The Meritage trade and marketing association has admitted a Mexican member, the Bodegas San Rafael Winery, which makes a red Meritage called Passion.

The winery, along with others from Israel and Australia, joined The California-based association after membership was opened to producers of blended wines in countries outside Canada and Mexico.

Membership has jumped 20% this year with a total of over 140 members.

Meritage requires that reds be blended from two or more of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, St. Macaire, Gros Verdot and Carmenere. Similarly, whites must include blends from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Sauvignon Vert.

The Meritage Association was created in 1988 by American vintners to promote and define quality-blended wines.