Author Archives: lavitaminat

Pair your “Pavo” like a Pro – Cava Córdova’s Head Winemaker Shows you How

Winemaker Fernando Farías Córdova will launch Cava Córdova in 2015 Photo: Cava Córdova

Winemaker Fernando Farías Córdova will launch Cava Córdova in 2015 Photo: Cava Córdova GS

From the Series “World Class: Mexican Wine and the Hands who Make it”

Mexican entrepreneur and winemaker Fernando Farías Córdova  followed his love for winemaking all the way from his native Jalisco to Valle de Guadalupe. Impressively,  although barely thirty, this young wine and tea sommelier is now making a living out of his passion, and is preparing to release his own wine label.

Sleeping in a cellar awaiting for its 2015 debut, is Cava Córdova GSM. Originally from the southern Rhône Valley, here, this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes is being nurtured to become a wine that is both elegant and approachable.

It is impossible to resist asking an expert how to pair your food. Just in time for the Thanksgiving meal, Farías Córdova gives us tips for every palate:


White 
Look for wines with low acidity and high floral or fruit notes to highlight the flavor of cranberry sauce, such as wines made with Viognier, or Riesling grapes. A Moscato is a great option as long as it is not too sweet; and the butter notes of an oak-aged California Chardonnay would complement rich dishes very well.

Rosée
Dry, medium-bodied and very fruity wines will offer a refreshing contrast to pair elaborate dishes. Look for wines made with Grenache, Syrah or Carignan grapes

Red 
Red wine and turkey? Absolutely. Long gone are the times where poultry was usually only accompanied with white wine. Serve young red wines with notes of red fruit, jam and spices that intensify the flavors of our dishes. Look for Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Malbec or Syrah.

Sparkling
For a night of celebration, chose to pair your pecan pie with a Proseco Brut. Sparkling wines are also a great complement to spicy foods (in case mole or tamales verdes find their way to your table) and, why not, go ahead and pop that bottle of champagne that you were saving for a special occasion. This is one of them.

How do you know what wine is best for you? It is the one you like… and hopefully, it is a Mexican one.

¡Salud!

 

Stay tuned for an update on the 2015 release of Cava Córdova GSM.

 

 

Prior articles in the series:

< AlXimia: The Art and Science of Extraordinary Wine

<¡´Biba´México! The Zeal Behind Mexico´s Pasión Biba  

< World Class: Mexican Wine and the Hands who Make it (Introduction to a Series)

 

Nuestra Mesa: Quesadillas de Caracol

Foto: Manuel RiveraFoto: Manuel Rivera

Los insectos son una de las tantas aportaciones de la época prehispánica a la gastronomía que actualmente conocemos como mexicana. Relegados durante siglos,  (en gran parte debido a que los colonizadores españoles encontraban la costumbre de comer insectos algo repulsiva) hoy, este alimento  ha recuperado su auge. Actualmente, más allá de ser el alimento cotidiano de una multitud de comunidades indígenas a lo largo y ancho del país, los insectos  se han consolidado como un fascinante  (e incluso elevado) ingrediente de la gastronomía mexicana. Desde hormigas hasta escarabajos y  gusanos,  la abundancia, la diversidad y el alto contenido proteínico, de esta fuente de sustento  antes desdeñada como un alimento primitivo, quizás irónicamente sea la comida del futuro.

En esta ocasión, y únicamente gracias a la extraordinaria labor de antropología culinaria del chef Aldo Saavedra, es que nos es posible traerles esta receta del municipio de Acolman, en el Estado de México. Según Saavedra,  gracias al clima y al cultivo del maguey propios de esta entidad, Acolman  es un gran productor de caracol silvestre. Aquí, este insecto  se consume en diversos y exquisitos guisos que van desde sopas, salteados con guajillo, en ensalada de nopales y con xoconostle para quesadillas.

 

Ingredientes:

  • 150 gr caracol silvestre  (puede ser en lata)
  • 1/2 cebolla picada en cubos pequeños
  • 3 xoconostles
  • 1 ramita de epazote picado
  • Tortillas
  • Sal
  • Aceite para freír

Proceso:

  1. Enjuaga y pon a escurrir los caracoles.
  2. Pela los xoconostles, quitales las semillas del centro y pícalos en cubos pequeños.
  3. Calienta el aceite en una sartén. Ya caliente pon  la cebolla. Una vez que esté transparente,  agrega los caracoles. Dos  minutos después, incorpora el xoconostle.
  4. Dejar cocinar por 10 minutos, sazona con epazote y sal.
  5. Calienta  las tortillas y rellénalas con el salteado de caracol.

 

El chef Aldo Saavedra ha cocinado para huéspedes de establecimientos como el conocido Hotel Condesa D.F. y ha contribuído con sus recetas en proyectos con marcas de la talla de Larousse y Danone. En Nuestra Mesa, el chef Saavedra comparte con los lectores de La Vitamina T, su pasión por la cocina y por México. Encuentra más información sobre el chef Saavedra en México de mis Sabores.

A Sip of Heaven: Chocolate Champurrado

Champurrado de chocolate. Foto: Brenda Storch

Chocolate champurrado. Photo: Brenda Storch

“Es tan santo el chocolate, que de rodillas se muele, juntas las manos se bate y viendo al cielo se bebe.”

  -Refrán popular mexicano

“Chocolate is so holy that you must kneel down to grind it; put your hands together to churn it, and look to the Heavens to drink it “.

-Mexican folk saying

Chocolate, or Xocoóatl, in Náhuatl, was an important ceremonial drink in pre-Columbian cultures. Its importance was such, that seeds of the cacao tree were not only offered to gods, they were also used as currency. Considered nutritious and even medicinal, chocolate made its way to Europe via Mexico.

Serves 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/2 sprig of cinnamon
  • 5 tbsp of brown sugar or a small piece of piloncillo of around 2.5 oz
  • 5 tbsp of tortilla masa
  • 1.5 oz of handmade chocolate. I got the chocolate for my champurrado as a gift during my last trip to Mexico! You may replace it with a piece of chocolate for atole (in the U.S., you may find it in your ethnic food aisle under brands such as Abuelita or Ybarra). Using the latter might make the champurrado a bit sweeter, so reduce sugar.
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Dilute the masa in 2 cups of cold water until there are no clumps.
  2. Boil the remaining water with the sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Incorporate the corn masa while mixing constantly on low heat.
  4. Add the vanilla and the chocolate.
  5. Continue to mix constantly for about 15 minutes or until the mix reaches the desired thickness.
  6. This time, I added a pod of cascabel pepper for flavor! You can add a piece of dry pepper without its seeds if you want. We chose a sweeter pepper.
  7. Champurrado is a very thick drink. If you like it a bit lighter, you might reduce the amount of masa you add.

Enjoy!

AlXimia: The Art and Science of Extraordinary Wine

Photo Courtesy of AlXimia

Photo Courtesy of AlXimia

Under a sky that only a handful of locations in the world can offer (Ensenada’s observatory is the second most important in Latin America),  AlXimia’s large,  intricate dome-like structure, is a vision out of a sci-fi movie. As we drove by, I was transfixed. I could not help but intermittently think about a mothership and “The Jetsons”.

“Mad scientists,” joked Pasión Biba’s Abel Bibayoff, as we parked right next to the futuristic dome. I can hardly contain my excitement- “We saw this from the road last night!”

Photo courtesy of AlXimia

Photo courtesy of AlXimia

Dubbed by the locals “The flying saucer that landed in Valle of Guadalupe” or “The Cathedral of Wine”, the building is an architectural exercise in ingenuity and efficiency. Thought out to showcase water and energy conservation while highlighting the wine-making process,  it is clear from our vantage point within this unique circular building, that we have found ourselves in the midst of something quite extraordinary.

At the fulcrum point of art and science, AlXimia really lives up to its name. Backed up by a a group that under one cellar (and immediate family) gathers astronomers, educators, winemakers and even Ivy League mathematicians,  it is no wonder why this A-team produces award-winning wine. In fact, Spain’s most reputable and comprehensive wine guide, Guía Peñín, has recently given AlXimia’s  Aqua 93 points, the highest score for a Mexican wine, positioning it  as “excellent” within the 90-94 point range.

2014-09-21 15.12.07

I was particularly fascinated by the concept “Elemental Wine” or “Vino Elemental” explained by Alximia’s winemaker Álvaro Álvarez- a nod to the four elements in nature: air, water, earth and fire. According to the philosophy of the winery, the combination of these four speaks to balance, sustainability,  and, maybe more importantly, to the little piece of Valle de Guadalupe that is included in every bottle of AlXimia. Beyond the beauty of the concept, pragmatism- consumers can guide themselves with the elements represented in each wine for pairing purposes. For example, water and fish; air and poultry, and so on and so forth. Brilliant.

L to R ÁlXimia's Álvaro Álvarez, Pasión Biba´s Abel Bibayoff and Lozhka Bistrot's Chef José Bossuet

Starstruck by a select group of food and wine intellectuals. From left to rightL  ÁlXimia’s Álvaro Álvarez, Pasión Biba’s Abel Bibayoff and Lozhka Bistrot’s Chef José Bossuet

While AlXimia’s operation is smart, and innovative,  it is also firmly grounded in family, work ethic, and a profound respect for nature. I find it so poetic that the family’s patriarch is an astronomer… these Mexican entrepreneurs are undeniably, stars.

Where to buy: Visit the winery´s online store.

How to get there: Click here to find a map.

Do not miss:   La Terrasse San Román by chef Martín San Román, located in the winery’s terrace.

 

 

Prior articles in the series:

<¡´Biba´México! The Zeal Behind Mexico´s Pasión Biba  

< World Class: Mexican Wine and the Hands who Make it (Introduction to a Series)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuestra Mesa: Para este Día de Muertos, Tamales de Queso y Chile

Foto: Manuel Rivera

Foto: Manuel Rivera

 

Por: Aldo Saavedra  

Entre los diversos platillos que forman parte de la celebración de Día de Muertos, están los populares tamales. En cada región de México, a este platillo se le “da vida” de diferente manera, incorporando masas, rellenos y procedimientos distintos.

En el Valle de Santiago, por ejemplo, entre las comunidades otomíes que ahí radican, descubrimos unos tamales únicos de intenso sabor y  preparación sencilla.  Servidos durante los velorios para alimentar a los que acompañan a los dolientes, y preparados nuevamente para celebrar el Día de los Fieles Difuntos, estos tamales están hechos con ingredientes y utensilios endémicos, entre ellos el tequesquite, una piedra de sal que emerge en las zonas acuosas después de la época de lluvias. El tequesquite se usa como sazonador, o bien  se le agrega a la masa de maíz para inflar los tamales y darles textura. Aquí, les comparto la receta. 

 

INGREDIENTES:

  • 1 kg de masa de maíz.
  • 250 grs de manteca de cerdo.
  • La cáscara de 10 tomates
  • 1 cda de polvo para hornear (para remplazar al tequesquite que se usa originalmente)
  • 4 piezas de chile ancho sin semilla.
  • 300 grs de queso añejo.
  • Sal
  • Cantidad necesaria de agua.
  • 20 hojas de totomoztle (hoja de maíz)

 PROCESO:

  1. Pon cocer las hojas de tomate en agua. Si vas a usar tequesquite, pónlo a hidratar previamente en un vaso de agua para que suelte la tierra. Posteriormente añade esta agua al recipiente donde hervirán las cascaras de tomate, cuidando de no vaciar el fondo. Hierve ligeramente. Reserva.
  2. Pon las hojas de totomoztle a remojar.
  3. Remoja el chile bien desvenado en agua durante una media hora, escurre. Muele en metate alternando con el queso. Si no tienes metate, usa el procesador de alimentos cuidando que no queden cascaras grandes. Mezcla con el queso hasta formar una pasta homogénea y reserva.
  4. Agrega sal a la masa, manteca de cerdo y en caso de que no tengas tequesquite, añade el polvo para hornear. Mezcla hasta que se integren todos los ingredientes.
  5. Añade poco a poco el agua de los tomates hasta que la masa se desprenda de la superficie donde se está trabajando, no es necesario agregar toda el agua.
  6. Escurre las hojas de totomoztle.
  7. Arma los tamales agregando en una hoja un poco de la masa, extendiéndola por la hoja y al centro el relleno. Envuelve doblando firmemente y coloca los tamales acomodados en una vaporera, paraditos, con las puntas hacia arriba
  8. Cocina durante 1 hora o hasta que estén bien cocidos.  Sabrás que los tamales se cocieron bien, cuando el tamal se desprende con facilidad de la hoja.

Nota curiosa: En algunas zonas del país se acostumbra dar la bendición a la olla para que se cocinen bien los tamales, pero en Santiago Mezquititlán, se ponen dos chiles guajillos formando una cruz en el fondo de la vaporera.  Se cree que de esta forma, las personas que andan cerca y alcanzar a oler lo que se prepara, no impedirán, con su antojo, la buena cocción de los tamales.

El chef Aldo Saavedra ha cocinado para huéspedes de establecimientos como el conocido Hotel Condesa D.F. y ha contribuído con sus recetas en proyectos con marcas de la talla de Larousse y Danone. En Nuestra Mesa, el chef Saavedra comparte con los lectores de La Vitamina T, su pasión por la cocina y por México. Encuentra más información sobre el chef Saavedra en  México de mis Sabores.

 

Guacamole… Valle de Guadalupe Style A Recipe by Chef Bossuet

 

Photo Credit: Lozhka Bistrot

Photo Credit: Lozhka Bistrot

 

This is one of my favorite souvenirs to our trip to Valle de Guadalupe in September.

Yields 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 5 pieces avocado (Hass)
  • 1 cup of brunoise Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of white onion finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup of Serrano fresh chili
  • 2 tbs of cilantro finely chopped
  • 4 tbs of lime juice
  • Salt t.t.
  • 1/2 cup of table grapes cut in half
  • 1/3 cup of fresh ranchero cheese

Directions

  • In a bowl add the mashed avocado pulp, and mix the tomato, onion,  chili, lime juice and salt.
  • Add ranchero cheese and grapes on top.
  • Enjoy with fresh corn tortilla or tortilla chips.
  • Pair with Rosayoff, Bibayoff
Chef Bossuet´s Kitchen at Loshka Bistort

Chef Bossuet´s Kitchen at Loshka Bistort

Celebrated Mexican chef  José Bossuet Martinez,  former Executive Chef of Mexican ex-president Vicente Fox,  is member of the world’s most prestigious association   “Le Club des Chefs des Chefs”, which exclusive membership is reserved for those who are personal chefs of heads of state.

Today, chef Bossuet treats lucky patrons ´like kings´ at Lozhka Bistrot in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California and Café Contento in Guanajuato. José Bossuet is an author, an educator and an extraordinary representative of Mexican gastronomy. Beyond that, he is a proud showcase of Mexico’s ingenuity, its entrepreneurship, its heart and its undeniable talent.

 

 

 

 

 

s.

Nuestra Mesa – Receta para Hacer Pan de Muerto

Foto: Manuel Rivera Ciudad de México, México

 

CLICK TO SEE THIS RECIPE IN ENGLISH

Con las celebraciones del Día de Muertos a la vuelta de la esquina, pensamos en traerles la receta para hacer un tradicional, delicioso e indispensable pan de muerto.

Esta receta requiere dejar reposar los primeros ingredientes durante un día, así que si piensan hacerla, les recomendamos prepararla con tiempo suficiente.

Rinde para 45 panes de 100 gr. cada uno o un pan familiar de aproximadamente 4.5 kilos.

Paso 1:

Ingredientes

  • 120 gr. levadura fresca (usa 1/3 de la cantidad si es que piensas usar levadura artificial)
  • 340 ml. de agua
  • 400 gr. de harina

Proceso

  1. Entibia el agua en el microondas
  2. Revuelve los ingredientes con el agua hasta formar una masa
  3. Deja reposar la masa por un dia entero en un recipiente engrasado con aceite. Cubre el recipiente con plástico y colócalo en un lugar fresco.

Paso 2:

Ingredientes

  • 32 huevos
  • 320 gr. azúcar
  • 2.250 kg harina
  • 40 gr. de sal
  • 1 kg. mantequilla
  • 4 cucharadas de agua de azahar

Proceso

  1. Incorpora los primeros cuatro ingredientes con el agua de azahar,  hasta formar una masa homogénea y que no se pegue.
  2. Agrega la masa que preparaste un día anterior sigue amasando hasta que este bien incorporada.
  3. Deja que la mantequilla esté a temperatura ambiente y  agrégala en trozos de alrededor de 100 gr.  hasta integrarla toda.
  4. Forma bolas  de 100 gr si quieres hacer porciones individuales y de 400 gr.  para hacer un pan familiar.
  5. Forma los huesitos con pedazos pequeños de masa, Las puedes rodar en la mesa y aplanarla con los dedos.

Foto: Manuel Rivera – Ciudad de México, México

6. Barniza con yema de huevo y deja fermentar durante una hora.

Foto: Manuel Rivera – Ciudad de México, México

7. Mete tu mezcla a hornear a 200 grados hasta que los panes estén de  color café claro

8. Saca tus panes del horno y déjalos enfriar.

9. Derrite mantequilla y barniza con ella los panes. Después espolvoréalos con azúcar refinada hasta que queden cubiertos

¡Acompaña tu pan con un buen chocolate!

El chef Aldo Saavedra ha cocinado para huéspedes de establecimientos como el conocido Hotel Condesa D.F. y ha contribuído con sus recetas en proyectos con marcas de la talla de Larousse y Danone. En Nuestra Mesa, el chef Saavedra comparte con los lectores de La Vitamina T, su pasión por la cocina y por México.

¡’Biba’ México! The Zeal Behind Mexico’s Pasión Biba (The First in a Series)

 

Photo Credit: Pasión Biba

Photo Credit: Pasión Biba

From the Series “World Class: Mexican Wine and the Hands who Make it”

Photos: Enrico Bellomo/Brenda Storch

 

I became fascinated by Valle de Guadalupe’s cuisine while following the recent opening of  Lozhka Bistrot,  a partnership between Pasión Biba’s Abel Bibayoff and celebrated chef José Bossuet. It was not until I spoke with Chef that I realized this prosperous little town, barely two hours south of San Diego, had been colonized by a group of Eastern European immigrants known as Molokans. In the early 1900s, fifty Molokan families fleeing from the Russian Orthodox Church sought refuge in this idyllic town. Serendipitously, while the Mexican government granted the colonizers permission to establish themselves and to own land,  the story of Mexican wine found a way to not “die on the vine.”

Gratefully.

Aside from tending to grapes and making wine, the new settlers introduced commodities that included geese, beehives, grains, cooking and farming techniques. Molokans forever changed the phenotype of Valle de Guadalupe, including its gastronomy.

Photo: Brenda Storch

Lozhka Bistrot is a brilliant, almost poetic summary of what this town is about- a contemporary, singular take on double the fusion (novo-Hispanic cuisine with Russian influences) where dual identities abound.  Visitors of Valle de Guadalupe will be equally delighted with airy Molokan bread, and pan dulce.

At Lozhka, for example, I had the most memorable duck enmoladas.  Bossuet explained the protein is a nod to the use of geese favored by Molokan settlers, replacing the more traditional use of chicken in this dish. If you visit Lozhka, Chef recommends pairing this glorious plate with Pasión Biba’s Zinfandel 2010.

During my stay, I heard the story of a lady who makes tamales out of Varenyky dough. I could not confirm whether or not this is just an urban legend, but after all, this is Mexico.  Here, anything is possible.

Photo Credit: Brenda Storch

Duck Enmoladas at Lozhka Bistrot

Among a host of delicacies that words will only fall short to describe,  I was treated to the most unforgettable compote made with yellow watermelons and freshly-picked tomatoes.

Chef Bossuet and One of His Irresistible Creations: Watermelon and Tomato Compote

Chef Bossuet and one of his irresistible creations: watermelon and tomato compote.

Farm-to-table is Valle de Guadalupe’s bread and butter. Many of the vineyard owners have partnered with well-renowned chefs to offer a complete culinary experience. Thanks to this effort, the  collection of elevated eateries in this area is a true gem.

Freshly Harvested Yellow Watermelon Finds a Way to Your Table (and Your Heart) at Lozhka Bistrot

Freshly harvested yellow watermelon finds a way to your table (and your heart) at Lozhka Bistrot.

Past and future juxtapose in every detail- Lozhka means ‘spoon’ in Russian and the name of the restaurant is an homage to Abel Bibayoff’s grandfather Alexei, one of the Molokan founders of this town. In the halls of the family’s small museum, where handmade ‘loshkas‘ lie close to a few samovars, we see the next generation of Bibayoffs happily sleeping in a baby carriage.

It is very clear that tradition is a lifestyle for the Bibayoff family- it is tangible matter.  It is alive. Viva.

Alexei Bibayoff's Spoon or "Lozhka".

Alexei Bibayoff’s Spoon or “Lozhka”.

After having the good fortune to be guided (by none other than Abel Bibayoff himself) through the process in which vines are coaxed into grapes and then turned into wine,  the name of his label, “Pasión Biba” resonates.  This play on words, which phonetically means “live passion”, says it all.

Pasión Biba's Abel Bibayoff

Pasión Biba’s Abel Bibayoff

There are years of character, generational zeal and know-how in his wine. Each drop is nurtured, loved, intimately known. If it were possible, each would have a name that over and over again, would translate into ‘passion’. In every drop, Pasión Biba.

¡Biba México!

Lozhka Bistrot is open Wednesdays – Mondays 1o:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Learn more about Pasión Biba

< Prior Article in the Series: World Class: Mexican Wine and the Hands who Make It

>Next Article in the Series: AlXimia: The Art and Science of Extraordinary Wine

 

How to get there:

Map by Pasión Biba.

Map courtesy of Pasión Biba.

 

 

Death is a Party: El Día de Muertos

  

“The Mexican is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, and celebrates it. It is one of his favorite playthings and his most steadfast love.”   

-Octavio Paz

Photos: Lissette Storch – Puebla, Mexico

 

Death is a verb and a noun.

In Mexico, death is an ultimate experience of life, and in what seems to be a constant attempt to make it look approachable, we have made her look human and we have dressed her up; we have given her nicknames, le hablamos de tú*.

Death is a ‘she’.

Originally, sugar skulls were created as a reminder of the fact that death  awaits us at any turn, and it is one of  the many expressions of our inevitable relationship with “the lady with many names”: La Catrina (“the rich or elegant one”), La Tía de las Muchachas (“the girls’ aunt”), La Fría (“the cold one”), La Novia Blanca (“the white bride”). Death is a character that wanders amongst us.

Death is life.

Like any other Mexican celebration, food is at the center of el Día de Muertos. Along with pan de muerto (literally, “bread of dead”) and cempasúchil flowers, sugar skulls are staples of this festivity. It is virtually impossible to stumble upon any particular element of  el Día de Muertos that does not have a deliberate purpose or meaning. From the bread that symbolizes the circle of life and communion with the body of the dead, to the flowers that make a nod to the ephemeral nature of life, this ritual, especially in rural Mexico, is rich in both form and content.

I grew up in the city, and for the most part, I participated in these festivities as a spectator. It was not until my grandmother died a few years ago, when my uncle and my mother took over perpetuating this three-thousand-year-old tradition, that I became involved and more intrigued by it.

Year after year, the family travels to a small village in the outskirts of Puebla to  set up an ofrenda for my grandmother, my great-grandmother, and other deceased  relatives. They are remembered with their favorite food and dishes. My grandmother  for example, loved to cook, so aside from prepared meals, her favorite kitchen tools are also set around her picture.

Candles are used either as symbol of hope and faith, or as a way to light the path of the dead as they descend. Water is included to quench the thirst of the souls, and as a symbol of purity. With these ofrendas, the dead  are remembered and invoked.

The celebration continues in the cemetery, where the living and the souls eat together, listen to music, and even enjoy fireworks.

For a few days in November, in Mexico, death is a party.

The cementery of San Francisco Acatepec, where my grandmother is buried.

Hablar de tú‘ means to address someone casually, vs. the respectfully ‘usted’ that is reserved to address those who you don’t know or those who haven’t granted you permission to do otherwise.

 

World Class: Mexican Wine and the Hands who Make It (Introduction to a Series)

Photo: Enrico Bellomo

Photo: Enrico Bellomo

Mexico has been producing wine since the 16th century. Legend tells of Hernán Cortés  demanding that grapevines be brought to the Nueva España to be grown after the Spanish wine supply was depleted during the celebration of the defeat of the Mexica empire.  In an interesting turn of events, Mexican wine happened to be so good, that the Spanish Crown banned its production other than for liturgical use.

In 1843 Dominican priests  from the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Norte mission, discovered that superior quality grapes faired well in the valley’s mediterranean microclimate. Today, 90% of all Mexican wine is produced in this area. Sadly, not many Mexicans drink it.

We are back from a visit to what is known today as Valle de Guadalupe, México’s wine country. We were drawn by Lozhka Bistrot, the most recent project by beloved Mexican gastronome Chef José Bossuet, and Pasión Biba’s Abel Bibayoff.  Our gracious hosts delighted us with a tour featuring a variety of wineries where the production ranges from  artisanal to massive.

The time we spent with the winemakers left a lasting impression- a shapshot of the Mexico only a few have a chance to palate. From mathematicians, to astronomers, enologists, plastic artists and restaurateurs, the people behind the wine that is produced in Valle de Guadalupe explains why this wine is so extraordinary.  Here, passion runs deep, as does a profound, almost spiritual commitment to making the best wine. Every time.

In the upcoming weeks we will be writing a series based on our experience at each winery: Pasión Biba/Bibayoff, Alximia, Torres Alegre and Las Nubes.  This is our humble tribute to remarkable wine and to the hands who make it.

Next articles in the series:

> ¡´Biba´México! The Zeal Behind Mexico´s Pasión Biba  

>AlXimia: The Art and Science of Extraordinary Wine