An Unexpected Destination For Wine Lovers and Foodies
Wine, a centuries old libation of choice for millions around the world. Food, a means for people of all ages to gather, socialize and connect. What if we told you there was a unicorn of a place nearby that is a perfect marriage of wine, culture and culinary wonders – and no it’s not Napa Valley. This place, Valle de Guadalupe, is in none other than in Mexico and about a 2-hour drive south of San Diego. Offering hundreds of wines from local vineyards and tasting rooms as well as restaurants that other famous chefs come to visit; this farm to table, sustainable community is making a big name for itself and for good reason. Here are the three reasons The Colibri Collective is obsessed with Valle de Guadalupe:
The Grapes: Valle de Guadalupe has been around for quite some time, since the late 1800’s in fact, but has recently become a top destination for wine lovers everywhere. With a wide range of hip, modern, traditional, and sustainable vineyards there is a wine and style to satisfy all taste buds and visual needs. Reds, whites, pinks and the blends; Valle is giving other wine destinations a run for their money.
One would argue Cuatro Cuartos is not in Valle de Guadalupe, but we recommend it as your first stop. Once you enter the winery you can take a shuttle that takes you up to Bar Bura ($5 fee pp). It is located on top of a cliff overlooking the coast and has extraordinary views of the Salsipuedes Bay, just north of Ensenada. A must see is the self-named, “Hippest Winery in Mexico,” Vena Cava which its ceilings are built with old boats and its the recurring theme throughout the vineyard. Casa de Piedra, indeed it is made with rocks, has delicious wine that encompasses the grapes of the land. Decantos has an amazing view and overlooks the valley or valle. They use the law of gravity to make their wine, from receiving the grapes to bottling the wine. We highly recommend looking into making reservations at all of these locations.
The Feast: Aside from the wine, your DD (which we recommend you stay the night and hire a driver – trust us on this), can take you to feast on some top-notch food. The farm to table concept is taken very seriously here, but it isn’t pretentious – it is simply delectable. Deckman’s en el Mogor, is Valle’s only restaurant with a Michelin-starred chef, Drew Deckman. It is difficult to put into words the experience that happens when tasting his dishes but it is truly something that must be experienced first-hand. The outdoor setting of the restaurant is magical, and all the vegetables, olive oil, herbs, eggs, lamb and fuel for the wood-fired grill and oven come from the property itself, Rancho Mogor. All the fish and seafood are fresh from the Baja Peninsula and sustainable. Because of the reliance on the land and season, the menu is ever changing – that is why we won’t recommend our favorite dishes, but anything you get is sure to be a culinary awakening.
Our next favorite is Finca Altozano by Javier Plascencia. If you want to experience a real “joie de vivre,” this is a must. The space is beautiful, serene and stunningly, simple but incredibly magical in every way. The food is so masterfully and thoughtfully prepared that you truly can’t help marvel over each bite. Being that the food is all local, this menu also changes on a regular basis and is based on what’s available from the orchards, farms and ranches in and around Valle. Javier also has a coffee shop, quick service torta stand and a fine dining experience underneath a hundred-year-old oak tree. There are giant wine barrels to sit on top of to take that insta worthy picture! (We recommend reservations)
The Art: While Valle is truly an art piece on its own with its picturesque hills and bright blue skies, art aficionados and novices will find beauty and wonder in even the most unexpected places. With the obvious art-centered locales like Casa Frida, which is a vineyard and AirBnb that pays homage to Frida Kahlo, you can also find amazing architecture and other paintings and trinkets from local and world-renowned artists. This place isn’t your typical hotel chain type destination.
Even your lodging ends up being an art piece all on its own. From sleeping outdoors under the stars in glamping style tents, to boutique and sustainable hotels overlooking the vineyards you are sure to find lodging in Valle that is like a work of art to rest your head after a day of drinking, eating and happiness.