When you think of wine or wine country, what places come to mind first? For most, it’s famous regions in France, Spain, Italy, and California. However, you may be surprised to know there is an up-and-coming player in the world’s wine game that is probably not even on your radar.
The Valle de Guadalupe is located in Baja California about 90 minutes from the Mexican/Californian border and just a few miles inland from the popular cruise port Ensenada sits Valle de Guadalupe.
Being coined as the “Napa Valley” of Mexico, Valle de Guadalupe has been producing fine wines for a number of years and is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Wine enthusiasts and foodies in search of the next “it” spot are traveling to taste Mexican wine, enjoy menus from renowned chefs, and experience the unique hotels.
Follow this link for a Step by Step Guide on How to Get to Valle de Guadalupe from San Diego with specific details and pictures of the signs you need to follow.
Before 2000, there were only 12 wineries in the valley, but now there are over 100 different wineries and the region is responsible for producing 80% of Mexican wine. The production of the wineries is small and with a high wine tax, very few wineries can afford to export. So the only way to try most of the wines is to visit.
In 2006, the first tourist boom hit and the region really began to flourish when the road was paved between Ensenada and Tecate. American foodies and wine aficionados were the first to make the Valle de Guadalupe popular, but once word got out, the rest of the world seemed to follow.
Valle de Guadalupe is a unique region with rich soil, 1,000-ft elevation, and Mediterranean microclimate. This trifecta creates ideal conditions for growing wine grapes.
Wines take centuries to have history and the wines in the Valle de Guadalupe are still young so the “grand tradition” associated with making storied wines is virtually non-existent. However, even in its infancy, there is a certain energy present throughout the Valley; one of excitement and innovation that guests can feel immediately.
A laid-back vibe and philosophy of minimizing the “unnatural” have made Valle de Guadalupe an attractive destination for those who appreciate the natural world. The sustainability efforts of the wineries, restaurants, and hotels in Valle have been recognized near and far. As the area grows, sustainability remains top of mind.
Not only is Valle de Guadalupe a perfect location for a winemaker, but also for a chef. There is a new wave of seriously good restaurants and its no surprise why. The Baja waters provide amazing seafood while the organic gardens, local animal farms, winemakers, craft breweries, cheese and olive makers make the region a chef’s dream.
Some of the most popular restaurants include Fauna by Chef David Castro Hussong, Deckman’s by Chef Drew Deckman, Finca Altozano by celebrity Chef Javier Plascencia, Corazon de Tierra by Chef Diego Hernandez, and Malva by Chef Roberto.
Architecture is being designed using recycled materials, restaurants source ingredients locally, and hotels have practices in place to reduce energy and water consumption.
There is no better time than now to visit Mexico’s hottest wine region, Valle de Guadalupe. The wineries, restaurants, and hotels and are constantly adding amenities and renovations to enhance the experience while the breathtaking scenery, amazing wine, and star chefs continue to attract visitors from far and wide.
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