Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Snapshot of the Mexican Wine Industry – Home of Oldest Winery in the Americas

(Excerpts of this post are from an article co-authored with Jorge Covarrubias in Winebusiness.com)

(Dec. 2016) One of the distinguishing features of wine from Mexico is that the country is reputed to be the home of the oldest winery in all of the Americas. This winery is Casa Madero and is located in the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains in the state of Coahuila, about one hour’s drive east of the city of Monterrey.

Records show that in the 1520’s after conquering the Aztecs, Cortes had Spanish grapevines sent to Mexico in order to plant vineyards and make wine in this region. The date is several decades earlier than vineyards were first planted in Chile (1548) and Argentina (1551).

Major Wine Growing Regions of Mexico (Map created in Powerpoint by L. Thach, 2016)


Statistics on the Mexican Wine Industry

Finding up to date statistics on the Mexican wine industry can often be challenging, but there are several reputable sources. These numbers are primarily from the Euromonitor June 2016 report on the Mexican wine industry, the Consejo Mexicano VitiVinicola December 2015 website report; and La Ruta del Vina website for the Valle de Guadalupe.

Number of Wineries: approximately 100, with 70+ headquartered in Valle de Guadalupe of Baja

Major Wine Regions: Wine is produced in 12 of Mexico’s 31 states, but more than 80% is produced in the Baja Peninsula, which has a similar climate to California. Other major wine producing states include Sonora, Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes and Querétaro (see map)

Major Varieties Produced: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Syrah, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc

Largest Wine Producers: La Madrileña (20% of the volume); Casa Pedro Domecq; L.A. Cetto, Monte Xanic

Wine sales in 2015: 91 million liters valued at $28 billion Mexican pesos

Imports: 65% of wine is imported; 35% domestic

Economic Impact: annually generates 500,000 in employee wages and 1200 permanent jobs

Growth Estimates = 10% in volume and 11% in value in the next few years

Vineyard in Valle de Guadalupe of Baja.   Photo Credit: J Covarrubias 

The Future Trend in Mexico for Wine is Positive


Though beer and tequila are currently more popular drinks in Mexico, wine has been gaining traction over the past few years. Euromonitor forecasts that the growth trend in positive, especially since Mexico has a large population of 130 million people, with a median age of 27, and is ranked 10th largest country in the world. The Millennial generation in Mexico is beginning to adopt wine as a new beverage, as well as many of the urban professionals. In addition, the trend to consume local products is also positive for Mexican wine, as people begin to seek out more of their home-grown products.


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