The Curis’ respect for the land, attention to detail, and their commitment to producing high-quality wine grapes has earned them the reputation for being one of San Vicente’s top grape growers.
VIRESA is overseen by the Curis Family in the Valle de San Vicente, located south of Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico, along the original wine route. Three generations of the Curis Family have been committed to building the wine culture in Mexico through the practice of viticulture.
The Curis’ respect for the land, attention to detail, and their commitment to producing high-quality wine grapes has earned them the reputation for being one of San Vicente’s top grape growers. Owners of the expansive Llano Colorado Vineyard, the Curises have become the main supplier of grapes for many wineries located in the Valley.
Although grape cultivation remains their primary focus, the family also plans to gradually grow the VIRESA brand which showcases the unique terroir of their property.
We hope that our International Wine Club members enjoy this month's selection and are able to appreciate the extensive history and culture that has been put into producing it! Cheers!
Map of the area
History of Mexico
It might be hard to fathom, but five hundred years ago, Mexico was an important wine-growing and producing country. It was the Spanish conquistadors who developed the notion that certain high-altitude areas of Mexico were ideal for European grape cultivation. Conquistador Hernan Cortex demanded the planting of thousands of acres and with the Catholic missionaries utilizing this production at mass services.
A century later, the Spanish crown began fearing Mexico’s wine dominance and banned its production. Only Spanish missionaries carried on the cultivation of grapevines and brought the first cuttings to California and its mission colonies.
Today’s modern Mexican wine industry is considered a frontier of wine with origins as recent as the late 1970’s. Numerous varietals are planted and the country now boasts of almost eight thousand acres under vine. The vast majority of wine production (upwards of 75%) occurs in the Mexican State of Baja California, just south of Tijuana and clustered around the City of Ensenada. At last count, there were more than 150 wineries operating throughout the Baja California growing area that benefit from the existing Mediterranean climate, the always present Pacific morning fog, and a favorable topography that resembles several parts of Central and Northern California.
The Valle de Guadalupe is the principal growing region in Baja California and many scribes have christened it “the Napa Valley” of Mexico. A large number of small boutique wines have risen of late and have found commercial success both in the local markets and in some export markets. The Valle de San Vicente, the southernmost wine growing valley in Baja California, is also a region to note. Red clay soils predominate the best growing sites here and white grapes like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are the best expression of the valley’s terroir.
Baja California wines have gained a lot of attention in recent years as their quality has improved, mostly due to better vineyard management and vinification processes. The area has also attracted attention, because innovative blending of diverse grape varietals is common, creating a ‘New World’ style of wine. For instance, a blend of Tempranillo and Nebbiolo is not uncommon.
While Mexican wines are still a rarity in the United States, sage restaurants and wine stores have begun offering a selection of Mexican wines to their customers. We are delighted to offer our International Wine Club members a first look at these amazing wines.