Valle de Linares: will Nuevo Leon become Mexico’s new wine region?
The dream that Nuevo Leon, the estate of Mexico where I was raised, could become a wine region was imaginable. Nuevo Leon is a warm, almost hot desert area. They are well known as a beer producer state. Heineken’s Mexican headquarters and production center are located in Nuevo Leon. Heineken recently acquired a brewery formerly known as Cerverceria Cuahutemoc Moctezuma. Heineken is know producer of Carta Blanca and Tecate beer among others. Nuevo Leon is also known for being the North East Region producer of citrus fruits. In Nuevo Leon, the production of oranges and mandarins is well-known by Mexicans. In spanish we call it la región citrícola de Mexico. Hence, the thought of producing wine in this arid and challenging terroir was unimaginable.
I recently became acquainted with the agricultural engineer Jaime Cavazos who is running a growing grape pilot program at the Department of Agriculture of UANL, University of Nuevo Leon, by its initials in Spanish. They are studying the possibility of growing grapes -and making Nuevo Leon a wine region called Cultivos Alternativos. Cavazos’s scholar department wanted to provide an alternative for the local farmers that usually grow just oranges. The Region Citricola encompasses 282 km from Santiago, Nuevo Leon, to Linares. As stated previously is a challenging area climate-wise. For your reference, Nuevo Leon is located in the northeast of Mexico, which adjoins Texas on the South Border. Since a couple of years ago, they have been growing Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Malbec, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Valle de Linares
I wish I could have visited the three and a half hectares grown in Linares, Nuevo Leon. However, I haven’t had the opportunity to visit because of the pandemic we haven’t been able to travel overseas. Thankfully, I have great friends in great places. My long-time friend and now blog collaborator Daniela Gutierrez had a chance to travel to Linares, Nuevo Leon, and took some fantastic pictures of the vines. I can not wait to hear more about her experience traveling to Linares, where these vines grow.