Several years ago when I was having a conversation about the wines from the United States, I learned of a new winery project in Baja California. The first thing that caught my attention was that the winemaker in charge of the wines for this new winery was a native from Napa Valley. The second part of the story, which was a joy rather than a surprise, is that the winery would be located in Tijuana.
Tijuana lived a through a difficult period with violence and an economic crisis. Believing in Tijuana at this point in time was not easy. The national and international press had made it their favorite pastime in talking about how dangerous it was to visit and invest in this border city. And in this context is how the Casa Baloyán emerges.
With a few French barrels and grapes from the Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley), Erik Baloyan and Chris Corley started to work on their vision of the Mexican wine with an important detail, made in Tijuana.
The wines-launched several years ago-have achieved the acceptance by both consumers and the press. Intense and fruity, with an obvious California influence, is a clear reflection of the ideas of those who produce it.
From all of their wines, there are three that stand out from the rest. The first is the simplest one from the house and is called “Tress Tintos” (Three Red’s), which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon that offers great quality at a great price. The second, a Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, ambitious in its preparation that attempts to show the fruity varietal side that tends to its herbal notes. And finally is the Muscat, a sweet wine with a hint of ripe fruit, honey and flowers, but with an acidity that gives it a certain freshness.
A key element in the character of the wines from this winery is certainly the vineyard. Located just a few kilometers behind Mogor Badan (towards Sierra Blanca), it enjoys a specific climate that has given it the opportunity to produce varieties such as Pinot Noir with encouraging results.
In this vineyard the heat of the sun is always tempered by the currents of the wind.
Due to the vineyards precise understanding and growing maturity, it has contributed to the advancement of these wines year after year. There is no doubt that it will have a bright future.
Its growth has not only occurred with its wines and vineyard, but also in the winery. Last month the cellar and tasting room opened in Tijuana, located right next to the winery’s production area. The facility is a mix of modern and classic elements deployed with harmony and elegance. The winery has a “wine bar” that lets you enjoy the wine and also a menu composed of 10 tasty dishes, and a private room for tastings and special events.
While there are many elements that make Casa Baloyan one of the most exciting wine projects in Mexico, its presence in Tijuana is what makes it unique.