February 1, 2016
A Birth Day in Guadalupe Valley: Baja Wine Country
If you follow me on Instagram (@thesensefullife) you will know that it was my birthday recently.
I have always had a love/hate relationship with my birthday. More hate than love because it is 5 days before Christmas and I never get to celebrate with my friends. As a child in school I was so jealous of all the kids who got to bring cake to school on their birthday. Christmas break always started before my birthday so I had to bring a cake in on the last day before break with all the other Christmas babies. College was worse because break started way earlier. Now Christmas work parties, family parties or travel plans get in the way. As I have gotten older I just want to celebrate my birthday with my close friends in a place that makes me feel at peace.
I have made the decision to just do whatever I want on my birthday. Since I love traveling, I have decided to put travel into my birthday celebration. This year I was thinking Napa but got the word out too late. Instead I decided to put my proximity to Mexico to good use. Mexico is literally 20 minutes away from my house in San Diego. So where better to go than Baja!?
Researching Baja there are a few options: Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada. TJ is slightly scary but a great day trip according to my neighbor. Ensenada is more of city with a lot more tourists. Rosarito is a beach town. I wanted to be near water so I chose Rosarito and I found this amazing condo with ocean views via VRBO.
Looking into the things to around Baja I found Guadalupe Valley is Mexico’s answer to Napa. This wine country is hidden in the mountains and valleys of Baja and is an easy day trip from Rosarito.
I chose to visit the oldest winery in the valley, L.A. Cetto.
L.A. Cetto was started by an Italian immigrant as a winery and brandy making factory but they turned their full attention to wine in 1928. Smart move…Since then his son and grandson have kept it in the family.
Now they are the largest winery in the valley and most of their produced wine is sent out throughout Mexico. Only 35% of their wine is distributed outside of Mexico. Multiple wines have won awards and are very easy on your wallet given the peso exchange rate.
L.A. Cetto offers tours of their winery every hour in English and Spanish.
With the tour of course comes the tasting and taste we did!
After the guided tasting, we had a lovely meat and cheese picnic on their grounds which are the sites for weddings and parties. We also came back with multiple bottles of wine.
In addition to L.A. Cetto multiple smaller wineries are in the area including organic wineries. My friend pleaded to stay clear of the organic wines given they taste too organic, but I am willing to try it out on my next trip to Guadalupe!
After a day of wine tasting what better than dinner in the valley. We had dinner at Finca Altozano one of the most popular restaurants in Guadalupe which offers a Mexican and Mediterranean influence – we called it Mexiterranean…It was hidden amongst the multiple turn offs from the main road.
The view is amazing but beware it has no walls! It was coooolllddd!!! Everyone thinks Mexico is always warm – its not! It’s chilly and we froze our butts off but the food was delicious. The cream soup, brisket, and fish warmed us up not mention this place was cracking with birthdays. The birthday song of Mexico was sang at least 10 times but not to me because it was the day before my birthday. Needless to say, I should have the song sang to me then because they had better singers than the restaurant we went to for my birthday the next day.
Did you catch…
My girl Serena needs a glass a wine after this weekend…
Serena lost her first ever Australian Open final to Angelique Kerber this Saturday morning. The number 22 eludes her yet again. She’s in the race to tie Steffi Graf for the most single titles. I must say she was the most gracious loser I have seen. Plus Angelique Kerber deserved the win after changing her negative to positive. She is a great lesson in believing in yourself.
Congratulations Angelique Kerber: the 2016 Australian Open Women’s Champion!
Any wine countries close to your home that are a must visit?
A trip to the Mexican wine country of Baja is definitely worth a day’s visit. Check out the oldest winery in the area and dine in the mountains of the valley. Don’t forget to bundle up in the winter!
Guess what’s coming next week: The Super Bowl live for from San Francisco. I will have super surprise for all my readers and followers! Keep following on Instagram, Twitter @thesensefullife.