There is a wine revolution going on in Mexico. Not long known for its wine, Mexico now has numerous wineries that attract international visitors, in particular in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico, located in the north of Baja. There is now Baja’s very own Ruta del Vino (wine route), which is les than two hours from San Diego and near the city of Ensenada. There are numerous wineries along the route, such as:
Monte Xanic – CEO Hans Backhoff and others founded the winery in 1987, and it represents the largest of the new Baja wineries. There is a public tasting room that keeps regular hours.
Casa de Piedra – Built in the late 1990s with reclaimed woods, rustic metals and stone, Casa de Piedra was a side project of Hugo D’Acosta, the leader of Baja’s boutique wine movement.
Tres Valles – From a treehouse-style tasting room, owner Joaquín Prieto pours reds from the Guadalupe, Santo Tomás and San Vicente valleys.
Viñas de Garza – This winery was built from the ground by Amado Garza and his wife, Ana.
Hacienda La Lomita – These wines are made by Reynaldo Rodríguez.
Vinisterra – Run by a Swiss-born winemaker, featuring Christoph Gaertner’s Pedregal blend.
Viñas Pijoan – Sort of like a garage winery, with a tiny tasting room, owner Pau Pijoan makes good wine and converses with the visitors.
Vena Cava Phil Gregory, a refugee from the Los Angeles music industry, runs this winery, as well as the adjacent Villa del Valle hotel.
It’s not only in the Guadalupe Valley, Baja where Mexico serves good wines.
Bodegas de Santo Tómas – Visit Mexico’s oldest winery.
Rincón de Guadalupe – 90 minutes south of Ensenada, the isolation of the Felix family’s property make it a beautiful sight. Its Tempranillo vines are the oldest in Mexico.
This beautiful region is but 90 minutes from the border, with a combination of boutique wineries, gourmet restaurants, bed and breakfast style lodging, all situated in a quiet and minimalist environment. This Baja valley known for wine production is more like southern Italy than it is Mexico, with 50 wineries, French educated enologists committed to fine wines full of character and unique.
Valle de Guadalupe is half the size of Napa Valley, the great wine producing region in Northern California, and the wine growing region represents about 15 miles long by 5 miles wide, about 10 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, reaching northeast of the port city of Ensenada on Highway 3.
The climate in the region is coastal Mediterranean or coastal desert, with the first vineyards planted in the valley in 1834, and a high quality wine industry taking root in 1987 as the lowering of tariffs on imported wines meant local wineries had to compete with foreign wines.
The industry has grown a lot since 2004. According to the Mexican Winemakers Council, volumes of wine produced in Guadalupe have doubled since 2000 to 18 million gallons, ranking the valley higher than Slovenia, Czech Republic, Israel.