Monday, June 17, 2024

The legacy of Casa Madero, the Americas’ oldest winery

Casa Madero, nestled in the municipality of Parras de la Fuente in Coahuila state, proudly holds the title of the oldest winery in the Americas. With a history dating back to 1597, it has been producing wines uninterruptedly for centuries and earning its reputation as a true leader in the winemaking industry, while also holding the spotlight as Mexico’s first organic vineyard.

In the vast landscapes of early colonial Mexico, Spanish conquistadors were obsessively searching for gold deposits. In 1568, explorers set out from Zacatecas in search of the precious metal. When they arrived in Coahuila, what they found was something less shiny but more precious: an oasis of springs and abundant wild vines.

With an abundance of natural springs, the town of Parras is the perfect spot for winemakers, and the ancestral home of the Mexican wine industry.

In 1594, three Jesuits established the Santa María de las Parras mission, where they produced the region’s first wine. The following year, Lorenzo García, aware of the valley’s riches, sought the favor of King Philip II of Spain and obtained permission to cultivate the land and produce wine and brandy. Thus was born Hacienda San Lorenzo, the home of Casa Madero.

From 1597 to 1893, the winery changed owners 13 times until it was acquired by Evaristo Madero. Evaristo’s grandson, Francisco I. Madero, later emerged as a prominent figure in the Mexican Revolution, advocating for social justice, human rights and democracy. As a revolutionary leader, he played a crucial role in overthrowing the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz.  

Mexico’s first internationally certified organic wine

Casa Madero stands as a benchmark in the international wine industry, renowned for its continuous innovation, distinctive certifications and global accolades. In 2010, Casa Madero achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first Mexican vineyard to obtain the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Certification for the production of wines and distilled beverages. 

Casa Madero is also certified as an organic vineyard.

A trailblazer in Mexican viticulture, Casa Madero is also the country’s first organic vineyard, becoming certified in 2012. This accomplishment began in 2008 with a commitment to environmental stewardship, leading to a four-year detoxification process that eliminated all chemical inputs from the land. After years of nurturing the soil according to organic agriculture best practices, German certification body BCS KIWA Okö Garantie certified Casa Madero in the USDA National Organic Program standard. 

This winery also holds the V-Label certification, the most recognized seal in the European Union, which certifies that all ingredients used for their products are of vegetable origin and that no animal ingredients were used at any stage of production. 

Casa Madero: officially the best in the world

Casa Madero is a world-class winery with over a thousand international medals. It has earned some of the most world’s most prestigious awards, such as Double Gold medals in Vinus Argentina, Grand Gold awards in Vinitaly Italy, Best Wine in Vinalies Internationales France, Revelation Wine in the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles and Best of Show in Mundus Vini Germany.

Several Casa Madero wines have won gold medals at the highest echelons of the global industry.

In 2013, Casa Madero’s Chenin Blanc 2012 was awarded the Double Gold medal and recognized as the best white wine at Vinalies Internationales, France’s most important wine competition, considered one of the five most prestigious in the world. In 2014, the winery’s Malbec 2012 won the title of “Revelation Wine” and a gold medal at the Concours Mondial in Brussels. Additionally, its Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 and Gran Reserva Shiraz 2015 wines cracked the Top 10 of the World Ranking of Wines & Spirits.

Experience the wine yourself

Casa Madero offers tours of its facilities, set against the backdrop of majestic landscapes that whisper tales of centuries-old traditions. Here, amidst the serenity of the vineyards, guests are invited to savor the unparalleled excellence of its award-winning wines. These tours offer a symphony of flavors and aromas that embody Mexico’s vinicultural heritage, waiting to be explored and cherished by all who seek the essence of fine wine.

Casa Madero continues to thrive as a family-owned business. Their unwavering commitment to innovation drives them to continually push the boundaries in vineyard techniques and winemaking processes that stand out on the global stage.

Sandra Gancz Kahan is a Mexican writer and translator based in San Miguel de Allende who specializes in mental health and humanitarian aid. She believes in the power of language to foster compassion and understanding across cultures. She can be reached at: [email protected]

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