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Valle de Guadalupe: Where to Sip, Stay, Eat, and Things to do

A local guide to Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe wineries and region.

Tiffany Pence

Baja is the most well-known of Mexico’s wine regions – 90% of the wines exported from Mexico are grown in Baja. Valle de Guadalupe is the more famous wine route in the region running along Highway 3. In the past 15 years, this region has grown from little farms and ranches to one of the top enotourism destinations in the world. This guide includes sips on the region, from how and when to go to the main grapes produced to the top Valle de Guadalupe wineries as well as where to stay, eat and things to do.

GETTING THERE

To visit Baja California’s famous Valle de Guadalupe wine region, you can drive across the border at Tijuana and travel south on Highway 3 through Valle de Guadalupe, or fly into the Tijuana airport (TIJ). You will have to connect through Mexico City to get to Tijuana Airport. There aren’t any direct flights to the Tijuana airport (TIJ) from the United States, but you can connect through Mexico City (MEX). Ensenada is 82 km south and the closest “big town” to Tijuana.

WHEN TO VISIT

April and October are the driest months and best time to visit the Baja wine region. July-September is harvest. The region has beautiful weather year-round. The Pacific breezes keep the temperatures comfortable with mild winters and summers. The high tourist season is between May and October. During late fall and the winter, there is more rain in the forecast. Temperatures usually range in the 70s during winter and high 80s in the summer with nights cooling down by 20 degrees.

Mexcian wine grapevines at valle de guadalupe wineries
Photo by Tiffany Pence

Where to Sip

Valle de Guadalupe Wineries

The Baja wine region centered around Ensenada produces the most volume of wine in Mexico. The full bodied, low acidity wines are similar to wines from Paso Robles or Australia. It’s hard to find a bad bottle of wine, but we’ve narrowed down a few favorite Valle de Guadalupe wineries to put on your must-sip list.

The oldest winery in Baja is Bodega Santo Tomas and organic wineries like Finca La Carrodilla are making a name for themselves.

TOP GRAPE VARIETIES IN Valle de Guadalupe

These are the most common grapes grown but several Valle de Guadalup wineries are experimenting with lesser-known varieties.

WHITE WINE GRAPE

  • Chardonnay
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Sauvignon Blanc

RED WINE GRAPE

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Grenache
  • Nebbiolo
  • Malbec
  • Syrah
  • Tempranillo
  • Merlot
  • Sangiovese
  • Carignan
  • Zinfandel
  • Sangiovese

Where to Stay

In Valle de Guadalupe Wine Country

Valle de Guadalupe is north of Ensenada. Deciding where to stay may just be as difficult as narrowing down your list of wineries to visit. From eco-hotels to luxury resorts and villas, you have no shortage of choices of where to stay in this region. A few of my favorite places to stay in Valle de Guadalupe recommend include…

For those that like to rough it in the great outdoors, Valle de Guadalupe has plenty of cabins, glamping and RV parks for you.

Mexican Wine Guide - Winery Restaurants in Baja
Photo by Tiffany Pence

Where to Eat

In Valle de Guadalupe Wine Country

What’s a wine tasting vacation without food? While there are a variety of restaurants that are sure to please, when sipping in Valle de Guadalupe  wineries these are a must.

  • The Ruta del Vino Bicycle Ride & Wine Festival- Returning in 2022
  • Guadalupe Valley Wine, Food & Music Festival

Things to Do

Besides Sipping Wine

Wining and dining are the main things to do in Valle Guadalupe, but not the only things. This is an outdoor lover’s paradise.

  • Visit the Museum of the Vine and Wine to learn the history of wine making, the Russian Community Museum retelling the story of the Russian Jewish immigrants who moved to an isolated farming community in Guadalupe.
  • The town of Ensenada is 20 minutes away on the coast. Spend the day at the beach at Playa Hermosa, and at night enjoy the fountains in El Parque de la Bandera synchronized to music and lights.
  • Nature lovers will love hiking through El Salta Canyon to a waterfall, ATV off-roading, mountain biking or horseback riding on the beach or in the mountains.

Tiffany Pence

Tiffany Pence is a freelance travel writer living in Mexico. She and her husband moved to Mexico to learn more about its regional cuisines and wine regions. Together, they have a travel website EpicureanExpats.com and English-speaking tour company Wine Tours by Epicurean Expats focused on wine, food and culture around Queretaro and San Miguel de Allende.