Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California


My dream of attending a Mexican wedding finally came true!!

 


“NOT long ago, the idea of a Mexican wine tour might have been as appealing as a ski trip to Kansas. No longer.”

Baja California (a.k.a. the land of “Camping, Cactus and Cocktails” {NYT}), the land of dramatic and varied landscapes, good food, incredible wine and plenty of sunshine. Pure Good Life.

Also, it is the perfect opportunity to visit San Diego which you can reach within 5mins minutes from the Tijuana airport, crossing the new built bridge (the purple thingy on the pic below).

{“Poor Mexico, so far from God yet so close to the United States” – Porfirio Diaz, rulling Mexico from 1876 to 1911}

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“Poor Mexico, so far from God yet so close to the United States”- Porfirio Diaz

For those without the gringo visa (poor me), well, you get to see the bridge of the busiest border in the world. And oh get ready for the hectic traffic, as many people often live in Tijuana but work in San Diego, or go over the border to do grocery or have a meal (not that in Tijuana the food is scarce, all the contrary, the region has an amazing variety of foods and sophisticated chefs, it’s rather an idea for hanging out).

{Entering Baja at Tijuana — a chaotic metropolis not without its own charms — can be jarring for first-time border-crossers. But just 10 minutes down the Transpeninsular, there are rocky cliffs overlooking the dark blue Pacific and an alluring, vaguely Mediterranean landscape. The drive south has moments of majesty mixed with ugly, haphazard development: oceanfront condo towers, seemingly abandoned mid-construction, and Southern California-style gated communities with names like “Baja Malibu.”} (New York Times)

When going to Baja, consider arranging UberValle. The driver takes you around the vineyards, waits for you while you sip your glass (or five) and drives you back to Tijuana. The drawback is that you can only get it in Tijuana.

Regarding the accommodation, there is a choice of boutique hotels in Valle de Guadalupe, most of them are somewhere along the main road, hidden among the vineyards. They all have brilliant restaurants offering unique and fresh menus elaborated with ingredients straight from their backyard gardens. You can also head a bit further down to Ensenada which offers more like Spa type of accommodation, or a hippie complex of beach huts.

Anyways, any of those are exactly what most of us living in the cities are craving for, right?DSC_5136


Here are some names& pics of the restaurants we have visited, ranging from the all-pretty ones set in the middle of a vineyard to the street stands. However, you could be coming back many times and always trying new spots as there’s plenty to chose from.

Our picks:

  • Malva
  • Deckman’s
  • Encuentro Guadalupe (I’d say the restaurant itself is quite a disapointment but I’m sure that staying in one of its eco-lofts is an amazing experience. I mean it has too be amazing if one night costs twice as my monthly rent??) encuentro
  • Monte Xanic
  • Quinta Monasterio
  • Adobe Guadalupe (I think my favourite)
  • El Trailero (taco stand)
  • La Guerrerense (probs the most famous seafood stand in Ensenada, even folk in DF knows it!)
  • Correcaminos (located basically in the middle of the road, my point of reference would be a cheese shop 5mins drive away which you should visit to take some parmesano, chipotle and romero cheese to accompany the wine)
  • Quintas Papagayo (strategic location in between centro Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe)

Check out this Vogue article and find out…

“Why You Might Want to Skip Napa and Visit Mexico’s Wine Country Instead”

Or get acquainted with The Guardian tips in “Mexico’s exciting new wine trail” , or “one of the easiest and safest places to experience Mexico on a budget” (Baja on a shoestring tips).


Malva

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Shredded duck sopes
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Deckman’s
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Basically what everything around looks like
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La Virgencita at Correcaminos
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Ensenada
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More grappppessss

 

Valle de Guadalupe has not always been the hotspot when it comes to wine.

Grapes were introduced in Mexico by the Spanish (as many other things) and almost immediately banned as they understood that thanks to the perfect conditions for producing wine, they might earn themselves a serious competitor. The wine was still produced here and there, however it didn’t stand any near today’s quality until the Monte Xanic estate was founded as late as 1987.

Their wines were served to Mexico’s president at the time, Vicente Fox and allegedly Bill Gates and Fidel Castro were also enjoying the Monte Xanic wines too. Today, you can attend a tasting session with a view, and take the glasses home along with some delicious white, rose or tinto. 


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Deckman’s

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Deckman’s

Tortillas becoming tostadas 🙂

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@nachotl
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Adobe Guadalupe
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El Trailero
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“La Guerrerense”

{“…taco stalls alongside the fish market, where Baja-style fried-fish tacos run 14 pesos each and arrive with a buffet of condiments, including five kinds of salsa, crema, lime wedges, radishes, shredded cabbage and pickled vegetables.”} (NYT)

 

Another unique place was Correcaminos, which we have probably never discovered if it wasn’t for a local’s advice (a real foodie btw). I mean, would you really stop here for your breakfast?

look-for-it.jpg

The generous portions of the Mexican brunch classics draw, most of all, the Mexicans leaving across the border and are looking for a genuine Mexi flavours. Our foodie guide was particularly excited about the brilliant Huevos Moisesito, popular in the region “traditionally dried meat, spiced beef or pork, which has been rehydrated”. I liked how the place was advertising itself as “eco-friendly”, that is, claiming to recycle everything possible etc, which I find really important as Mexico is probably one of the leaders in using the plastic (did you know straws are highly unsustainable and can have a severe long-term impact on the environment??? Don’t use straws).

 

Borrego –a bighorn sheep is another regional speciality. It was served at the wedding dinner and can be find in most of the restaurants in Baja as a breakfast, lunch or dinner dish. Check this out:

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Quinta Monasterio

The wedding itself was a really beautiful experience. It was all so well planned, and none of the details were random.

The ceremony started “upstairs” and was followed by a coctail (or rather house wine) accompanied by a selection of delicious local cheeses, tostadas, and seafood snacks. Just when the sun was about to set down, we moved down where the celebration continued, with a “hippie family sharing style” dinner, more wine and dancing. It was the first wedding I have ever attended that reggeaton was on the playlist, together with cumbia and Enrique Iglesias (no idea how to classify that). I absolutely loved it!! Looking at the dining area from the dancefloor I thought to myself that it could be a setting for a perfect movie- wedding.

Some of the instagram photos from the event& location:

Sin título13
@littlemulestudio
chris_koehn
@chris_koehn /
emmanilion
@emmanilion
gesu07
@gesu07 / the dining and dancefloor area
neassk
@neassk

 

tenegram
@tenegram
thewelcometoursbaja
@thewelcometoursbaja

bodrrio 1

di_arnau
@di_arnau / the dinner

All in all, the Valle plan is a perfect weekend plan. You will want to go back for more and I’m sure you won’t resist getting yourself some wine to take the taste of Baja home. So be sure to fill up your suitcase with some light dresses, sunglasses, and keep the space for the bottles! 🙂

 

 

 

 

More useful links: https://thehappening.com/conoce-los-vinedos-en-la-ruta-central-del-vino/

 

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