Don’t be fooled by the perceivable simplicity of the sunny Mexican country that’s known for being full of tequila, tacos and chihuahuas - there is more depth than meets the eye. Locals are proud of their land and relish in all the culture and enviable locations (pyramids, beaches, caves just to name a few) that their culture has to offer. Most people wouldn’t know but the first grapes in all of North America were planted in Mexico during the 16th century. This was roughly around the time that the Aztec capital was one of the largest cities in the world, Catholicism was greatly on the rise, and diseases such as smallpox and measles affected populations in New Spain (the central/southern Mexican region named by Spaniards during colonization). There was a period when Charles l, the Spanish emperor, set in place rules where ships travelling from Spain to New Spain had to bring a minimal number of grape vines to plant in regions where the grapes were thriving due to optimal climate. This rule was retracted though when Charles ll realized Spain was in huge competition with increasing wine production from France; he stated that unless it involved a Catholic mission, all foreign Spanish colonies had to switch to importing wine from Spain. Between 1699-1856, most wine was produced in Mexico by Catholic missions until the Mexican government took rights to all of the Catholic Churches lands in 1857. Currently, the wine industry in Mexico is thriving and many visitors enjoy a day bouncing around wineries in either the Baja California region (which now has over 150 wineries and is responsible for around 90% of Mexico’s wine production), La Laguna region (which has North America’s oldest winery), or even the Sonora wine region. Wine enthusiasts enjoy tasting glasses of Mexican chenin blanc, chardonnay, tempranillo, and even carignan (a red variety from Spain).
126.2 million (2018)
1.973 million sq km (761,600 sq mi)