Looking for something new this time on your trip to Baja, Mexico? Why not pick a day to lay off the tequila and beer and visit the fine wineries of the Guadalupe Valley instead. Just a short drive from Ensenada lies a beautiful landscape coated in vineyards that in recent years has begun to make a name for itself in the wine world. Head out for the day and see what the Mexican wine country has to offer.
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Touring the Guadalupe Valley
The Guadalupe Valley saw its first grapes planted just over 100 years ago when a group of Russian immigrants arrived with vine cuttings from high-quality vineyards in Europe.
Today it is considered the most prestigious wine region in Mexico, producing the majority of the country's great wines. Since the valley sits at roughly 1000 feet of elevation and 13 miles from the coastline, it receives warm daytime temperatures while cooling off significantly in the evening. Similar conditions can be found in well-known California regions like Sonoma County and Santa Barbara. Because of the region's dynamic climate, a wide range of styles can grow here from reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel to whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Riesling.
While many of the Russian sites are still around, newcomers have taken the Guadalupe Valley in its current direction. In 1987, Monte Xanic (pronounced shah- NEEK) set up shop and became the winery to set the bar in the Guadalupe Valley. Set on 160 acres, the vineyard quickly grew more and more refined to become one of Mexico's most respected establishments. If you're looking for a tasting to remember on your tour of Mexico's wine country. make sure to stop here.
Another must-see is L.A. Cetto, Mexico's largest producer of wine. Founded by Italian immigrants, this popular winery features a large variety of wines and even their own olive oil for vacationers to enjoy in their spacious tasting room.
Be sure to put Chateau Camou on the tour as well. It's another fantastic vineyard with a long list of awards for their delicious wines.
You can only bring back 1 bottle of wine per person when crossing the border back to the US
Before you spend your whole budget on Mexican wine you should know that visitors driving to Mexico can only bring one bottle of wine per person home with them when returning to the U.S. It might be a good idea to schedule your wine country tour early in the trip so you can enjoy a few bottles on your vacation. By the time you head home you'll have a favorite to bring back to the States.