Vinícola Solar Fortún
With impressive international recognition, this boutique winery is helping bring stardom to modern Mexico's hottest wine growing region
Founded by Dr. Jose Alberto Lopez in 2007. Vinícola Solar Fortún is a family winery with Santiago Lopez (Jose’s son) serving as winemaker. Dr. Lopez was an astronomer/physicist by profession with a PhD in astrophysics, hence the name Solar Fortún. Located in a hidden valley in Francisco Zarco, the winery utilizes certified bench-grafted rootstock from Napa Valley (French Mercier Nursery) that is particularly well suited to growing both Rhône and Bordeaux varietals.
Vinícola Solar Fortún has gained instant recognition with its competitive wines and can be found on the wine lists of a number of top international restaurants. Vinícola Solar Fortún currently produces around 1,500 cases each year, making it one of Mexico’s top boutique wineries. Most of its wines are blends of French varietals as is the case with a number of Mexican wineries. We know our International Wine Club members will enjoy this spectacular feature from Mexico.
See the other two other featured wineries in this shipment from Mexico!
Map of the area
Santiago Lopez - Winemaker
Santiago Lopez is the son of Vinícola Solar Fortún owner Alberto Lopez. He studied engineering at Penn State University and holds a winemaking certificate from UC Davis that has furthered his winemaking skills. He is also a gifted athlete and was a member of five Mexican international gymnastic teams. As a winemaker, Santiago Lopez is something of an individualist regarding the blending of certain varietals. For instance, one of his wines is a blend of Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Petite Verdot. “Europeans would ask,” he recently explained, “why would you do that? It’s wrong. Then they taste it and say, ‘Oh, maybe not so wrong. At this point, we can take risks with our blends.”
Mexico: Fun Facts!
• Modern Mexicans are a unique blend of many ancient civilizations, including the Olmec, Zapotec, Toltec, Maya, Aztec, Inca, African, French, and Spanish.
• Mexico is located in the ‘Ring of Fire,’ one of the Earth’s most violent earthquake and volcano zones.
• Mexico introduced chocolate, corn, and chilies to the world.
• The first vineyards in North America were planted in Mexico, in the 1530’s.
• Mexican pyramids are different from the Egyptian pyramids. While Egyptian pyramids are smooth sided and tend to taper to a point, the Mexican pyramids are usually step pyramids. Their sides resemble huge staircases that lead to a temple at the top. Moreover, Egyptian pyramids were places used to lay the dead, while the Mexican pyramids were built for Gods or as military installations for defense purposes.
• Winemaking in Mexico began with the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th Century; they brought with them vine cuttings from Europe.
• Baja California produces 90% of Mexico’s wine in the Valle de Guadalupe, the “Napa Valley” of the Mexican wine industry.
• The largest pyramid in the world is the Great Pyramid of Cholula in Mexico. It is also the largest monument ever constructed in the world. Chichen Itza, a pyramid that was once part of the Mayan Empire, was named one of the Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.
• Mexico is the largest silver producer in the world.
• The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is widely celebrated in Mexico. This traditional celebration is made to honor, celebrate, respect and remember deceased family members.
• Bull-fighting is a 500 year-old traditional Mexican sport played in a bullring. Plaza de Toros Mexico, situated in Mexico City, is the largest bullring in the world.