Friday, December 29, 2006

Calixa wines from Monte Xanic: White, Rosé and Red

White: Chardonnay

A young wine marked by intense fruit and hints of vanilla and spices.Both a cocktail wine and a dinner wine, it is ideal to serve with cream-based soups, oysters Rockefeller, wild mushroom risotto, cheese fondue, or chicken in a pipián verde chili sauce.

Rosé: Granache Rose

Presents a salmon pink color that is both brilliant and luminous and offers aromas of strawberries and melon and hints of citrus (manderin). It is a fresh wine that is easy to drink.It can be served alone or to accompany light dishes such as fruit plates, pastas, rice, and poultry. This wine compliments both Oriental and Mexican food..

Red: Cabernet Sauvignon

A young wine with a silken palate, Calixa Cabernet Sauvignon is characteristic of the grape variety and is distinguished by its taste and its rich aroma of black cherry, raspberry and black currant.Upon observation against the light, the wine displays a deep, dark, brilliant red tone with violet-colored scintillation.It is an excellent wine to accompany grilled beef and game, including duck, goose, venison and wild boar, pastas with red sauce, or a Mexican mole poblano sauce.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Hoildays to my Friends, wishing you the best for 2007.

Happy New Year.
2007 is already off to a great start here in Guadalupe Valley. Several of the Baja wineries went up to COPIA in Napa Valley during January to feature their wines to the California wine enthusiasts. Mexican wines are moving up in quality and getting better by the day.
For regular Baja Wine Country News read my wine column every two weeks at:

Steve Dryden

New Year's Eve Show and Menu at Sancho Panza Wine Bistro and Jazz Club

This year we will have a Cuba Cabaret theme for all of our esteemed guests. Every year we try to offer something very special. This year promises to be the most fantastic yet. Eight professional dancers, singers, great live Cuban band, and much more. Many surprises.

Guaranteed to be the most fantastic entertainment, the best food, and the most fun in Baja! Reserve early. Reservations limited and will be filled soon. The price will be $180.00 usd per person. No one admitted without a prepaid reservation. The celebration begins with a welcoming reception between 7 & 9 pm. (Ask for bar seating)

Sancho Panza- wine bistro
Cabo san lucas
Baja California
More informartion here:

Thursday, December 21, 2006

History of Bodegas de Santo Tomas

Nowadays both large and small wineries are experimenting with newer styles of higher quality wines, many using new varietals and combinations to determine those appropriate to the terroirs and audience. But have a look back into the past of some wineries ...Bodegas de Santo Tomas.

In 1791, Jesuit priests established the "Mision de Santo Tomas" in Baja California, about 90 miles south of present day San Diego. They brought and planted vines of grapes named "uva mision" (mission grape), and produced the first wines in the Californias.

In 1834, Dominican priests founded the "Mision de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Norte," about 70 miles south of San Diego. This was the last mission established in the Californias and the one that functioned the least time. But the valley retains the abbreviated name "Valle de Guadalupe." Today the valley produces about 75 percent of Mexico's wines, many winning international recognition. The valley was blessed as one of the rare places in the world where premium wine grapes can be grown.

The road to the present wasn't easy for the valley and its wines. In 1857, after Mexico's War of Reform, the Catholic Church was stripped of its land holdings, which included the missions in Lower California that was left to Mexico after the U.S.-Mexico war. All church property became the property of the state. The government sold the former lands of the Mision de Santo Tomas to a private group, which established the Bodegas de Santo Tomas in 1888.

Nothing notable happened in the Valle de Guadalupe until 1904, when a group of 100 Russian families settled the area. The group belonged to a pacifist religious group which abandoned Russia to avoid its men being conscripted into the Czarist army.

The Russians bought several hundred acres, dedicating a good portion to planting vines producing grapes for wine, raisins and for sale as fruit. Others who came later followed their example, and more and more grapevines were planted.

The wines from Santo Tomas had by then acquired a good reputation, but sales of Mexican wines were dormant, as wine drinkers preferred French, German, Italian and Spanish wines, although they were exorbitantly priced.

The large Santo Tomás, Baja California's oldest winery established in 1888, has formed an alliance with California's Wente Brothers, and the two are producing a wine together: Duetto.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The vineyard of Monte Xanic

Everything a wine can ever be is in the grape. Through the vine the grapes absorb the characteristics of soil and climate; the grape interprets them while contributing its varietal character.

While the characteristics of the vineyard are natural and cannot be reproduced by technology, it can be used to allow the grapes to develop their full potential. This is why at Monte Xanic the vineyard is cultivated with both traditional and modern techniques in order to obtain the maximum expression of our vineyard. One of the most important aspects is controlling yields, sacrificing volume for quality.

Each vine is pruned to yield a limited number of grapes, but each one of these has a high concentration of flavors and aromas which will be revealed in the wine. Monte Xanic also leaves prune and branches to reduce herbaceous aromas. Drip irrigation controls the amount of water that goes into the vineyard, and we protect the vines from birds with nets, as they not only make off with part of the crop but damage the remaining fruit.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Visit Casa Madero winery

Casa Madero is not only a winery with a fascinating history, but a weekend retreat for the wealthy owner’s family. This fall, I had the unique opportunity to stay there and experience how the Mexican gentry have lived for generations! The Casa Madero Winery occupies the oldest vineyard on the North American Continent, in the valley of San Lorenzo, 8 kms north of Parras de la Fuente in the State of Coahuila in North Eastern Mexico. Their temperate weather, 1700 metres above sea-level, and the spring fed earth make it ideal for pomegranate, pecan, walnut and grape growing.

I was fortunate to stay at the winery in the Posada Casa Grande de la Hacienda de San Lorenzo, the twenty-five bedroom weekend retreat of the Madero family. In this beautiful setting the five thousand extended members of the Madero family come for their annual reunion. The reunion is held by the illuminated swimming pool surrounded by a colourful display of purple bougainvillea bushes.

More here: