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Valle de Guadalupe - The Ensenada wine country

By Hector Lara

Wine Route - Ruta del VinoLocated in the north part of the state of Baja California, the route of wine (sp. Ruta del vino) it enjoys the mediterranean weather, perfect for growing grapevines. There are just a few places in Mexico that combine these unique features: the altitude, seasons, weather, and temperature - without forgetting the love of the art of making wine.

The first colonies on this region where the Kiliwa and Kumiai cultures, followed by missionaries and Mexicans who opened the route to the arrival of immigrants from Russia, Europe and the rest of Mexico. All this influences helped to create a unique characteristic of the route of wine.

Valleys of Calafia, Guadalupe and San Antonio de las Minas are the hearth of the wine route that also extends to the north of Valle de las Palmas (en. Palms valley) and south to the valleys of Santo Tomas and San Vicente Ferrer.

Both wines white and red are made with lots of dedication starting from the grapes Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Souvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, while reds typically uses Cabernet ouvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Genache, Carignan, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Zinfandel.

The wine route offers a wide range of attractions that goes from small familiar wineries to the great scale products. Reasons why you can find from a small familiar camping restaurants to the most fine table, and places for camping, ranch’s, artesian centers, museums, hotels B&B, wine boutiques, art galleries, Indian culture and natural places.

In this region you can enjoy a fun, active, exotic or romantic vacations in an interesting and secure place. The wine route is the perfect destiny for vacations for couples or family.

Ensenada Wine tasting tours

The tour starts with an introduction of Ensenada, why the name of “Ensenada”, the island, the main activities, the Ensenada weather. The main wineries in Ensenada are CETTO, DOMECQ and SANTO TOMAS. The last one was not in this tour.

Casa Pedro Domecq

Domecq old wine barrelOur first stop is in Domecq winery (Casa Pedro Domecq) that is located just 10 minutes north of Guadalupe Valley (highway #3). Established in the Guadalupe Valley long time ago, known by their products like Presidente Brandy, which is one of the most sold in the world and now producing wines. From 80’s to date its popularity has been recognized by other mayor wineries in the States, Mexico and other countries for his quality wine.
Back to the tour: The simplicity and sympathy of the Domecq tour guide took us to the wine cellars where the wine reposes in silence. After they closed the door, the dark was around us, but by the time the little clearance of lights lighting our steps was enough for all the tour.
As a Mexican company, they are proud of their roots in Mexico, so it is that Domecq still keeping the old barrels that they used four hundred years ago, they don’t use it anymore but they show it to visitors.

Baja WinesEnsenada Wine BarrelsThe barrels are the first place where the wine reposes just before they put it in bottles and let it rest for more time. Chatou 2002 is the best reds wines you can taste in this tour, after see the content: Tempranillo and Neviolo wines, make think “that is the wine I want to taste”. 15 minutes underground learning or trying to understand how things work when making wine. The different kind of grapes for wine and the selection of the time they have to let it rest for getting the exact point of mature.

Foreigners are gladly welcome
The Red Hat Divas

Ensenada Red Hat DivasThe glamour and inhibition: The red hat divas is how they call themselves, that day they were dressing in purple with shining details that make you turn to see them you want it or not. A woman told me that in their club if you’re 50+ old you dress a red hat, if not, you have to dress a pink hat. The important thing here is that every visitor is welcome and the Red Hat Divas where not the exception, they were enjoying the wine tasting and buying little bottles (the tiny ones), may be to be mixed with the coffee next morning.


L.A. Cetto

LA CETTO EnsenadaFounded by an Italian, Angelo Cetto in 1970, history says that Cetto started the wine business since 1930, bought a number of small wineries in the 1980 and now he is responsible for more than half of the country’s wine. Cetto cultivates 2,500 acres of vineyards in Baja California; also own tequila and olive oil.

L.A. Cetto and Domecq are in association producing 65% of the 2.1 million cases of wine that Mexico produces in a year.

LA Cetto bull ring The LA CETTO tour: The tour starts on a big terrace made for special events with view to the grape fields and to its bullring. Being in the middle of beauty between nature and technology. With big machinery to process the grapes for all the different kinds of wine (principally german and Italian grapes), the barrels where it repose for several months to get it ready to the bottles where repose until the time that is opened. LA CETTO in Ensenada wine country produces 5.5 millllion liters of wine and 500,000 liters of brandy per year.

If you want to plan a trip to the wine route, call us with the number of persons to give you an estimate cost for the trip. There are other wineries in town available, but Cetto and Domecq are the biggest and are open almost all days.

Wine country real estate? : Yes, there are real estate for sale on the Ensenada wine country, Valle de Guadalupe, San Antonio de las Minas, El Porvenir. Check

Ensenada Wine Country Tours?: www.bajawinesun.com is a local business dedicated on promotion giving tours to the wine valley. Click and tell them that Mexicomatters sent you.


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