We wrote about our favorite Valle de Guadalupe wineries that you must visit while touring Mexico's wine country.
Mexico is known for its tequila, but in Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley) you’re presented with some more spectacular experiences. Valle de Guadalupe is the historical wine region in Mexico, where the clear blue skies blend with the mountains, which form a fortress around a valley full of vineyards, where the vines are romanced with the light sea breeze.
Wines from this region can compete with the best in the World. A tour of Valle de Guadalupe presents you with an opportunity of discovering many tasty Mexican varieties. It also gives you the chance of trying out world-class restaurants and staying at small and cozy hotels fitted with modern amenities and gadgets.
Here are 5 things you shouldn’t miss out on when visiting Valle de Guadalupe…
1. Try Out the Cuisine
Visiting Valle de Guadalupe without complementing the excellent wines with appetizing Baja food will make your trip much less satisfying. Luckily, you will find different varieties of high cuisine in Valle de Guadalupe there is high any time of day; from the traditional breakfast in San Pedro de las Minas to special dinners that the best wine houses prepare in their properties. If you love seafood, then you’ll get a lot of super fresh fish and seafood straight from the Pacific Ocean is super-fresh fish and seafood.
2. Imbibe in the Wines
It would be a sin not to taste some of the many splendid wines produced in Baja which can compete with some of the best wines in the World. Valle de Guadalupe wineries produce some of the finest wines in Baja and you should certainly check them out. Would be expert sommeliers can try out their wine tasting skills here coupled with the breathtaking views offered by the green vineyard fields.
3. Visit the Vine and Wine Museum
Your tour will be incomplete without a visit to the Vine and Wine Museum, where, in addition to having a prevailing view of the Guadalupe Valley, you will be able to learn about the history of winemaking in the state of Baja California, from the coming of the missionaries to the kinds of crops and the variety of grapes found in Baja.
4. Try Out the Cheese
n a visit to Valle Guadalupe, you should certainly head down to La Cava de Marcelo, in Ojos Negros, for cheese that will perfectly complement your wine choices. At the 100-year-old artisanal cheese cellar, one of the few in all of Latin America open to the public, spending an afternoon on your tour sampling their many regional cheese variants, from queso fresco flavored with basil to two-year-old añejos will certainly not be an afternoon wasted.
5. Stay at the Hotels
Stay at one of the valley’s bed and breakfasts or boutique hotels for a full Valle de Guadalupe experience. You will find a great number of small, comfortable and warm hotels with that special Mexican ambience. If you desire more luxury, you will find a host of modern hotels with world class amenities and gadgets.
You need a first-hand experience…
Nothing beats a firsthand experience of Valle de Guadalupe attractions. If you’d to love to get a first-hand feel of what it feels like to enjoy the many attractions of Valle de Guadalupe, then waste no more time and book a tour with Baja Winery Tours.
Just a few hours south of downtown San Diego and across the Mexican border lies Baja California Sur’s Valle de Guadalupe, a place of verdant valleys and sweeping vistas that has grown to become one of the region’s most exciting food and wine destinations. The valley has long been building its gastronomic reputation, but only in recent few years have things really taken off, with new and exciting talents putting up shop, and travelers on southbound excursions reaping the rewards, among them, exclusive limited-release Mexican wines, the best olive oils the New World has to offer, terrific cheeses, and a world-class culinary scene.
Besides having an exciting food and wine industry, Baja also offers an incredible array of destinations of attractions that make the trip to Mexico all worth it. If you’re looking to visit and want to do something besides booking your own Baja winery tours, here are some ideas.
If you’re an art buff, you can’t go wrong by visiting Todos Santos, a self-described bohemian town located some 37 miles north of Los Cabos. The local art enclave is home to a thriving community of local and expat artists, who have put up several galleries and studios to showcase and sell sculptures, oil paintings, handicrafts, and jewelry. Spend an afternoon wandering the town’s bougainvillea adorned streets, and you never know what you’re going to see—unique bookstores, bustling cafés and bistros, and gorgeous colonial-style buildings.
Baja’s crystal-clear seas and long stretches of powdery, white sand beaches should give anyone a strong case to visit the region. Bahia Santa Maria’s turquoise waters, with a backdrop of towering cliffs and wide beaches, is a popular snorkeling spot, boasting of pristine coral reefs beneath the surface of the water.
And for thrill-seekers, Baja is also a mecca for watersport enthusiasts. Go diving around Cabo Pulmo, home to a 20,000-year-old coral reef. If surfing’s more your thing, head over to Playa Costa Azul. On the other hand, go for a relaxed day of swimming and sunbathing at Las Palmas (Playa San Pedro, the perfect lounge spot for vacationers.
Still on the subject of water, Baja’s waters along the Sea of Cortez is rich in game fishing, earning the moniker of being the “'Marlin Capital of the World.” Book a charted fishing trip and choose from a local panga, or a decked out cruiser complete with a guide.
With its dry and sunny weather all year round, it comes as no surprise why Los Cabos has earned a reputation for being one of the world’s best golf destinations, offering a wide variety of unique championship courses, designed by names such as Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Jack Nicklaus. Whether you're looking to have a calm day of golf, or looking for a real challenge with friends, Baja California Sur’s golf courses are sure to keep you entertained.
Although Mexico has a long and storied tradition of producing and enjoying alcoholic beverages —in particular, beer, mescal, and of course, tequila— the country’s wine industry is a relative newcomer to the international wine scene, which may come as a surprise to some due to the country’s Spanish heritage. Even more surprising is that Mexico is actually the first wine-producing country in the Americas, a claim to fame that dates back to when the conquistadors and friars brought vine clippings to the New World hundreds of years ago.
Signs of Improvement and Change
Still, attitudes are changing, with Mexico’s wine production showing clear signs of growth, particularly in Baja, where Valle de Guadalupe wineries have helped transform the region into an up-and-coming wine destination often dubbed as “the next Napa Valley”—a comparison that may not be completely accurate, but one with merit nonetheless.
Mexico’s recent wine consumption has showed near-prodigious growth. In the last 10 years, wine consumption has increased by at least 40 percent, with no signs of slowing down. By 2020, it’s predicted that consumption will triple to 180 million liters per year—or two liters for every Mexican citizen, about the same per capita consumption of Brazil. Still, this level of consumption is but a drop in the bucket next to international standards—for example, the annual per capita consumption of French adults is an average of 50 liters a year.
While the Mexican government has yet to make any real concerted effort to promote Mexican wines to the rest of the world, institutions such as research centers and universities have taken up the task of raising awareness of the quality and unique characteristics of the Mexcio’s wines.
Universidad Autónoma de Baja California
Researchers from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) have conducted a number studies on Mexico’s wines, with one paper delving into the production needs of Baja’s wine industry. Since 1993, the UABC has also held an annual international wine tasting competition, with the support of the International Organization of Vine and Wine, the intergovernmental organization based in Paris, France. The contest aims to promote the production of superior Mexican wines and encourage the reasonable consumption of wine within Mexican society, thereby encouraging the growth of the country’s wine culture. The university also offers undergraduate minor in studies focused on the local food and wine industry.
Colegio de la Frontera Norte
Another educational institution, the Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF)—a prestigious research center and think tank in Baja—has conducted several research activities focused on Mexico’s wine industry. The institution is funded and administered by Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), the government agency that oversees Mexico’s developments in science and technology.
If you’d like to learn more about Baja’s rich wine tradition, book your very own Valle de guadalupe winery tours at Baja Winery Tours today.
Looking for the best wine varietals in Valle de Guadalupe? We listed our favorite wine flavors while recounting the history of Mexico's wine country in Baja.
As summer fades and temperatures cool down in Baja, a Valle de Guadalupe winery tour offers a calm and refreshing respite from the hustle and bustle of the urban grind. For many of our guests, the weeks between the middle of October and early December are the best time to be in Baja wine country, when the fall gives the region a much-needed break from the heat and humidity of summer.
Cool Weather and Fewer Tourists
Another reason to visit during the fall is a noticeable difference in the number of tourists. Although the Los Cabos travel industry sees a steady, year-round stream of tourists from all over the world, August and December are typically the low season of the year, which makes it a fabulous time to come and visit if you want quiet seclusion.
What You’ll See
A Valle de Guadalupe winery tour also brings you up close and personal with luscious bunches of grapes hanging heavy from the vines. If you come early, you can see the vineyards before the harvest while you enjoy a glass a glass of wine. The colors can be a lovely sight, with the leaves turning to gold and red—an awe-inspiring spectacle indeed. And because of the cool autumn weather, walking around the vineyards won’t feel like a chore at all.
What You’ll Eat and Drink
Fishing is at its peak in Baja during this time of the year, which means an influx of fresh-off-the-boat seafood for you to enjoy at any of the great restaurants in Valle de Guadalupe. You can also take your pick from year-round table offerings, such as charcuterie, tapas, pizzas, and salads—a fresh winery tour salad is an experience we also recommend to our customers’ delight.
No Valle de Guadalupe winery tour would be complete without sampling the local wines. The Valle de Guadalupe region contains more than 60 wineries—all packed in a 35-square-mile area—so different winery tours may let you see different places (and sample different wines!) each time. Try any of the local whites and match it with a light meal.
Why Valle de Guadalupe?
Just an hour’s drive from the San Diego border and a few minutes away from Ensanada, Valle de Guadalupe has grown to become one of North America’s most intriguing food and wine destinations. The area is also one of the oldest wine cultivating regions in America, beginning with the Spanish, who brought over vine clippings from Europe some five hundred years ago.
Today, the combination of local ingredients and impressive new talent rewards visitors with an incredible array of limited-release wines, some of the best aged cheeses and olive oils in the entire continent, and topnotch gastronomic experiences from some of Latin America’s most critically-acclaimed restaurants. Get in touch with us today and book your tour.
Summer is a good time to plan your Valle de Guadalupe winery tour. Different people have different ideas about when summer starts and ends, however, for our purposes, let’s call summer June, July and August. June is when the country restaurants, also known as campestre, start to open, so it’s a perfect time to visit if you have food on your mind. And the annual vendimia, or wine harvest festival, comes around in August. If you’re like most people and worried about it being too darn hot, don’t be. While the sun shines bright, daytime temperatures only reach sunbathing levels and nights in Guadalupe are always cool.
The Vineyards in Summer
Summer is flowering time for vines so, although the harvest won’t begin until Fall is either upon us or just round the corner, you’ll be assured of whole hillsides covered in flowers, which can be a wonderful sight. A wine grower is a gardener at heart, though she or he practices the art on a grand scale, and all gardeners love to be busy. They also like to know that people are watching what they do. And they’ll be doing a lot because summer is a busy time in the vineyard. Pruning was over some time ago and the harvest is when things will really heat up but there’s plenty going on.
The Valle de Guadalupe experience, though, isn’t just about Mexico wine tours, as delightful as they are. It’s also, among other things, for the birds: the gray thrasher, which is the endemic bird of the Baja, is found here, as are California thrashers, California gnatcatchers and lots of different kinds of hummingbirds. If you’re a serious birder, you might want to take some extra time after the tour to head for the coast, where you will see in a day more ducks than most people can even think of, as well as long-billed curlews, falcons and if you’re lucky, an albatross or two.
Hummingbirds, of course, mean flowers and you won’t look at the borage and nasturtium flowers for long without realising that they are in your salads. There are so many vineyards, wineries and restaurants in Valle de Guadalupe that we like to change things up regularly, which means if you join us on three different Valle de Guadalupe winery tours, chances are you’ll see different places each time. It’s a treat for the eyes and the scents are so heavenly you’ll think you’ve found paradise. At the end of the day, however, rest assured that we never forget the main purpose of the vine, which is to produce the perfect foil for a good meal. And we know exactly where to take you for something delicious to eat.
You’ll choose the dishes and the wine, of course, because choosing what you’re going to eat and drink is a big part of the pleasure of eating out, but if it were us we’d probably be going in high summer for a chilled white wine like a local Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon and, to eat, something fairly light. Maybe a selection of tapas, a frittata or even a pizza. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the salads; a fresh winery tour salad is a delight many of our customers have raved about.
Summer Will Be Here Soon
People have been making wine in Mexico for more than 500 years, so it’s not surprising that they know how to get things right. If you’re a wine lover – or just someone who likes a glass of something good now and again, and would like to see where and how it’s made, contact us today and book your tour.
Ask a wine lover what the most important thing is in winemaking. The answer will tell you a lot about the person. Not much about wine.
Some will say it’s climate and point out that most wine comes from one of only three climates: Mediterranean, continental and maritime. QED. Others, though, say “No, no, it isn’t the climate, it’s the place.” Except, of course, that true wine lovers don’t say “place”; they say “terroir”.
What Is “Terroir”?
Well, the French like to have their say and it is a French word so this is what l’Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin said in 2010: terroir is “an area in which collective knowledge of the interactions between the identifiable physical and biological environment and applied vitivinicultural practices develops, providing distinctive characteristics for the products originating from this area.” Or, if we dare translate the long-winded frogs, it’s “a place where everyone knows what they’re doing.”
What about the Soil?
Some wine lovers would add that the nature of the soil is not irrelevant: Chablis grows best in a clinging white clay while anyone drinking a red Bordeaux would like to think the vines have had their roots in some well-drained gravel. But who are we to argue with l’Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin?
So What Does Baja Wine Country Have?
Join us on a Baja winery tour and you’ll find that Baja California settles the argument by saying that it’s actually both.
If you were to go higher into the Sierra, you’d find cooler summers and in winter there could actually be frost on the ground but that’s not where wine is made.The climate in the area where vines are grown is Mediterranean. Summers are dry and mild and the winters cool and (sometimes) rainy.
As for the soil, those Bordeaux growers would dig their hands into this well-drained and stony soil – and they’d smile. They’d recognize this as a perfect place to grow Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Do people actually know what they’re doing? Well, sixteen million gallons of wine are made here every year, and the people who drink it are generally smiling as broadly as those Bordeaux growers we mentioned.
Come and See for Yourself
But don’t take our word for it. Contact us today and book your tour.
There is no bad time for a Valle de Guadalupe winery tour – but there are good times, and spring is one of them. The mountains shelter the area from storms and the sea molds the climate to the way sun lovers like it to be. March, April and May are good times to be in Baja wine country.
Clear Skies and Little Rain
You’re making this trip because you want to see where the wine is made and vines won’t grow, flower, or produce grapes unless they’re watered. By the beginning of spring, though, the winter rain that is so essential is almost over (not that it was terribly heavy to start with). The likelihood that it will be cloudy is low and the chance of rain (perhaps one day in six) is even lower. And don’t worry about the wind, because there isn’t any.
Sunshine and Warmth
The average temperature in March is 59, rising to 64 in May but that’s misleading because it measures temperatures over 24 hours and what you want to know is: what will it be like in the daytime? Because nights can be chilly; at two in the morning it can be as low as 50 in March and, while that would be pleasant enough in Chicago, it isn’t what you’re coming to Valle de Guadalupe for. During the day, March temperatures hit 70, which is much more enjoyable – warm enough for shorts and a T-shirt but not so hot that walking becomes a chore.
What You’ll See
The great thing about vineyards is the way they change with the seasons and if we’re honest we’d say: come four times a year so that you see the vineyards and the country in all their multi-faceted glory. Spring, though, is a special time; there are no grapes yet, and won’t be for a few months, but the vines (which were pruned at the end of last season) have begun to send forth their green shoots of new growth and, with any luck, you’ll see the first flowers.
What You’ll Eat - and Drink
Baja winery tours make sure that we are not on the road at mealtimes because wine is made to be drunk with a meal – it’s the perfect companion to good food – and we give you every opportunity to tour one or more vineyards with a knowledgeable guide so that you understand what is happening and why and then we sit you down for a tasting and something delicious to eat.
Why Valle de Guadalupe?
Did you know that Mexico is the oldest wine-growing region in America? Wine has been made here since the Spaniards arrived with vine clippings from Europe five hundred years ago. Then immigrants from Italy and Russia brought more cuttings. Not much of Baja California’s wine is exported so to have that pleasure you need to visit. Get in touch with us today and book your tour.
Only about an hour and a half driving time from the US border in the heart of the Guadalupe Valley is a wonderful introduction to the wine country of Baja California. Opened in 2012 by President Felipe Calderon, the gleaming modern architecture stands in fascinating contrast to the granite mountains and rich vineyards of the region. 90% of Mexico’s wine is grown here and the Vine and Wine Museum – the only such museum in the whole of Mexico – is a fitting monument to a thriving industry and a wine aficionado’s dream.
History of Wine-Making
Where better to begin a Baja wine tour than in the museum’s 10,000 square meters where dedicated areas will tell you about the area’s history, its industry, its culture and its wine? There is everything here, starting with today’s ultra-modern wine production methods and going all the way back to the arrival of the first missionaries with their vines and their viticulture.
Ideal Conditions And…
It doesn’t matter whether you are the rarest of oenophiles or simply someone who likes a glass of wine with dinner (or perhaps you’d like to try a little tapas) – there’s something here for everyone. It’s hard, though, to imagine anyone spending time in the museum and not leaving with a better understanding of what it is that makes an area truly a wine country. Soil plays its part. Weather plays its part. And just as important is the care lavished at every stage, from first flowering of the vines to the bottling and maturation of the finished product.
Fortune smiled on Baja California, giving it the soil and the Mediterranean climate ideal for certain species of grape – the Nebbiolo and the Misión, certainly, but also the Garnacha (grape originally from Spain that loves those hot, dry late summer days), the Merlot and the Cabernet Sauvignon.
In the museum, you can see the old wooden artifacts used by the Spanish Jesuit Fathers and the Russian immigrants of the very early 20th Century who split from the Orthodox Church and held to the Molokan ways. You can also, though, admire the stainless steel equipment in use today.
There are movie clips showing every stage of production (even beginning with barrel-making) and bronze sculptures and fine art to the glory of the vine.
Ideal Time to Go?
The museum should be an automatic lead into a Baja Winery Tour. Go in winter and revel in the cool temperatures and the sparkling air. Go in spring, when the neatly pruned vines are bursting into growth. Go in summer and see vines in full leaf stretching to the horizon and born down by clusters of grapes. Go in September to be sure of seeing the harvest. Go in October for the glory of the fall colors. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, just go!
Contact us today and book your tour.
It’s Organic. It’s Beautiful. It’s Delicious.
In 1968, Doña Lupe decided to create in the place she loved a vineyard and a restaurant that would be everything she wanted it to be – and as Doña Lupe is a woman for whom only the perfect will do, the vision was a perfect vineyard and a perfect restaurant.
And it came to be.
Not through magic, but through dedication. A study in serenity, an oasis of beauty and a monument to excellence. All that and, because Doña Lupe is devoted to the organic ideal, everything is natural and organic. And, forty-seven years after the dream first began to take shape, Doña Lupe is still here, a benevolent ruler over the Paradise she conceived. Ask her secret and she will tell you it is no secret: it takes love and it takes time. Nothing this good can be rushed.
The Spanish inheritance of Baja California is there for all to see, but identified most clearly of all in the Garnacha vines and the delectable red and white wines they produce. Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are also on offer.
Take a walk by the vines and marvel at the wonderful Valle de Guadalupe scenery. Then try a tasting of the wines on offer at the airy outdoor patio.
If there’s one place where La Casa de Doña Lupe transcends expectations more than any other, it’s here. The restaurant combines the best of the Old World and the New.
The classic Mexican appetizers. Artisan home-made pizzas. Home-made lasagna and other pastas. Sandwiches and spaghetti. Bread and cheese of a sort most people can only dream of.
And, of course, the full La Casa de Doña Lupe wine list to go with everything.
And when the sightseeing is done, and you’re feeling just a twinge of sadness because soon you have to leave and you’re wondering how soon you’ll be able to return, stop by the shop and pick up something to remember this wonderful day by. Organic jams, salsas and seeds. Salad dressings and salad oils. Natural skin oils. You’ll find olives and olive oil, bread, cheese and sauces – all made from organic ingredients. But take enough, because you can be certain of one thing: you’re going to want to share with your friends.
Wait No Longer
La Casa de Doña Lupe is there, waiting for you. Turn the dream to reality – just as Doña Lupe did forty-seven years ago. Contact us today to book your tour!
If you want to avoid the peak of the tourist season in August, visiting Valle de Guadalupe during the winter months is a must. If you’re looking out your window and all you see is snow or rain - and you could use a dose of mild sunny winter weather - it’s time to visit the vineyards of Baja California. This region cools down like most places in December, yet still has the yearlong sunny temperatures one would expect in Mexico.
Winter wine tours are fueling tourism in the Valle de Guadalupe, where you’ll be able to dine in exceptional restaurants and sample unique wine blends you won’t find anywhere else in the world. The areas unique scenery is the perfect backdrop for a winter weddings and because there are typically less tourists, it’s the perfect time to savor the peace and tranquility of this beautiful area.
Where to Eat?
Enjoy a fine meal outside and admire the beauty of the mountains and vineyards at Fuego Restaurant and Lounge, where you’ll enjoy a vast variety of mouth-watering seafood and traditional Mexican cuisine. Whether you dine here for breakfast, lunch or dinner, your expectations are sure to be surpassed. Due to the areas warm temperatures during winter months, you’ll be able to sit back, have a glass of wine and listen to live music while drinking in the stunning scenery. With a great selection of wine and a cozy hotel nearby, this is a must-see during your getaway.
On January 10, 2016, Deckman’s en el Mogor will be hosting The Winter Bounty of Baja California, which offers a one-of-a-kind chance to sample a variety of authentic Baja cuisine. Using only the freshest Baja ingredients, special guest chefs will cook 7-course meals while attendees indulge in numerous wines from the region. If you’re thinking about attending, expect to sample exotic specialties including sea bass tartar with sesame and ginger, and gooseneck barnacle tempura. Local lamb and quail are delicacies that will also be served during this amazing wintertime feast.
Where to Stay?
Keep warm in the heart of the Guadelupe Valley at Hotel Boutique, which is conveniently located near the Trevista vineyard in the Guadeloupe Valley. The Hacienda style architecture, coupled with amenities like free WiFi, swimming pool, bar and the Fuego Restaurant and Lounge will keep you coming back time and time again.
While lodging at Hotel Boutique, be sure to take a horse ride to explore the nearby vineyards, as well as a pleasant walk in gardens for a peek at the agave plants growing wildly there. If you’re into sports, a quick game of volleyball will have you making new friends in no time. The opportunities here are endless and time will fly by as you escape the winter doldrums for some sunshine and smiles.
Treat yourself to a well-deserved winter getaway and enjoy the wonderful wine and food this region has to offer! The Winter Bounty of Baja California will give you a glimpse into the delectable, unique cuisine that’s native to the area while the hotels will delight you with their charm and affordable prices. And if you can’t swing an entire weekend getaway right now, why not take a day trip to Valle de Gaudalupe instead? Contact us today to learn more!
Imagine yourself as a Spanish missionary, exploring the land that is now the Guadalupe Valley. You’re looking for glory and riches but living with the fear of attacks by local tribes at any time. Your first goal is to establish a settlement and set up a means of survival in Baja California. Unfortunately, the gold you’ve been searching so rigorously for is nowhere to be found.
You notice the climate is similar to regions where growing wine is popular and decide to grow grapes that can be turned into wine and shipped back to Spain. You are surprised to see how well the grapes grows in Mexico - and your vineyards soon begin to flourish. A town by the name of Santa Maria de las Parras is founded in 1597, as well as the first vineyard in the region. This vineyard, called Casa Madero, founded the era of wineries in Mexico.
Under the control of Felix Callabero, Guadalupe was founded in 1821. The city proved to be an agricultural success, complete with irrigation ditches for fresh water and domesticated animals for food. This mission village prospered for decades but increasing retaliation from native tribes due to proselytism eventually forced Felix Callabero to flee south. Thankfully, the vast vineyards still remain present along the outskirts of the city and traces of the original settlement exist as reminders of the past.
In 1859, after the Mexican Revolution, the Catholic Church no longer had the right to hold property in Mexico and as a result, many of the original settlers fled the area, abandoning their Baja wineries in the process. The land then fell under private control and was quickly transformed into the first large winemaking operation in Mexico. As word spread about the richness of the soil, people began moving to Valle de Guadalupe to purchase land in hopes of building better futures for themselves and their families.
It’s interesting to note, however, that Valle de Guadalupe wasn’t just settled by the Spanish. Russians immigrants played a key role in establishing this region as well. In the early 1900s, a peace-seeking group of Russians called the Molokans fled their homeland to escape the violence of the Russian Revolution. They purchased respectable quantities of land in the area and allocated a large portion of it to making wine. The Molokans used new winemaking techniques from Europe and their presence is still felt today with Bibayoff’s wines. This family-style winery is a terrific stop on a Baja wine tour, since you’ll be able to see unique wine making techniques firsthand.
Most Russian settlers ended up fleing the area around the time that World War II began, leaving the valley predominantly under Mexican influence once again. Visiting some of the few remaining Russian homes offers a more in-depth look at the Russian influence on the region, however, as is highly recommended during a visit to the area.
When we think of wine from California, most people automatically assume the best wine comes from Napa Valley. Located north of San Francisco, this fertile valley is home to some of the world’s most renowned wines. In fact, Napa has surpassed some of the most famous French wines in blind taste test in categories such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. A “new Napa Valley” has emerged south of the border in Baja California, however, and is available for group tours at fraction of the price one would pay in Napa.
Wine has been produced in this region for a longer period of time than many assume, which partially explains why Valle de Guadalupe is quickly becoming known for the quality of wines produced there. This is ironic since when we think about alcohol-based beverages from Mexico, we automatically suspect tequila and beer.
Although Napa is more commonly visited than Guadalupe, vineyards, desert mountains and local villages await tourists who stop for a visit. In fact, engaging in a cultural getaway and enjoying the one-of-a-kind landscapes that make this region so unique for wine is what tourist’s enjoy most. Baja wineries have been an important influence on the culture of this region since the 16th century and continue to have a large impact on the economy there today. Most vineyards in Napa export the wine they produce. In order to get authentic wine from Guadalupe, however, you’ll have to take a trip to Mexico.
By blocking clouds from the ocean, the climate in Valle de Guadalupe resembles that of Piedmont, Italy and is particularly sunny all year long. This Mediterranean type climate is perfect for enjoying the heat of the Mexican sun during the day and a cool glass of wine at night. This is in stark contrast to Napa, where it can get quite warm during certain times of the year.
Just a few hours away from San Diego, the Valle de Guadalupe region offers insight into wine-making and couples it with quick drives to and from the famous Baja coastlines. If you presently live in Southern California, a quick 3-hour trip across the border will put you smack dab in the middle of wine country. This beats the long, 8-hour drive along busy freeways that will most likely require a hotel stay during the course of your journey.
With its combination of exciting adventures, unique residents and unconventional landscapes - including the desert and green vineyards - the remarkable memories to be made in Valle de Guadalupe will last a lifetime. Napa Valley offers a more traditional style of wine tourism that one would expect when taking a tour of wine country.
In order to be a true wine aficionado, one must explore new regions and appreciate the way the locals produce their wine. For those looking for an exotic trip to a foreign land with its own wine culture, a trip to the Valle de Guadalupe should be on the itinerary. Contact us today to book your tour!
The art of winemaking on Mexican land has been traced back to the 1500s during the time of the Spanish conquest. Surprisingly, when looking at winemaking as an industry, however, it’s still very much in its infancy in Mexico. With that being said, the Valle de Guadalupe region is quickly becoming known as a golden parcel of land, capable of producing grapes that can be transformed into rich wines that rival some of the best in the world. Often referred to as the “Napa Valley of Mexico,” the area boasts some of the most stunning flavors and blends to ever grace Mexican wines as we know them.
The past few years have seen an enormous amount of growth in Baja, Mexico in terms of all of the different Valle de Guadalupe wineries that have been emerging - and flourishing. With well over 100 wineries (and counting), it’s no wonder that this region has become a hotbed for wine fanciers of all backgrounds.
You will find when you set out for a Mexico wine tour that roughly 90 miles south of San Diego and just a bit inland from the Pacific Ocean sits Valle de Guadelupe, an area with a surprisingly Mediterranean climate that is a bit more extreme due to its proximity to the coast.
For vintners establishing a presence in a wine region in its earliest stages, it can be challenging to figure out which grapes will grow the best and come together to create award winning blends. For example, most winemakers will tell you that a hillside grape and a valley floor grape of the very same variety have uniquely distinct flavors. When combined, however, you will wind up with a blend that includes sweeter, subtle notes along with a spicy kick.
In Valle de Guadalupe, the grapes that have the greatest potential are Nebbiolo, Grenache, Syrah, Tempranillo, Cabernet and Malbec. The blends of some of these grapes highlight some of the best flavors that Baja wine country has to offer.
The Beauty Of The Blend
A wine blend provides much more complexity than a single varietal wine. Looking at some of the best wines that you can procure today, many are actually made from blends of different grapes. When you start to blend varietals, a winemaker has the ability to dramatically change the quality of the wine, with the end goal being to blend different vintages and ultimately arrive at a good balance of the flavor characteristics. In certain instances, whites and reds can be blended together to create an exquisite combination of both flavors and aromas.
Anyone who has been following the growth of Valle de Guadalupe will tell you that the wines coming from this area are certainly unique, filled with a range of flavors including minerality, saltiness and even a bit of spice. These blends have a strong connection between the rich soil of the region and the popular foods that you will find in many of the local Valle de Guadalupe restaurants.
It’s important to note that a fair amount of wines that come from flourishing Baja wineries are actually wine blends. Concentrated and full bodied, yet with a whimsical punch of spice, these wines are seen as a gem to some and a flaw to others.
A Sampling Of Baja Wineries Worth A Visit
Casa de Piedra – A winery that was built in the 1990s, Casa de Piedra boasts some of the most exquisite architecture constructed of rustic metals, stone and reclaimed wood. A location that started as a side project by Hugo D’Acosta, you will find a number of incredible blends and other notable boutique wine options to sample and bring home during a tour of the region.
Vinisterra – A stunning location for viewing and learning about the growing and blending process, Vinesterra is a stop on your winery tour that you do not want to miss. The Pedregal blend by Christoph Gaertner, a winemaker from Switzerland, is one of the stars of the show on the sampling menu.
Monte Xanic – This happens to be one of the most sizeable Baja wineries to come out of the new wave. Founded in 1987 by a group of wine enthusiasts, including Hans Backhoff, the beautiful bodega at Monte Xanic offers a public tasting room where you can check out some of the top blends.
Vinicola Emeve Blends
Vinicola Emeve is a winery in the Valle de Guadalupe region that is quickly becoming one of the trendiest destinations for anyone who wants to sample unique, beautiful wine creations. Noted winemaker Reynaldo Rodriguez produces some of the most stunning blends ever to be sampled in the area. The very first blend to come out of Emeve was a complex Malbec-Cabernet in 2006 that went on to win a number of medals and accolades for its delicious taste and pleasing aroma.
The wines from Emeve, aged in both American and French oak barrels, are described as being elegant and fresh with excellent tannins and acidity. Los Nietos is one of the most popular blends to come out of the winery to date, which is a mixture of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The bouquet of lush, red fruit is aged in a French oak barrel for 14 months. Some of the other memorable blends that you will find at this Baja winery gem include the 2007 Cabernet-Merlot, 2007 Rose and 2007 Harmony Of Reds. Wine enthusiasts can sample these wines by adding this stop to a Baja winery tour or by visiting L’Abricot restaurant in Tijuana.
Many Reasons To Visit
Valle de Guadalupe offers stunning views of some of the most amazing landscapes that Mexico wine country has to offer, which is one of the top reasons why this area has taken off as a major travel destination.
If you really want to take in the beauty of Baja wineries, setting up a Mexico wine tour is a must. Whether you want to book a group tour or a private tour, you will find that there are always plenty of options available to you in Valle de Guadalupe. What’s more, breathtaking architecture, incredible weather and a love of winemaking makes the area a special destination for couples who are looking to take the plunge with a Valle de Guadalupe wedding.
If you’re interested in unique wine blends that you won’t find anywhere else in the world, taking a Mexico wine tour should be on your travel to-do list. Located just a few hours away from San Diego, region that is sure to enliven your senses and deliver a wealth of aromas and flavors like you’ve probably never experienced before. Spend a day, a weekend or a week enjoying all of the best wines that Valle de Guadalupe has to offer by taking a tour – or perhaps even an excursion of a lifetime. Learn about the grapes and how the wines are produced, as well as sample wine blends with delectable food pairings. We can assure you that you won’t leave disappointed.
Looking to sip on the best wines from Valle de Guadalupe? Read our latest post on which whites and reds we love the most in Mexico's wine country.
Just a short hour and a half drive from San Diego, nestled quietly in the Mexico countryside, is what many people consider to be the next Napa Valley: Valle De Guadalupe, an area of prime wine country prominence. Highlighted by dirt roads and beautiful scenery, this area is quickly becoming THE premier wine region. Over one hundred wineries presently call Valle De Guadalupe “home,”producing a rich variety of reds, whites, and blends that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Today we are going to take a look at some of the best red wines from Valle De Guadalupe, which include the region’s own interpretations of classic Malbec’s and Barbera’s.
Malbec is one of the most famous types of red wines, originating from the black-skinned grape varieties native to France’s southwest regions, particularly around Cahors. Malbec is known as the iconic wine grape of Argentina thanks to its success in the vineyards of Mendoza, solidifying this delicious wine as a favorite among wine connoisseurs worldwide and thus earning Argentina some well-deserved respect in the wine industry.
Malbec continues to be one of the most popular wines produced in the Valle De Guadalupe region. Prominent fruit flavors make this wine known for its beautiful taste of black cherry, pomegranate, plum, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry., while cocoa and coffee add to the wine’s signature aroma. With a medium acidity, the wine is oak aged with hints vanilla, dill, and coconut coming through in the aging process, although the oak is typically not extremely prominent.
This famous wine can be found at the F.Chauvenet in the Valle De Guadalupe area. F.Chauvenet creates a delicious Malbec, Ruby Cabernet. Pairing well with beef, poultry and hard cheeses, this wine breathes in a relaxing feel for all.
Monte Xanic, a premier winery in Valle De Guadalupe, features Monte Xanic Edicion Limitada Malbec, a Malbec that’s beautiful in color with violet and cherry tones. Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months, this Malbec is crisp and with a medium intensity aroma that’s dry, fresh, and inviting. Paired with lean meats and Bluefin tuna, this wine will soon become your next favorite.
Barbera is another favorite red wine from the wineries of Valle De Guadalupe, Mexico. This wine is made from the dark-skinned wine grape variety of the same name, originating from several Italian wine regions and native of Piedmont and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. By the 2000s, Barbera became the third most commonly planted red wine grape variety in Italy and has continued to grow in popularity ever since. In addition to simple red wines, Barbera is also used for blends.
This wine grape is special in its versatility, making it perfect for growing in Mexico’s Valle De Guadalupe climate. The wine itself is characterized by its notes of black and red cherry, blackberry, spice, and chocolate. Barbera wines typically see oak but can age well within a few years to gain a character profound within itself.
Barbera wine can be found at Union de Productores del Valle de Guadalupe, one of the top wineries in the region. This wine pairs particularly well with lamb, beef, spicy foods, poultry, and game like deer and venison. The wine is characteristic of a typicial Barbera with its fruity notes.
Barbera can also be found at Santo Tomás, the region’s oldest winery, where construction of a one-of-a-kind wine tasting room was recently completed. The new facility is prime for wine tasting, offering a truly special experience for the wine connoisseur.
If you’re a big fan of red wines, here are a few of our favorite vineyards in the Valle De Guadalupe region
Trevista Vineyards has been producing incredible wines in the Guadalupe Region of Mexico since 2007 and is known for its casual, charming, and relaxing environment. Many people say that this winery is a comfortable destination for great food, great wine, and a welcoming energy that can’t be found anywhere else. Favorite reds include:
- The 2011 Tempranillo, which is known for its midnight color, as well as semi-woody and black fruit taste. The wine is balanced sweetly with fresh baked fig bread and flavors of sweet raisin cream, making it delectably sweet
- The 2010 Tempranillo, which is is an attractive, sweet wine, described with its dense purple beauty. Ripe black fruits garnish the wine with a velvety texture palatable to the taste with a long and pure finish.
- The 2009 Cabernet, which couples black fruit with earthy flavors of mint, along with elements of pleasant florals and natural minerals. This pure, clean wine is relaxed with spice cake notes.
Red wines are a prominent feature of Cavas Valmar, a family owned and operated winery that features seven highly-rated wines. Favorites include:
- The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, which is of classic Mexican style from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Pairing well with beef, lamb, poultry, and spicy foods, this wine is perfect for every occasion.
- The 2010 Tempranillo, which is known for its fruity notes and flaccid tannins. The wine has a welcoming nose and a delightful finish.
- The 2009 Luna Del Valle, a Californian Red Blend relative to traditional Napa Valley wines. The Luna Del Valle has been described as one of the greatest tasting red wines of the Valle De Guadalupe area.
Monte Xanic, a 27 year-old vineyard, is one of the premier wineries in Mexico. Some of their most popular wines include:
- The Edición Limitada Malbec, mentioned above, which offers notes of wild and tart cherries, raspberry, wood, blackberry, and cream. The pleasant wood tones provide coffee notes for firm and sweet tannins with a full body.
- The Edición Limitada Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon variety. Aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, the deep bright color of this wine is crisp and bright, presenting red fruit flavors for an extremely attractive aromatic complexity.
- The Edición Limitada Cabernet Franc, which is a 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot variety. Aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, this wine has a semi-sweet mouth feel with robust tannins to give an overall round body. A well-balanced, long finish makes this wine clean and bright.