Guests rave not only about Patrick and his crew and their brilliant food and drink, but also about their excellent service and attention to detail. But don’t just take our word for it, check out our rave reviews at TripAdvisor and like and join our Facebook Page and Instagram feed!
The Moana is a luxury 40-foot Fontaine-Pajot sailing catamaran, ready to take you on a Caribbean sailing adventure. It is owned and operated by Patrick Jouault, originally from France, who has a deep base of knowledge and experience base in gourmet food, fine wines and top service.
Find out how easy and affordable it is to charter a day trip out on the Moana and the adventures you and yours can enjoy aboard. E-mail this beautiful Cancun catamaran directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (52) 998 734 8568 today.
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Salud… and enjoy the blue waters of the Mexican Caribbean! Remember, you’re on Vacation!