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.