(Dec. 2016) One of the distinguishing features of wine from Mexico is that the country is reputed to be the home of the oldest winery in all of the Americas. This winery is Casa Madero and is located in the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains in the state of Coahuila, about one hour’s drive east of the city of Monterrey.
Records show that in the 1520’s after conquering the Aztecs, Cortes had Spanish grapevines sent to Mexico in order to plant vineyards and make wine in this region. The date is several decades earlier than vineyards were first planted in Chile (1548) and Argentina (1551).
Major Wine Growing Regions of Mexico (Map created in Powerpoint by L. Thach, 2016)
Statistics on the Mexican Wine Industry
Finding up to date statistics on the Mexican wine industry can often be challenging, but there are several reputable sources. These numbers are primarily from the Euromonitor June 2016 report on the Mexican wine industry, the Consejo Mexicano VitiVinicola December 2015 website report; and La Ruta del Vina website for the Valle de Guadalupe.
Number of Wineries: approximately 100, with 70+ headquartered in Valle de Guadalupe of Baja
Major Wine Regions: Wine is produced in 12 of Mexico’s 31 states, but more than 80% is produced in the Baja Peninsula, which has a similar climate to California. Other major wine producing states include Sonora, Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes and Querétaro (see map)
Major Varieties Produced: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Syrah, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc
Largest Wine Producers: La Madrileña (20% of the volume); Casa Pedro Domecq; L.A. Cetto, Monte Xanic
Wine sales in 2015: 91 million liters valued at $28 billion Mexican pesos
Imports: 65% of wine is imported; 35% domestic
Economic Impact: annually generates 500,000 in employee wages and 1200 permanent jobs
Growth Estimates = 10% in volume and 11% in value in the next few years
|Vineyard in Valle de Guadalupe of Baja. Photo Credit: J Covarrubias|
The Future Trend in Mexico for Wine is Positive
Though beer and tequila are currently more popular drinks in Mexico, wine has been gaining traction over the past few years. Euromonitor forecasts that the growth trend in positive, especially since Mexico has a large population of 130 million people, with a median age of 27, and is ranked 10th largest country in the world. The Millennial generation in Mexico is beginning to adopt wine as a new beverage, as well as many of the urban professionals. In addition, the trend to consume local products is also positive for Mexican wine, as people begin to seek out more of their home-grown products.
(Excerpts of this post are from an article co-authored with Jorge Covarrubias in Winebusiness.com)
- Consejo Mexicano VitiVinicola (Dec. 2015). Report on Mexican Wine Industry. Available at: http://www.uvayvino.org/index.php/prensa
- Delsol, C. (2009). “A toast to Mexico’s undiscovered wine country”. San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA).
- Euromonitor (June 2016). Wine in Mexico Report.
- La Ruta del Vina of the Valle de Guadalupe. Available at: http://larutavcc.com/mapa/
- Worldometers. Population of Mexico (Dec. 2016). http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/mexico-population/