Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California
Xanic, a native Cora Indian word meaning "the flower that blooms after the first rains," is a fitting name for Monte Xanic.
The winery was founded in 1987 by five partners intent on establishing a new benchmark for Mexican winemaking just as Mexican trade laws were relaxed, increasing foreign competition. But the partners were determined that Monte Xanic be the flower that blooms first, and their conviction has certainly paid off.
Today, Monte Xanic produces 50,000 cases of wine annually, distributed throughout the world under three labels: Monte Xanic, Calixa, and Gran Ricardo. Monte Xanic, the core brand, has a current production of 30,000 cases. Monte Xanic wines have been awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals in the United States, France, and Canada. The Calixa (pronounced calee-sha) brand is dedicated to the winery's premium wine portfolio. The third label, Gran Ricardo, is a traditional Bordeaux blend (50 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 25 percent Merlot, and 25 percent Petit Verdot).
Although the winery has grown at a steady rate and its wines have received high acclaim, Monte Xanic has put the cap on production in order to maintain its boutique philosophy and dedication to making wines that reflect their Mexican character.
There are, however, two projects on the drawing board for 2010. First, under the leadership of Mexican architect Juan Garduño, the winery will be modernized in a sustainable manner that utilizes the region's natural resources. The new state-of-the art facility will include an outdoor amphitheatre large enough to seat 100 spectators. The picturesque venue will provide an idyllic spot for concerts, small festivals, and wine tasting events.
Monte Xanic is also collaborating with Banyan Tree, a leader in the development and management of luxury resorts, to create an inn and spa on the property. Forty-two luxury villas will make up the Banyan Tree at Monte Xanic, making the winery a true destination for visitors.
What to buy:
Monte Xanic Cabernet Sauvignon Blackberry, black cherry, fine oak, dark chocolate $25
Monte Xanic Cabernet Sauvignon y Merlot Blackberry, cherry, cedar, dark chocolate $25
Monte Xanic Chenin Colombard Citrus, touch of honey, flowers, soft, fruity $10
Monte Xanic Chardonnay Citrus, newly cut hay, buttery, dried fruit $20
52.55.5545.1111; Fax: 52.55.5545.1113
Lago Tangañica, #18
Tasting Room Open Thur-Mon 10--4; Tue 10--4
Located near the town of Francisco Zarco, about 18 miles east of Ensenada, Mexico, and approximately 60 miles south of the U.S.-Mexican border.