Mexico is one of Latin America's oldest winemaking countries, but grapegrowing there has at times been a bumpy road. Catholic missionaries and conquistadores from Spain began cultivating grapes in the early 1500s, and land grant recipients in the colony were required to plant vines. Nearly 200 years later, the Spanish crown prohibited wine production in its colonies, excepting wines used for church sacraments. Since Mexico declared independence, viticulture has been slow to catch on in this beer- and tequila-loving country. But now Mexico's premier wine region, Valle de Guadalupe, is creating a buzz in the food-and-wine world. Wine Spectator's Maria Finn explains.
From the Feb 28, 2014, issue