San Miguel is surrounded by a large wine growing area. There are four outside of town on the way to Queretaro and four more near Dolores Hidalgo and Atotonilco. I have been to all seven and have enjoyed the experience at each. Currently there are around 17 wineries in the area with 10 more under development or recently opened. The number of wineries have recently exploded, as there were only three wineries 10 years ago.
“Wine making in Mexico began with the arrival of the Spanish in the mid-16th century. The Spanish brought vines from Europe to Mexico making Mexico the oldest wine-growing region in the Americas. Although there were indigenous grapes before the Spanish arrived, the Spaniards found Spanish grapevines from the homeland did very well in the dry and Mediterranean-like climate, similar to what you would find in the San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato wine region.” The wineries were later banned by the Spanish government in 1595. Since 2000, there has been a huge boom in wine production in the region. The climate is best for lighter, medium bodied wines with a freshness in the fruit taste. Though reds, whites and rosés are produced, reds are the most popular to drink in the area. Based on the climate, average temperature and amount of rainfall, the region is best suited for Syrah, Malbec, Tempranilo, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Merlot along with Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc varietals.
“Today, Mexico’s most popular wine producing regions are in Baja California (Valle de Guadalupe), Northern Mexico (Parras de la Fuente), and Central Mexico (Queretaro, Zacatecas, Guanajuato) where grapevines thrive in the Mediterranean-like climate and high altitudes. Throughout the year, thousands of international travelers come to enjoy wine tastings, grape stomping, music, cuisine and scenic Mexican vineyards.”
The local climagte is semi-desert
There are now four wonderful wineries near Dolores Hidalgo.
Cuna de Tierra is a stunning winery about 40 minutes from San Miguel on the outskirts of Dolores Hidalgo. The area is perfect for red wines. Their blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc just won a medal in Madrid Spain and was a rich full-bodied red with berry notes. They offer wine tastings, tours and special dinners by appointment. Call or email them. The buildings are located in the middle of the vineyards and are very contemporary and sleek in design. There is a winery, a separate wine cave and a beautiful tasting room. The views are really exceptional so make sure to climb the observation tower a short walk from the winery. You can now buy their wines at a small store at Correo #12 in San Miguel a block from the Jardin at the corner of Sollano. Here you can shop for, but not taste, their great wines. They are now offering Sunday brunch at the winery. I was recently there and had a great experience. The chef, lives in San Miguel, and has worked at a number of the top restaurants in Mexico City.
On the other side of Dolores Hidalgo, closer to San Miguel is the new La Santisima Trinidad. This is a spectacular property consisting of a luxury housing development, lavendar fields, olive trees, a vineyard and winery, a small boutique hotel with six rooms and restaurant. They produce their own dried lavender and essential oil, olive oil and wines. Make sure to book a tour and wine tasting ahead of time on their website or by phone. 556 926 5657
I enjoyed the tour by Argentinian born, winemaker Mailen Obon. It was followed by a lovely tasting in the winery/tasting room that featured local cheeses and a rose blend of malbec, cabernet, syrah and carminetti, plus two red wines, a malbec and a blend of tempranillo, malbec, syrah and cabernet franc. All were excellent and impressive. After the tasting, I enjoyed a lovely lunch of a salad and pasta in their small farm-to-table restaurant featuring their local organic produce. You can buy wines at the winery or at their small boutique at Mercado Centro and new tasting room at Doce 18 Concept House in San Miguel.
Just down the road is the recently opened Vinicola Tres Raices. It is a really stunning new facility with the Terruño restaurant, tasting room, wine cellar and a boutique hotel. They are even building a small chapel to hold weddings. The architecture is contemporary and some of the best that I have seen in any winery anywhere in the world. It reminded me a lot of Rioja in Spain. The food in the restaurant is really excellent. We opted to do the three wine tasting menu which we enjoyed with our lunch. This included their sauvignon blanc, rose and syrah. All were very good. They also produce a merlot and cabernet sauvignon. They also offer a five wine tasting with charcuterie and a more expensive dining experience with wine pairings.
Even closer to San Miguel is La Santisima Trinidad’s newest venture, Viñedos de Los Senderos. They took over the 0ld Los Senderos vineyards and built a new winery, tasting room and restaurant. Here homeowners in the Los Senderos development can own a piece of the vineyards as well. The highlight is their restaurant Barrica de Fuego Smokehouse & Grill, with an Argentinian influenced menu of meat dishes with cooking on an open fire or in a mesquite smoker. I loved the contemporary decor with great views of the vineyards and surrounding countryside.
I expect that as the vineyards grow and production increases that tastings will be offered.
On the road to Queretaro from San Miguel there are four more wineries.
La Santisima Trinidad recently opened Viñedos San Lucas across from Vinicola Toyan a short drive from San Miguel by taxi. This is a stunning property that features a boutique hotel, restaurant and spa. There are vineyards and a new winery that has recently opened last November. Tastings are available by reservation three times a day except for Tuesday. I had an excellent brunch in the elegant restaurant overlooking the property before my tour and tasting. You feel like you are in the middle of Tuscany! The hotel rooms are really outstanding. They offer horseback riding and other activities as well. They recently opened Viñedos San Francisco next door which I have yet to visit, but will do so on my next trip. They have a restaurant, hotel, offer tastings and operate a polo field and equestrian club with riding school.
The winery, complete with a photography exhibit, is really stunning and one of the most attractive I have seen anywhere. I enjoyed the tour by Argentinian born, winemaker Mailen Obon who I had previously at the other location. It was followed by a lovely tasting in the winery/tasting room that featured local cheeses and four wines, a chardonnay and three red blends from La Santisima Trinidad. All were excellent and impressive. San Lucas just had its first harvest and the wines are now aging.
Viñedos San Lucas
Viñedos San Lucas
After the tasting, you can buy their wines, their olive oil and their lavender oil, sachets and soaps made from lavender grown on the property. They also opened a casual restaurant at the winery where you can enjoy salads, pizzas and sandwiches. It was a really wonderful experience. You can also find their wines at their tasting room and store at Doce 18 Concept Store in San Miguel.
Vinicola Toyan: Just outside of San Miguel is Vinicola Toyan where you can schedule a tour of the winery and wine caves below. The caves are worth the trip as the entrance and path down are decorated with carved sculptures in lighted niches. They offer special events including breakfast/lunch in the winery. They also have a weekly organic market with items from their gardens. Their cabernet and merlot blend that I purchased was rich and full-bodied.
One of my newest finds is Bodega dos Buhos (two owls). It is a short distance from San Miguel and not far from Vinicola Toyan. I highly recommend doing the tour plus tasting. You visit the vineyard, see the production room and then visiting the eclectic and beautifully decorated tasting room. We tasted three wines, one white and two reds. The reds were really outstanding. The best in my book was the red blend made of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and tempranillo called their Special Selection or Seleccion Especial. They are now offering a rose. They offer tours, tastings and a tastings with food. You can buy their wines at the vineyard or in San Miguel they are carried at CarneVino on Ancha de San Antonio #22.
A short distance from Toyan and dos Buhos is a fun restaurant specializing in paella, El Asador Catalan. There is also a small store where you can buy some wonderful jamon Serrano, lomo or cured pork, chorizo and other local and imported meats. Carretera Queretaro km 9.5. This would be a great spot for lunch between tastings. They also have some old Pullman railroad cars.
A Guanajuato Wine Route is being started by the state government featuring the 16+ wineries in the area. We will add more information as we find them. The state of Queretaro has some nice wineries outside of Bernal on Ruta del Queso y Vino. You might explore those in a fun day trip from San Miguel. In addition to the reds produced in Guanajuato, Queretaro also produces more white wines and sparkling wines.
In a recent webinar on Mexican wines, I learned that there is the Museo del Vino de Guanajuato/Wine Museum of Guanajuato located in Dolores Hidalgo at Hidalgo 14-16. Here you can learn about the history of wine making in the area along with being able to taste some of the local wines and buy the ones that you enjoy.