I loved my handy little wine guide book! It can be purchased at most of the wineries.
For our (almost!) 1 year wedding anniversary, we decided to head west and explore Baja California. Our first stop, Valle de Guadalupe – Mexico’s wine country! Quickly becoming the next big wine-destination in North America, Valle de Guadalupe has everything Napa has, at half the price! Olive oil, cheese, food, WINE! It’s been becoming more and more popular in the past few years, so I suggest getting out there soon before the prices reflect it.
We flew into the Tijuana airport, rented a car, and took scenic highway 1 down to the valley. It was an easy and very cool drive! From the bustling city of Tijuana, to the somewhat deserted pacific coast, through the desert mountains, and finally, into the valley.
Our first two nights we stayed at Hacienda Guadalupe. It wasn’t our first choice, but while booking, many hotels got back to me saying that they didn’t have any weekend availability until November. So be sure to book far in advance if you want one of the trendier hotels. Hacienda Guadalupe was just fine though. Pretty views, good service, centrally located. No complaints here!
The first winery we visited was Montefiori, and ended up leaving with a case of their Brunello, a Sangiovese Grosso. It was a Friday afternoon when we visited, so maybe it’s busier on the weekends, but we really enjoyed how quiet this winery was. There were only a few other guests there with us. The staff was very friendly and informative as well. What is cool about this winery is they combine Italian and Mexican winemaking styles, so you’ll find a lot of the more unique wines in the valley here.
From there, we had our first dinner at Finca Altozano. The views and food were equally wonderful. They had large barrels scattered around that you can climb into – they had seats and everything, so you could enjoy a glass of wine in a barrel! There were also some sweet dogs roaming the property, an additional plus!
On our second day in wine country we started off at a small winery, Cavas del Mogor. It is a family property that started making wine in 1950. At Mogor, the winemakers believe in organic practices that respect the land and cause as little damage as possible. They produce only three wines, all of which we enjoyed. We also were able to take a tour of their property and cellar.
From there, we had lunch on property at Deckman’s. Run by Michelin starred chef, Drew Deckman, this meal was a HIGHLIGHT for me! The setting was as beautiful as it was charming, and the food was even better. We ended up splitting about 5 dishes between the two of us, and they just kept getting more and more delicious!
We then continued on with a visit to Adobe Guadalupe. You guys, they have horses there. They also have a fun food truck on property (we didn’t have any of the food because we had just eaten – but it looked delicious). The wine was also very nice, but we had tried a few before, they’re easily accessible in our city. That isn’t to say we didn’t enjoy our visit! We even had our own tour guide – one of the friendly pups that lives on property hung out with us the entire time we were there!
That evening we had a 5-course meal at Corazon de Tierra. This restaurant was featured on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain (our hero), so clearly, we had to make a reservation! It was a lovely dinner with delicious food and wonderful wine pairings. Be sure to come with an appetite!
Our last day in wine country started off at Torres Alegre. This was probably our favorite winery, and we left with a few different bottles! Be sure to try some of the Cru Garage line. Our favorite was probably their Nebbiolo. We met a couple from San Diego here, who told us every time they visit Valle de Guadalupe (I believe it was their 5th time), they always end up making a stop at Torres Alegre. They recommended we visit Encuentro Guadalupe, which we took them up on. I remember reading that Rihanna had bought this hotel out when she visited, so I was quite curious to see what all the fuss was about! It was clear when we pulled up why it had gained such popularity. It was a very cool property. We ended up have a quick snack and water break there.
We then continued to our final wine stop – Viñas de Garza. This was probably the prettiest winery we visited. I loved how quaint it felt. Also, there were (surprise) more incredible views! We bought a few bottles here as well. We are WELL stocked on wine from this trip!!
That night we moved to our new hotel for the night – the bubble! The bubble hotel will have its own blog post though, more on that later! We ended our stay in Valle de Guadalupe with dinner at Laja.
Have you visited Valle de Guadalupe?! What were some of your favorite spots? Would love to hear about it! And if you have any questions planning your visit – please let me know! I can’t recommend it enough!