Victor Torres Alegre is one of the most experienced winemakers in Mexico. He discusses with us how Mexican wine has changed and where he believes it is going. Amanda Barnes interviews him at his family winery on the regions, styles and varieties of Mexican wine in this Spanish-language interview.
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Clip excerpt for the hearing impaired (and for non-spanish speakers!):
Amanda: And what is your opinion about the differences in regions here in Baja California? And also on the grapes outside of Baja California, are there many differences?
Victor Torres Alegre: Look, I think talking about the region of Ensenada, when we think of the world regions the distances are very big. But I consider that the quality of the fruit is very good in all the places. And there are differences, but I would say that there are some very marked differences in where the tannins are not of the best quality and the most evolved. So this is what often marks the differences in the regions. But when you work in these regions in a manner that is more subtle, they can be very similar in the quality of wines. And if you compare it to other regions of the country, I think that other wine regions are also producing very interesting wines. Really people are very surprised by the quality of wines that people are making in different regions in the country.
Amanda: Great, and you are making varieties that range from Nebbiolo to Pinot Noir now.
Victor Torres Alegre: Yes!
Amanda: Do you think there are varieties that are more suitable here, or varieties that won’t work here?
Victor Torres Alegre: The countryside, from an agronomy point of view, Camilo Magoni who has the most experience here has tried 209 different varieties of grape, and he still has them all here, and they all do well. What happens is that you do get some with greater or lesser quantity of aromas etc, and this begins to complicate winemaking alot because people – as there is no regulation – they can mix whatever they want with whatever they want. So this means that we still can’t distinguish what is the best for each region. Because everyone can make what they want, and that is interesting too!
Amanda: So, do you think this is something that will come over time?
Victor Torres Alegre: Yes, what we are trying to do is make a geographic indication first. And then afterwards we will look at what varieties are best. But not to limit ourselves, because this is a problem that Europe has, and we don’t, so we don’t want to completely limit ourselves! But yes, I think that we have to have some varieties that are representative of the regions in order to be able to work them a bit more. We need to see what is the best and focus on that.