Tom Gatch, March 22, 2012
A warmer and sunnier than average winter season in 2012 has been the barer of good news for the wine producers in Baja Norte’s Valle de Guadalupe, which lies just a few miles to the northeast of Ensenada. Many of the most popular varietals grown here hail originally from the Mediterranean region, where dry and sunny weather entices the robust Graciano and marvelously rich Tempranillo grapes in Spain as well as the rich, complex Nebbiolo and Sangiovese strains in Italy to grow ripe, plump and juicy on the vine.
A majority of the local wineries in Valle Guadalupe, a region which annually produces over 90% of Mexican wines, focus their attention upon growing red varietals; although the area also offers a few notable whites such as oaky Chardonnays and crisp Chenin Blancs. Weather is the number one factor relating to the quality of the fruit, followed by proper vineyard management, quantity control, site selection and irrigation. But, however encouraging the growth of the relatively fledgling Baja wine industry has been, there are a couple of obstacles that stand between its current level of operation and achieving the ultimate goal of world class recognition, which many noted wine connoisseurs believe it well deserves.