Oh, what a silly, small minded person I was.
It wasn't until 2017 that I finally made my way down to Valle de Guadalupe to see what all the hype was about. I kept hearing "You will be super surprised at how nice it is" or "Stop being such a snob and check it out".
When we finally made our first trip and pulled up to our beautiful hacienda we would be staying after the weekend, I could tell that I had been missing out on a wonderful experience that was less than 2 hours from my home in San Diego.
Here are directions from the San Ysidro Border to get onto HWY 1 which will connect you to HWY 3 which leads into Valle de Guadalupe. Keep an eye out for the may Ruta del Vino signs you will see along the way.
Its a good idea to buy car insurance for Mexico. Most insurance companies don't cover accidents in Mexico. I have used Baja Bound several times. The site is easy and affordable.
Download an "offline map" of The Valle de Guadalupe onto your phone before you leave. Here is a good video tutorial.
Check out a map of the winerieshere to give you an idea of where you're headed. You can pick up a nice paper map at the more popular wineries which will help you organize your time better.
Hire a driver for the day. This can ease your mind when attempting to navigate the unmarked dirt roads you may come upon and give you a designated driver for the day. We used The Wine Route our first time there. . Our driver picked us up at our hotel, made our reservations at the wineries for us and created an easy and stress-free day. Organize a group tour with Baja Wine and Dine.
Many of the wineries and some restaurants are closed Monday and Tuesday.
You may need reservations for many of the wineries and restaurants, especially on the weekend.
If a winery doesn't open until 11 am, don't go barging up to the front door and ask to be let in early. We had an owner of a winery thank us for waiting in our car until they opened the gates properly. They mentioned how many times people come waltzing into their tasting rooms demanding to be served.
Carry US dollars with you. Many of the smaller convince stores don't take debit or credit cards.
Unfortunately, you are only allowed to bring back one liter of alcohol per person when returning to the United States. I won't lie and say that I haven't brought back more than my quota of bottles. Just understand that at the border, they will ask you what you have to declare.
Here is a website that offers to ship wines from a few of the wineries in Valle de Guadalupe.
Check real time border waits here. Often times, crossing back into the States is going to be much faster.
Remember to bring your passport.
Look out for a map of the wineries here.
Cremeria Los Globos is 50 feet from the only traffic light in the valley.
The sign above the entrance will say “Tienda de Vinos y Quesos”
Tienda de Quesos y Vinos:
La Ruta del Vino, Cnsenada B.C.
+52 646 155 3158
Valle De Guadalupe is rapidly becoming a very popular destination so make sure to have reservations prior to your arrival.
My favorite place to stay is La Villa De Valle.
This gorgeous 6 bedroom hacienda that is a bed and breakfast, sits high on a hilltop with 360-degree views of farms and vineyards below.
Here, you will also find that they have their own hillside pool, restaurant, wine cellar, and oyster bar.
You will be driving down a dirt road and most likely will have a bit of a wait, but it's worth it. Spend your time waiting for your table by looking at all the animals that are kept on the here on the property. At La Cocina de Dona Esthela, you will be mixing with a large crowd of hungry locals who come here for breakfast and lunch. They don't take reservations but the simple traditional food here is delicious.
Ranchos San Marcos, El Porvenir, Ejido San Marcos, B.C., Mexico
La Cocina de Doña Esthela,
It turned out to be a 10-course meal with pairings of champagne, beer, red and white wine, tequila and mezcal. My husband couldn't make it to the last couple of courses but I'm no quitter.
km. 73.5, Carretera Ensenada Tecate 3, Valle de Guadalupe, 22750 Ensenada, B.C., Mexico
No, it's not actually from Madagascar but it is out of the world!
Carretera Ensenada-Tecate Km. 85.5, San Antonio de Las Minas, 22766 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico
Javier also has a beautiful bed and breakfast you can stay at nearby that is gorgeous, Finca La Divina.
Carretera Tecate - Ensenada Km 83, Ejido Francisco Zarco, Valle de Guadalupe, 22750 Ensenada, B.C., Mexico
There are over 200 wineries in this valley and it will be hard to find one that isn't worthy of a visit. Not all of them offer a wine tasting room though. Grab yourself a map of the wineries in the area to find out where your winery is and the days and hours of operation. Many places are closed on Monday and Tuesday.
The climate here is similar to that in Italy and Argentina and you will hear about winemakers from all over the world coming here, wanting to contribute their skills of winemaking. Most people are incredibly surprised at how delicious and complex the wines are from this region.
Many of the roads you'll be traveling on will look like this, so don't bring your fancy car
There are also a few cabins that you can rent here.
A small, lovely boutique winery with a limited production that didn't disappoint.