Around 160km west of Saltillo, the Valle de Parras is the oldest wine-growing region in Mexico. Dismissed as poor quality for years, the region’s Cabernet Sauvignons in particular, which account for around seventy percent of production, are finally garnering a following in international markets. The area is anchored by the pleasant colonial market town of Parras de la Fuente, served by regular second-class bus from Saltillo (M$85; 2hr 30min). Once here you can walk everywhere in town, though you’ll need to take a taxi to Las Bodegas de Casa Madero and Hacienda Casa Grande (t84/2422-0055, wwww.madero.com.mx), 8km north of town; this is the largest and oldest producer, with roots going back to the Americas’ first winery, established here in 1597 by the Spaniards. You can take free thirty-minute tours of the facilities and museum, buy and taste the wine, and admire the colonial hacienda on site. Just 2km west of town at Ramos Arizpe 131, the Antigua Bodega de Perote (t84/2422-1698, wwww.antiguahaciendadeperote.com) produces fine wines as well as brandy and sotol, the local spirit. It’s also an inviting hotel (M$425). Established by Italians in 1891 back in downtown Parras, Las Bodegas El Vesubio is a smaller operation at Madero 36 – the shop is open daily. The best place to stay in town is the colonial Hostal el Farol at Arizpe 301 (t 84/2422-1113, wwww.hostalelfarol.com; M$900–1199).