If sunshine, beautiful beaches and fantastic weather is not enough to draw visitors to the Puerto Vallarta
area of Mexico then the Festival Gourmet Puerto Vallarta may just
bring you food and wine lovers to this gourmet
destination. It is great way to taste food and wine from all the top chefs and restaurants. The festival,
which began in 1995 and has become very popular with both the locals and tourists. There are cooking classes,
wine tasting events and special menus during this gourmet week. On the final evening, the Stars and Moonlight
Gala Banquet is hosted the Hotel Hacienda Cora, a small luxury Mexican boutique hotel. It is a spectacular
setting for the grand finale, which is celebrated with several performing music groups from Mexico.
A country already world-famous for its tequila, Mexico is also trying its hand at
winemaking, with successful results. In the past few years, the country's leading wineries
have collected an impressive array of accolades, gaining a following among wine lovers
excited by the prospect of finding excellent vintages in unexpected places. Discover the
varieties of wine from Mexico and learn about the award-winning vintages, as well as the
myriad of local festivals celebrating the winemaking tradition.
Mexico's largest wineries can be found in three regions conveniently located near the town of
Ensenada, 70 miles south of the U.S. border: San Antonio de las Minas, the San Vicente Valley
and the Santo Tomas Valley. Guadalupe Valley is located in San Antonio de las Minas. Others
states such as Zacatecas, Sonora and Coahuila also boast boutique wineries producing high-quality wines:
Coahuila is home to the aforementioned Casa Madero, and grapes produced near Sonora's capital city of
Hermosillo are often used in the production of wines from Baja wineries.
The varieties of red wine produced in the Baja California region are Cabernet Sauvignon,
Ruby Cabernet, Zinfandel Grenache and Mission. The white wines are Chenin Blanc, Palomino,
Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Saint Emilion and Malaga.
The following is a partial list of Mexico's wineries, many of which conduct tours:
Monte Xanic: Located near the town of Zarco, 25 miles northeast of Ensenada, this winery is
less than two decades old, but has quickly gained a reputation as one of Mexico's finest and is
credited with putting the country's wine on the map. For more information, call (011-52-555) 545-1111
or visit www.montexanic.com.mx
Chateau Comou: Inspired by what he saw in the Monte Xanic winery, Ernesto Alvarez-Murphy
Camou took his mother's maiden name, bought 1000 acres in 1995 and created Chateau Camou.
Like Monte Xanic, Chateau Camou aims at creating top-quality wines and is considered one of
Mexico's most modern and sophisticated wineries. Camou offers tours Monday through Friday
from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon for US$3. For more information,
call (011-52-646) 177-3303 or visit www.chateau-camou.com.mx
Case de Piedra: This discreet vineyard, located at Km 93.5 in the valley of San Antonio de Las Minas,
is considered by some as Mexico's most innovative and ground-breaking winery. For more information,
call (011-52-646) 155-3097 or visit www.vinoscasadepiedra.com
Bodegas Santo Tomas: Open since 1888, this winery has been producing wine longer than any other
winery in Mexico. The winery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call
A great way to get to know these wineries and others is to attend the Vintage Festival
(Fiesta de la Vendimia) in Ensenda, Baja California Norte, which takes places in August
every year. The festival's wide variety of attractions including wine tastings and contests,
winery tours, fishing tournaments, cook-offs, gourmet food and concerts-are sponsored, organized
or subsidized by area wineries. For further information about the events, contact the Winemakers
Association (Asociacion de Vinicultores) at (646) 178-3038/3136 or 175-7233, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or www.ensenadawines.com.
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