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01.17.2008

Wines of Baja Tasting Event: January 26, Napa

Most readers know that I have a strong interest in up-and-coming wine regions around the world. In particular I love exploring those that are in surprising and unknown areas. Baja Mexico clearly qualifies as the latter. I first learned of the area from a loyal Vinography reader, and then subsequently spoke with Eric Asimov after a trip he had taken a trip down there to explore for an article he was writing.

Since then I've had only a couple of wines from the Guadalupe Valley, which is the name of the region's wine country, but they've been interesting enough to show that there's some real potential there.

Of course Baja is a long trip for wine tasting, and it's not a fully developed tourist region as of yet, so those who might enjoy exploring the region's wines will find it far easier (though perhaps less picturesque) to attend the upcoming event at the COPIA center in Napa. Held the weekend of January 26th, this event will showcase nearly every wine made in the region, and offer an in-depth understanding of why some people are comparing the Guadalupe Valley to the way Napa and Sonoma were in the middle part of the 20th Century.

Whether this area will become a world-class wine region is anyone's guess at this point, but you can judge for yourself later this month. This event is actually billed as a wine, food, and art event, so in addition to tasting wines, there will be art from the region on display, and perhaps some tasty food as well. More information can be found on the COPIA web site.


Wines, Cuisine, and Art of Mexico
January 26th, 2008

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Panel: "Is Guadalupe Valley the Napa Valley of the 1970s?"
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM Food and wine tasting
1:00 PM - Food Demo with Chef Javier Plascencia (Villa Saverios, Baja)
3:00 PM - Food Demo featuring another Baja chef TBA

COPIA Center
500 First Street
Napa, CA 94559
707.259.1600

Admission is $30 for the walk-around wine tasting ($20 for COPIA members). Tickets can be purchased in advance online.

Comments (7)

Arthur wrote:
01.17.08 at 10:57 PM

Alder,

Wasn't there a winery from this region at the 2007 Hospice du Rhône?

Chris Corley wrote:
01.18.08 at 6:33 AM

Hi Alder,

I've had a great opportunity to be involved in starting up a winery project in the Guadalupe Valley. Our first vintage crushed was the 2007, and the wines are tasting really nice at this stage. We're growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. The vineyard is nestled into a small canyon just at the edge of the Guadalupe Valley. While the winery is under construction (which may take a couple of years), we are shipping the grapes in a reefer truck to Tijuana where we have converted a warehouse into a fully functional micro-winery. In 2008, we expect to crush about 15 tons (900 cases or so). Hopefully, we will have the winery in the Guadalupe up and running by 2009 harvest. The owner of this project has great enthusiasm and commitment to quality, which is great for me as a winemaker. At the end of each day in TJ working with the wines, we've had a meal in TJ, and I've been impressed with the current quality of the wines from this region - but also see potential for improvement. There's some great restaurants in TJ too. Great vibe down there!

I'll see you at the tasting at COPIA !

Cheers,
Chris Corley
Winemaker
Monticello Vineyards
Napa, CA

doug wrote:
01.18.08 at 9:46 AM

I wish they had scheduled a day (in the same region) that didn't conflict with the ZAP Grand Tasting at Fort Mason. I would have loved to sample the Baja goods -- $30 sounds like a great deal!!

Alder wrote:
01.18.08 at 8:58 PM

Chris,

Thanks for the comments. My first reaction? Wow. They sell so much reefer down there they've got special trucks to carry it around in? ;-)

Wish I could make the tasting at COPIA but I am already committed to the ZAP tasting...

CalActive wrote:
02.07.08 at 1:49 PM

Great post. A friend of mine just recently informed me of some of the great wines coming from the Baja region. I personally love Grenache. I think I need to make a trip down south and check it out for myself!

Chuck VanDeventer wrote:
03.04.08 at 8:59 AM

Sorry to be so late in adding my comments to this entry. I've been interested in wines from this area for over a decade now. I've even done a little research on the background of the area. Seems the founding father of
Concannon shipped railcars of cuttings to Mexico early in the 20th century.
Among them were cuttings of Barbera which was also planted at the old Pedrizetti Vinyard in Morgan Hill. So if you get down that way, try the Barbera from Bodega de Santo Tomas.

Amanda wrote:
05.05.09 at 3:14 PM

I don't think I've tasted a SINGLE Baja wine! I will have to put that on my list. I'm looking forward to reading more posts! ~Amanda B.

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