Mexico has long been the king of the agave drinks, tequila and mezcal, and it is often joked that the one phrase you need to know in Spanish before visiting the country is, “Cerveza, por favor (Beer, please).” However, in the Guadalupe Valley of Baja, a different adult beverage is making waves–Wine. 70-miles south of San Diego and called the Napa Valley South by some, the valley is quickly becoming one of the most popular vineyard regions in the world.
In this region, a unique and fascinating vineyard called Vena Cava has sprouted up from the imagination of a British couple and a Mexican architect. Phil and Eileen Gregory met by chance while sailing in the West Indies and have been together ever since. As a tribute to that, their friend Alejandro D’Acosto decided, when Phil asked him to help him build a winery, to have the grapes grow inside boats, just like the Gregory’s love. Today, their strange, upside-down marina produces wine enjoyed by world leaders at the 2012 G-20 summit in Mexico.
As CCTV America’s correspondent Mike Kirsch tells us in this report, the winery began as an extension of the Gregory’s estate, La Villa del Valle, and has taken off since then. What was just producing enough for Phil and Eileen to share with their friends and guests, the 70 acres of land now produce 30,000 bottles every year.
The estate has grown alongside the winery. San Pellegrino named the restaurant on the property, Corazon de Tierre, one of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America. Also on the estate are a Mediterranean spa and a bed and breakfast.Despite wine’s long history in Mexico, Spanish invaders brought it with them in the 16th century, it was not popular with Mexico’s middle class until as recently as the 1980s. Today, more than 100 wineries dot the landscape on the “ruta del vino,” the wine route, in Northwestern Mexico.