Aldo Quesada shows off young grape plants of various varietals in a greenhouse

These ancient grapes may be the future of wine

Extreme heat and extreme drought in Baja California are pushing some winemakers to explore a very old—and very climate-adaptable—varietal. The results are delicious.

Aldo Quesada shows off young vines in a greenhouse at Viñas del Tigre. Quesada currently has around 25 grape-producing misión vines and is ready to plant another 300—or maybe more—this year. Misión grapes, called mission in English, are super hardy and drought tolerant. Winemakers worldwide are rediscovering the varietal, brought to the Americas some 500 years ago by Spanish missionaries. Creative young vintners in Europe, Mexico, Chile, the U.S., and beyond are experimenting with ways to make mission wines that appeal to modern wine drinkers. 

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