Raised on the San Antonio de las Minas farm purchased by their Swiss-French parents over fifty years ago, the Badans have spent their lives working to respect, preserve and protect the land and sea. Their deep passion for the environment and local agriculture evolved over the years to include world class wine-making, organic farming of figs, honey, grapes, olives and tomatoes, hosting of an acclaimed weekly Farmer's Market and participation in/sponsorship of local agricultural celebrations such as the annual Fiestas de la Vendimia.
During his life, Dr. Antonio devoted himself to wine-making and was considered a influential Baja Californian vintner. He personally oversaw every single stage of the process, from planting and tending grapes to harvesting and crushing them. Dr. Antonio even took great care and pride in the aging and bottling of his wines, creating his own Parisian-style labels with unique old type and pasting them on each bottle by hand. Once bottled, wines would be stored in an elegant stone cave on the Mogor Badan property.
Dr. Antonio specialized in a unique Swiss wine called Chasselas made from a grape typically found in Switzerland. This crisp, fruity, sparkling wine is quite rare in Mexico and he had the distinction of being the only grower in Valle de Guadalupe working with the varietal. Other Mogor Badan wines include a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a Tempranillo. The Bordeaux blend is known for its spice and fruitiness, coupled with an elegant finish.
Since his untimely passing in 2008 Natalia Badan has continued her brother's legacy of excellence in wine production and adds her own flair for organic farming and out-of-this-world cookery. She is well known within the Valle for her recipes including homemade breads, sauces and empanadas filled with locally made cheeses and homegrown herbs. She shares her love of organics at the weekly Wednesday farmer's market and even invites guests into her kitchen to sample her magnificent culinary creations.
As testament to her sincere love of art, food, wine and the community that comes together around these shared experiences Natalia works hard to help coordinate the Fiestas de la Vendimia. Each year more than 500 guests come together at her winery for the Mogor Badan event where they will enjoy jazz, wine and peace beneath the sultry shade of the Mediterranean pine trees at sunset.
Km. 85.5 Highway 3 Tecate-Ensenada
San Antonio de las Minas
Sources: Natalia Badan, Bodegas de Santo Tomás Magazine - Special Edition, Baja: A Wine Tour
by Abe Opincar, Mexico: A Boomers Guide, Local Wine Events, NY Times