By Kyle Hargrave
He delicately lifts the bottle from its case. He takes a moment to inspect the exterior before carefully undressing the bottle from the neck down. He slowly works the cork, careful not to disturb the contents more than what is necessary. As he gingerly removes the cork, he ensures that his nose is near enough to catch the first wisp of air wafting from the bottle. Satisfied with the fragrance, he begins to pour the wine. With an eloquent turn of his wrist the wine cascades into my glass. With the glass between us he asks, “do you know what this is?” I desperately want to say “a glass of wine.” But before I have time to respond, he continues, “what you have in front of you is a story.” He reaches for the stem of the glass and gently commands the contents into a melodic swirl. “In each and every glass of wine there is a tale of birth, growth, and transformation…every glass contains a history of adversity and triumph, with every sip you are experiencing the laughter, labor, and love of those intimately involved in the life of the wine.”
Nestled snugly in the Valle de Guadalupe, Monte Xanic exudes the quintessential wine tasting experience, with breath taking views and modern facilities. Remodeled in 2014, the facility appears to be growing from the foothills of the surrounding terrain - thus the appellation. Xanic is derived from the indigenous Cora tribe language, and is roughly translated to “flower that blooms after the first rains.”
The amiable and professional staff will guide you through the story of each glass of wine. Whether you desire to learn subtle wine drinking etiquette, to brush up on enology or viticulture, or simply to enjoy a full bodied varietal blend, the balmy climate and rustic surroundings provided by the Valle de Guadalupe guarantee an unforgettable experience. Almost as large as Napa Valley and with a climate comparable to Southern France, Valle de Guadalupe is not only a superb location for cultivation, but also a serene atmosphere to compliment your wine tasting experience. It comes as no surprise that the origin of 85% of all Mexican wine occurs in this region.
Twenty seven years ago, Dr. Hans Paul Backhoff Escudero and a handful of friends began their journey to produce what have become some of Mexico’s best wines. The secret to Monte Xanic’s success is the ability to blend tradition and technology into a perfectly crafted bottle of wine. In 2014, Dr. Backhoff was awarded one of the five best enologists of the year by the Wine Masters Challenge. His commitment to enology and viniculture has resulted in Monte Xanic receiving an impressive number of awards and accolades for its wine over the past decade.
Monte Xanic prides itself on its commitment to research, innovation and technology. The production room evokes a feeling of a research facility more than a vineyard. Individuals in white lab coats and clipboards scurry around with badges that read, “Biochemical Engineer.” A separate room with Petri dishes, microscopes, and beakers is aptly labeled, Labratorio. The quality wine produced at Monte Xanic is tested and retested through analytic and organoleptic tracking during all production stages. Through technology, the staff at Monte Xanic can determine with precision the optimal harvest date for each variety of grape. Additionally, through their scientific process, the staff only picks bunches of grapes that meet their quality control standards.
The rigorous testing and meticulous process found in the production room makes it difficult to believe that over 50,000 cases a year are produced. Monte Xanic currently produces 14 different types of wine and sells its product under four labels: Gran Ricardo, Ediciones Limitadas, Monte Xanic and Calixa. Their wine is also distributed globally and in the US can be purchased at Costco.
August is a busy time in Valle de Guadalupe. The entire valley is buzzing, galvanized by the harvest and impending celebrations. The staff at Monte Xanic is filled with nervous excitement and pride for this year’s harvest. An exuberant group of patrons enjoy the Argentine Barbeque next to Monte Xanic’s private reservoir. I am sitting with my glass, a story of Monte Xanic, a smooth blend of tradition and innovation, a story of its people and their passion for wine - and it tastes absolutely divine.
Visit the Monte Xanic website