Wine Tasting in Baja

Back in March, we drove from Carson City, Nevada to Valle de Guadalupe in Baja, Mexico with big plans to eat, to drink… and to buy large, clay pots for our outdoor plants. (The pots are very, very cheap.)

Where is Valle de Guadalupe? The Valle is located about 45 miles south of Tecate, a town on the California/Mexico border, and about 14 miles north of Ensenada.

If you love wine, consider visiting Baja’s wine country. The region produces 90% of Mexico’s wine. Though wine has been produced in the area for over 100 years, the last decade has seen some serious growth – there are now over 100 wineries in the area!

As we drove across the border, it was clear that our moisture rich winter had a beautiful effect on the Valle (a stark contrast to the previous year when we drove down at the end of December). The mountains were a lush green and there were California poppies in bloom everywhere. On this visit, Matt and I made the drive with our friends, Brian and Thea.

We stayed at Villa Saoce, a three bedroom, two bathroom house in a very quiet neighborhood. We planned for four nights, which is just enough time to spend a ton of money stocking up on wine.

Villa Saoce
Villa Saoce – These poppies were across the street.
Villa Saoce
Villa Saoce

These cuties came from a neighboring house to greet us every morning and every evening.

Cuties
Villa Saoce
Villa Saoce
Villa Saoce – Baja nights are always chilly.
Villa Saoce – Matt grilling up steaks for dinner.

Let’s talk about where we ate.  (Aside from the meals we made at the house.)

We stopped at Lupe for lunch and ate delicious tortas served from a restored 1960’s Airstream.

Lupe
Lupe
Lupe
Valle 13

We had dinner at Valle 13, a restaurant in the small town of Francisco Zarco, right across from the grocery store, Mercado Liz. We love Valle 13 because it’s inexpensive with excellent food.

Ochentos Pizza

We had delicious pizzas at Ochentos.

Outside Ochentos – Creepy chair, cool wine bottle wall
Finca Altozano

This is our second time dining at Finca Altozano. Both times, the place was packed and the food was outstanding. (This place is on the same property as Lupe – the Airstream with the tortas – and owned by the same chef, Javier Plascencia.)

Finca Altozano – This restaurant has lots of rescue dogs on the property and they provide a guide to help you identify each dog by his or her name. :)

Now let’s get to the wine.

But brace yourself –  we tried a lot of wine. In addition to wineries we loved in the past, we tried several new (to us) places too.

Sol y Barro

Sol y Barro was a winery we discovered simply because it was next to one of our favorite wineries. I’m glad we found it because the wine was delicious and Silvia, the woman pouring our wine, was very entertaining.

Sol y Barro
Sol y Barro
Alximia
Alximia
Alximia
Rondo del Valle

Rondo del Valle is my favorite winery in Valle de Guadalupe. All their wine is excellent, but the Cautivo is the best. At least it was the best at the time that I wrote this. I have a bottle of their Morador (a simple Shiraz/Cab/ Merlot blend) which I suspect I might like even more.

Rondo del Valle
Rondo del Valle
Rondo del Valle
Rondo del Valle
Lomita

Lomita is one of our favorites as well. Great wine and lots of cool spaces to hang out while you sip.

Lomita
Lomita
Lomita
Finca la Carrodilla

We stopped at Finca la Carrodilla based on a recommendation. Or maybe it was photographs of their cheese plates we saw in a local magazine. However we got here – isn’t it gorgeous?

Finca la Carrodilla
Finca la Carrodilla
Finca la Carrodilla
Finca la Carrodilla
Finca la Carrodilla
Tres Valles
Tres Valles
Tres Valles
Vinisterra
Vinisterra
Vinisterra
Vinisterra
Vinisterra – Our only group shot from the trip.

The roads were in extra rough shape after the rainy winter. The main roads are paved, but many of the wineries and tasting rooms are on dirt roads.

Baja driving conditions
Casa de Piedra – This is one of the few places with bubbly!
Casa de Piedre
Vinos Pijoan
Vinos Pijoan
Vinos Pijoan
Vinos Pijoan
Montefiori

Montefiori is also one of our favorites. Above is a picture I took last year since the only shot from the winery this year is a horrible selfie of Thea and I. Also, the tasting room moved from where we were standing over to the building on the far left of the frame.

El Mogor
El Mogor
El Mogor
3 Mujeres

Tres Mujeres was our first Baja wine experience. In 2014 we were heading back home from a two week road trip around the Baja peninsula and this winery was the one and only place we stopped in the Valle. When I think about that now, it seems strange that we drove up a steep, skinny, dirt road to get here when surely there were other, more easily accessible options. But I’m so glad we did because I love this place!

The tasting room is very cozy and always with a bit of chill because you’re in a cave. The woman pouring your wine is usually one of the winemakers, and they always have a great story.

3 Mujeres
Decantos

Decantos is one of the large tasting rooms that can accommodate a BIG crowd. I usually avoid these places, but for some reason, we keep coming back.

That’s for the wineries we visited on this trip, but if you want to see more of the Valle, check out this blog post from a previous trip.

Pots

And here they are: the pots! There are several of these roadside stands on the drive between wine country and Tecate. Three large pots for $12. Hell. Yes.

What to you think? Do you want to visit Valle de Guadalupe? Pick up a map of the Ruta del Vino and enjoy!

Want to read more about the Valle and Baja? Click on the links below:

Wine Tasting in Valle de Guadalupe

Baja Road Trip Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3                          

Los Cabos to Todos Santos to La Paz 

What I’ve Learned from Travel Part 1 and Part 2

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

2 thoughts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.