Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

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Vincent Fritzsche
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Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#1 Post by Vincent Fritzsche » June 23rd, 2019, 9:53 am

I’m thinking of a day trip from San Diego to the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja. Any tips on wineries to visit or perhaps avoid? What about food options? Thanks!
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GregT
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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#2 Post by GregT » June 23rd, 2019, 11:01 am

I've only been a few times but usually go for seafood. Punta de Valle and Penninsula en el Valle both had good ceviche and seafood dishes, with home-made tortillas.

But there are a lot of little places that are pretty good in the area. You might just uncover some gem!

Wineries are kind of hit or miss. They were doing things like Nebbiolo (questionable), Cab (some OK), Tempranillo (not great) and Syrah, which oddly enough seemed to be OK in a number of places. Still works in progress though. Fun trip regardless!
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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#3 Post by Chris Seiber » June 23rd, 2019, 11:08 am

What are the travel logistics of going there for the day or for the weekend?

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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#4 Post by Chris Seiber » June 23rd, 2019, 11:11 am

Oh, and in before lame “it’s Mexico you should only drink beer” scold.

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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#5 Post by Ben J. » June 23rd, 2019, 12:25 pm

It's easy to get to, about 1.5 hours south of Tijuana directly. Could easily do Thurs - Sun trip driving down from San Diego, best way is to fly into SD and drive across the border.

Very good Baja labels (some are wineries, others just small independents) include Vena Cava, Bruma, Henri Lurton, Lechuza, Fluxus, Aldo Cesar Palafox, Casa Magoni, and Cava Maciel, though many other good producers around too.

If you can book to stay at Adobe Guadalupe the property is beautiful and centrally located, and would highly recommend Traslomita and Fauna at Bruma for dinner. I sell Baja wines locally in Chicago, btdubs.
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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#6 Post by GregT » June 23rd, 2019, 12:49 pm

Not a bad drive if there's no trouble with traffic. From SD to Tijuana isn't a problem. Once you're in TJ, it's a crapshoot. Make sure you notify your carrier because the moment you cross the border your cell reception may or may not be affected and you'll incur roaming charges. So if you use Google navigation, you may want to print out some maps before you head in.

Another thing you can do is book a bus from SD or even just drive down to SD and park. You can walk across the border from the parking lot and take a bus down. I've done that to avoid driving.
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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#7 Post by Susan K » June 23rd, 2019, 1:51 pm

I highly recommend Baja Test Kitchen. Chris can dive you from San Diego, or in our case, picked us up in Ensenada from our cruise port. He is very knowledgeable and selected wonderful wineries and lunch.

https://www.bajatestkitchen.com/
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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#8 Post by Vincent Fritzsche » June 23rd, 2019, 2:54 pm

Thanks for the replies. We’re going to say trip it and plan on a wait at the border on the return (or maybe not?). We’ll probably hit two places, I’m interested in Bodegas Andre Lurton and Finca la Carrodilla, we’ll see if they are available. Any others that might be worthwhile?
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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#9 Post by Alan Rath » June 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Might make sens to head east north of the border, and cross at Tecate. I'm pretty sure this is what my BIL does, who used to go down to San Felipe all the time (from San Diego) to visit his mother.
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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#10 Post by Brian Glas » June 23rd, 2019, 5:09 pm

Our family was there in March. We were on a Disney cruise that stopped in Ensenada. We went on a wine tour, Baja Vino Tours, with Josh. He was a great tour guide and knew many of the vintners in the valley. I agree with others that the wines aren't outstanding but we still had fun and enjoyed the tour. They are growing mostly Italian and Spanish varietals.

We visited Cava Maciel, Finca La Carrodilla, and Villa Montefiori. Cava Maciel was my favorite. They had a Nebbiolo that was quite good.

We had lunch at La Concheria in Ensenada. The food was great. Mostly a seafood menu.

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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#11 Post by Matthew King » June 23rd, 2019, 5:13 pm

I can’t second Alan’s suggestion more heartily. Tecate border crossing took us 20 mins as opposed to typical 2-hour wait on summer weekend in TJ. You have to jog inland a bit out of the way but so worth it.

As to wineries to visit, here is great post about some of the new guard of natural winemaking. Lulu Martinez fashioned my favorite wine of a recent trip ... a savory orange wine for Henri Lurton.

https://wine.sprudge.com/2018/02/13/nat ... in-mexico/

It truly is the Wild West down there, with everyone trying different grape varieties and techniques to see what sticks. Most of the wines are just OK ... a bit squishy or short or manipulated.

But it’s fun area to check out.
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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#12 Post by David Baum » June 23rd, 2019, 11:05 pm

Tecate is way out of the way. Cross at TJ on way down. It's shorter and no wait that direction. On way back take Otay Mesa Crossing which is a few miles east of TJ main crossing and less busy. Just avoid coming home on Sunday night if possible. All the crossings will be back up then

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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#13 Post by GregT » June 23rd, 2019, 11:41 pm

David Baum wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 11:05 pm
Tecate is way out of the way. Cross at TJ on way down. It's shorter and no wait that direction. On way back take Otay Mesa Crossing which is a few miles east of TJ main crossing and less busy. Just avoid coming home on Sunday night if possible. All the crossings will be back up then
This.

Don't do Sunday night.
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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#14 Post by Scott Brunson » June 24th, 2019, 4:39 am

Bizarre coincidence--there is a new thread on the CT forum from someone who just visited.
https://www.cellartracker.com/forum/tm.asp?m=473583
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Re: Tips for visiting Valle de Guadalupe?

#15 Post by Vincent Fritzsche » June 24th, 2019, 10:31 am

Thanks everyone. Yes, we're going on a Monday so no weekend issues. And yes Otay Mesa was always the preferred crossing in the old days, I'll give it a go. Tecate is out of the way but I'd head there if a two hour wait at TJ. Wouldn't mind checking out Tecate again even if it's a lot of mileage.

Yeah I expect the wines to be all over the place but just really curious to check it out.

Scott, thanks for the cellar tracker link, I'll check that out.
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