Warning: include(): http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_include=0 in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/1999/wd0599/wd052699.html on line 28

Warning: include(http://globalgourmet.com/includes/banner468.html): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/1999/wd0599/wd052699.html on line 28

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'http://globalgourmet.com/includes/banner468.html' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/1999/wd0599/wd052699.html on line 28

 

by Fred McMillin
for May 26, 1999

 

Mexico On The Go


Prologue

Hernando Cortez founded the Mexican wine industry in 1524. In the past 25 years it has moved further than in the previous 450 years.

Change started with the planting of noble grape varieties in the Guadalupe Valley, a short drive south of the California border.

...Hugh Johnson, World Atlas of Wine


The Rest of the Story

Today's wine was made by the pioneering firm of L.A. Cetto, with 2,000 acres of vines in the valley. Here's how it came about.

Angelo Cetto arrived at Guadalupe from Italy in 1923. His labor job was not a barrel of laughs, but he saved his pesos, moved to Tiujana, and began working with real barrels. They were barrels of bulk wine he was making. Profits sent his sons to college in Mexico City. The eldest, Luis Angel, joined dad and the business took off.


The Region

Charles Mitchell vineyards  
What's the potential of this area in the northwest corner of the Baja peninsula? It is cooled by the breezes and fogs from the Pacific. Locally, it is referred to as "the Napa Valley of Mexico." As the wine industry was awakening, critic Leon Adams wrote that he had tasted 452 wines from all parts of the country, and "all but four ranged from drinkable to good." Quality has been improving steadily, which leads us to today's wine.


Wine of the Day

1998 Mexican White Wine, Valle de Guadalupe
Producer—L.A. Cetto, Importer—Charles Mitchell
Composition—60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Colombard
My Panel's Comments:

    "Dry style. Interesting wine."
    "Well done except slightly yeasty."
    "Acidic. Interesting."
Tasting This Wine—At least 90 minutes in the frig. Then, I had mine with mild white cheese and water crackers, to examine the wine. With food, I'd prefer it with a simple fish sandwich, such as the one I enjoyed yesterday at the Balboa Cafe in San Francisco's Marina District.
Where to Get the Wine—If your merchant doesn't have it, phone Kathy Dawson at (800) 704-WINE, or FAX (530) 620-1005.
Price—$7 range.


Postscript

One reason for the long delay in development of Mexican wines was the lack of a domestic market. It must not have been the fault of the vines, for Mexico provided Argentina it's first cuttings. Ultimately Argentinian annual per capita consumption hit something like 85 quarts per person. The last figure I have showed the per capita consumption in Mexico was less than eight ounces a year!

 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

 
 

WineDay Annex

More articles by
Fred McMillin

 

Welcome to WineDay, the electronic Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday, WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend.

 

05/25/99
Ramos Up Close

05/24/99
Anatomy of A Cab

Winery of the Week 05/21/99
The Men of Smith and Hook

05/20/99
One For The Mayor

05/19/99
San Gabriel Rang The Bell

05/18/99
A Zin You Can't Taste

05/17/99
Tony Meets Franc

Winery of the Week
05/14/99
Deutz, Then and Now

05/13/99
Black Robes,
White Wines

05/12/99
The Bashful Blanc

05/11/99
A Twenty Million
Dollar Wine Course

05/10/99
When Napa
Was Railroaded

Winery of the Week
05/07/99
The Domecq Trek

05/06/99
James Beard's and Another Mother

05/05/99
The Knights Valley Mystery

05/04/99
The Comeback Kid

05/03/99
Machiavelli Memories

 

Current WineDay

January WineDays
February WineDays
March WineDays
April WineDays

1998 WineDays

1997 WineDays

 
The Global Gourmet

Copyright © 1999—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.