Before we headed out on wine tours, we had to find an RV park to dump/fill. It was a bit crazy on MEX 1, just north of Ensanada, with traffic and such, but we were hoping to get to the Ramona RV park. We were driving along, and realized there was no left turn off for it on the highway, so we took the next best turn off and ended up in a different RV park. We will call this, “the time we didn’t fit”!
We only spent one night there and then put the Valle de Guadalupe in “the google”. It said 32 km away BUT was going to take 2 hours to get there! WHAT! Never trust “the google” in Baja. We were about 26 km in to our journey (that only took us 20 minutes) and the google said turn left. This took us to a fairly OK looking sand road, but another 2.5 km down, there were back to back puddles of mud, a sharp left turn and very soft sand to contend with, so we had to disconnect the car and Todd had to back Ruby a half km out of this mess. Luckily we didn’t get stuck and by the time we got to our next overnite destination, yep, it was about 2 hours later! We got a great spot on a winery, in a small pine tree forest!
The wine tasting rooms are only open a limited time during the day (11-5), so we had to get this show on the road! We honestly didn’t expect anything that great, but we were pleasantly surprised to find a few good wines in Baja! We had been disappointed by the wine selection in Baja in general. We had a helluva time finding anything other than Casille de diablo AND the cost of it is outrageous ($20-$25) a bottle. Our best bet, of course, was getting wine at Costco, but even then, bottles that are normal $12-$18 at home were $20-$30 here. So we weren’t expecting much when we found out that there was wine country in Baja, specifically the NW corner of Baja (east of Ensanada) and apparently it is a winery haven! In fact there are over 200 of them in the Valle de Guadalupe. Sadly, we only fit 4 into our day: Hilo Negro, Lomita, Domecq and Encuentro Guadalupe
We learned a whole bunch of interesting stuff about wine and the region from the tasting room people, mostly Bella from Hilo Negro and Jose from Encuentro Guadelupe. Baja wine is only available in Mexico – they don’t export since it is such an expensive and tedious process. The gov taxes liquor here up to 45% and that’s why its even hard to find within Baja. But, as much as we learned about these wineries, we both already forget, cause we are 50 (and because we drank wine all day!) Driving around, many of the vineyards look young, like brand new! But apparently the region has been around and making wine for 130 years. Of course, we were there in off season and the season picks up at the end of the month. The majority of their tourists that come through (60%) are from the US and the rest are mostly Mexican’s from the mainland (and the odd Canadian, of course!). There are A LOT of unique places to stay in the area, like sea can houses, yurts and plastic domes. We persevered through 6 hours of wine tasting (with a trip to the taco shop, where I had a lamb taco – it was out of this world!) Came away from this lovely day, fairly unscathed and only purchased bottles!