The Napa of Mexico: Monte Xanic and El Valle de Guadalupe

One of the best kept secrets of the wine world is the fact that there is a steadily growing high-quality wine industry right across the US border in Baja, Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe, just outside Ensenada. Owing to Mexican government export tariffs favoring tequilas, and a general disbelief in Mexican dedication to quality, most of these wines never make it out of their country. But things are changing, aided by growing attention to the Valle de Guadalupe’s annual Fiestas de la Vendimia every August. I got the opportunity to visit one of the top producers, Monte Xanic, and taste many of its competitors during a crush season visit a few months ago for a story in The Tasting Panel. Here are some ¬†candid photos (many taken by Kelly Duckhorn) from the visit. Xanic owner¬†Hans Backhoff Sr, Jr, Viticulturalist Kelly Maher and consulting winemaker Scott McLeod are depicted most prominently :

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