- A country on the southern border of the US that has a history of winemaking that dates back to the 16th century. But in 1699, the king of Spain, who wanted the wine trade for Spain, banned the growing of wine grapes in Mexico. It is only in the last 20 years that interest in wine has redeveloped, mainly in the coastal valleys of northern Baja California, where the climate is similar to that of Napa Valley, California. The arid climate in some regions, however, presents a challenge to growers, who are dependent on irrigation. Nevertheless, the trend toward producing quality wines in Mexico continues. Domestic and foreign investment have made it possible for wineries to improve their facilities, and vineyards are being replanted with popular grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.