Mexico’s Baja California will take time to become wine’s ‘next Napa’

Mexico’s Baja California will take time to become wine’s ‘next Napa’

Many people believe the promising wine region of the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California, Mexico, has the potential to become "the next Napa Valley," but many others are of the view that it will take many more years for the region to become the next Napa.

Located northeast of the Mexico's port city Ensenada, the Valle de Guadalupe currently has as many as 50 wineries that range from slick commercial operations to improvised structures like garages. While the wine route is marked by the paved main ruta del vino, Highway 3, a number of wineries are situated far down along bumpy dirt roads.

El Mogor, a farm and winery in the region, was founded in 1952 by Henri Badan and his wife Clotilde Dangon. The Swiss-French couple initially grew grapes and other crops, and sold them to large wineries of the region. Later they created a winery of their own. Badan died in 1973, and his son Antoine passed away in 2008, leaving the farm and the winery to his sister, Natalia Badan.

Natalia Badan said that her farm and winery didn't use underground water; rather they made use of water from the mountains, which was why wines produced by her winery were free of saltiness.

However, she said that it would take many more years for the Valle de Guadalupe to become the next Napa Valley. Speaking on the topic, she said, "We are still experimenting and playing. I think in 20 years, we will be able to say it is true."

Though El Mogor's wines are not exported to the United States, yet many Americans like Chef Drew Deckman, who has lived in Mexico for around nine years, praise the estate's wines. He described Natalia Badan as the "matriarch" of the valley.

Mexico's fine wine industry is quite young, but its wine making dates back to the arrival of the conquistadors, in the 16th century.

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