In 1987 the Mexican wine industry underwent a seismic shift thanks to a legal ruling which opened the Mexican border to foreign wines. Smaller-tier wineries found themselves unable to compete with the reputation of foreign labels ~ not due to the quality of their own wines, but rather because Mexican wine drinkers believed that even "modest" quality foreign wines were inherently superior.
Yet during this difficult time when many Mexican wineries were going out of business, five friends made the life-changing decision to enter the field and pioneer new wine industry processes and technologies. Their names were Eric, Hans, Manuel, Richard and Tomas... together, these five men created the elegant and ambitious winery Monte Xanic. Named for a Cora Indian word meaning "flower blooming after the first rain", Monte Xanic wines lived up to the notion of flourishing in a difficult season. As years passed other wineries fell by the wayside while Monte Xanic grew strong.
Today, twenty-three years after Monte Xanic opened its doors in glorious Valle de Guadalupe, this exquisite winery produces over 50,000 cases of wine annually and is considered by many as the standard by which other Mexican wineries are judged. Monte Xanic wines stand alone, a magical union of the innately powerful Baja California terroir with respect for the best of modern technology.
Dedication and attention to even the smallest of details characterize the process of producing a Monte Xanic wine. Harvest yield is controlled to ensure that all grapes have concentrated flavor and are of the highest quality before they are carefully plucked by hand (at night). Leaves are frequently pruned and vines renovated to maintain the health of the plants. Once picked the grapes are pressed, fermented, aged and bottled with the greatest of care. Wines are aged in a 3,000 barrel cellar in barrels of the finest French oak from Alliers and Nevers.
Monte Xanic produces wines at four different price points - Calixa, Monte Xanic, Limited Edition and Gran Ricardo. Wines within these groups include Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. In addition, the winery creates Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah with grapes from regions outside of Valle de Guadalupe. Each wine is unique, flavorful, memorable. Their tones range from dark fruit and chocolate to citrus and freshly cut hay. Many of them have won numerous prizes and awards at international competitions.
Visitors can find Monte Xanic wines in major Mexican cities including Tijuana, Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas but it's worth the short drive from Ensenada to enjoy the experience of gorgeous Monte Xanic winery in person. Tours can be arranged by reservation.
In the town of Francisco Zarco in the Valle de Guadalupe
Phone from U.S.:011-52 (646) 155-2080
Monte Xanic Website
Sources: Monte Xanic Website, Baja Wine, Vino Club SMA, Mexican Wines