The wine trail of Baja California is one of Mexico’s most exquisite experiences. Natural beauty, good wine and food, and relaxed ambiance imbibe each winery with a feeling of being among friends. Several private companies will arrange tours to both boutique and big-name wineries, so you can soak up the sun and vino of Baja. Here are a few of our favorite spots along the Ruta de Vino.
A relatively new vineyard near the tiny town of El Provenir ouside of Ensenada, Las Nubes has 12 meticulously cultivated hectares of various grape varieties. Their stone and red-roofed tasting room and production facilities blend with the natural mountainous backdrop, creating a picture-perfect postcard of the area’s wine trail. Several companies offer balloon rides over their gorgeous property for an even better view.
Owned and operated by the Magnussen family, the Lechuza vineyard is a boutique operation with beautiful yet simple grounds – an outdoor tasting patio, a few tables under the roof of their processing room and the family home. They create stunning and romantic events right in the middle of their grape vines and with the mountain views all around, you can’t ask much more from a tasting experience.
The Monte Xanic tasting room is a massive stone monument to wine, with a floor to ceiling glass-fronted terrace that looks out over rows of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Granache grapes. The vineyard started out as a simple family affair, part of the wave of Russian immigrants that came to Baja in the early 1900s. Today, Monte Xanic is one of the the country’s biggest wine names and their vineyard is over a hundred years of delicious history laid out before you.
A big, circular tasting room sits in the middle of the desert, with rocking chairs swaying on its beautiful porch. A local weekend hangout with a full menu and live bands, Casta de Vinos was the oenological dream of Sergio Castañeda and Claudia Horta from Tijuana, who built their production facilities with lots of room for the winery to grow. The landscape is desolate and sweeping, but the dining room is inviting and warm and the wine is fantastic.
Grandiose is one of the only way to describe the Santo Tomás Entre Santos (meaning “among the saints”) tasting room. The massive bottle-lined back wall has a tasting counter with experts on hand to explain numerous Santo Tomás varietals. Out in the fresh air is a dining patio and an outdoor concert space, all surrounded by the oldest commercial winery in the Valle de Guadalupe.
For a wine-filled wedding or event, Cuatro Cuatros glamping and vineyard provides the perfect setting. From the porch of the upscale tent cabins you can look out on the vineyard sparkling with lights, as well as an ancient oak tree swaying in the middle of the field. With a sea perch restaurant and tasting room just up the road, the vistas of the Pacific Ocean are breathtaking.
The Adobe Guadalupe vineyard is designed as a traditional Mexican hacienda in the midst of the Valle de Guadalupe. Sprawling spaces, row upon row of grape vines and traditional Mexican hospitality are all part of the vineyard’s charm. You can see the ground by horseback arranged through their Azteca Breeding and Training Centre, enjoy a meal in their restaurant and even stay the night in their six-room bed and breakfast right on the property.
Founded in 1985, Viña de Frannes has 25 hectares and six varieties of grapes surrounding their Mies Van Der Rohe-style wood and glass facilities. The vineyard was founded by world renowned winemaker Ernesto Álvarez Morphy Camou with the assistance of French enologist Michel Rolland. You can enjoy the beauty of their natural setting from the patio or dining room at the vineyard’s Restaurante Campestre, offering regional ingredients and dishes.
Winemaker Phil Gregory, his wife Eileen, architect Alejandro D’Acosta and chef Diego Hernández have all had a hand in creating the ultra-hip and delicious experience you will find at Vena Cava. The spaces are ethereal yet grounded in the natural environment that surround them. You can hop from their open air tasting area, to the dining room overlooking the organic garden, to the view of the vineyards from the property’s bed and breakfast rooms.
More than simply a vineyard, the Finca La Carrodilla is a biodynamic farm committed to organic and sustainable wine production. Enjoy fresh and seasonal produce surrounded by their sprawling organic garden and mingle with the various animals that roam the property. Enologist Gustavo González, along with the Pérez Castro family (owners of La Lomita vineyard), offer four monovarietals, one red wine blend and a Bordeaux blend for your tasting pleasure.
The Viñas de Garza ranch almost entirely blends into the fields surrounding it, with high trees and bugambilia bushes shading it from the intense desert sun. Started by Amado and Ana Garza in 2003, the vineyard is boutique, with only about nine hectares currently in production. But quality counts more than quantity and they have plenty of that. They offer a basic tasting out on their patio for folks who come without a reservation and another, more elaborate tasting if you reserve in advance.