It was only a couple of years ago when Baja California’s Valle De Guadalupe was still Mexico’s best kept secret, known mostly to the country’s chefs and food and drink enthusiasts. However, it only took a few articles on New York Times and Forbes to wake up the masses and make everyone realize that they’ve been missing out on one of the most unique and picturesque wine regions of the world.
It’s proximity to the ocean makes for some of the most interesting-tasting wines. The grapes pick up a lot of that salty air and it makes for some exceptionally beefy red wines. Above that is the fact that Baja California’s wine country has been ground zero for Mexico’s recent food awakening. The chefs there have even created a sub-genre of cuisine for that area, dubbed “Mexiterranean” by the chefs in the area who area who leading the charge. All this being said, the sleepy community has answered to the call of tourism and the amount of wineries, restaurants, and hotels have been steadily growing. As of the time of publishing this story, there are over 100 wineries ready for you to drive in and start sipping on their wines.
COCINA reached out to Eloisa Cruz—Baja’s resident wine expert who was born and raised in Tijuana and now specializes in sharing the gospel of Mexican wine to American chefs and winos—to get her top three wineries that she loves to visit to drink wine herself. She’s been driving the roads and tasting Baja wines for the last ten years, so she knows a thing or two about the subject.
“Hugo D’Acosta is El Valle De Guadalupe pioneer winemaker. I love his Contraste, Vino de Piedra, and Espuma de Piedra Blanc de Blanc. I love Hugo’s passion for winemaking and his interest in helping others learn about wine.”
“This winery is uniquely built with a specific purpose and meaning. You can learn about it when taking a tour there, especially if owner Joaquin Moya is there. His tastings are interactive and educational. Doing a tasting here is a whole other experience. Joaquin loves to engage with the group and talk not only about the wines, but about life, philosophy, and science. I love their wine NADA (a blend of Tempranillo and Petite Syrah). All of their labels have a deeper meaning.”
“This winery and its views of the valley are beautiful and better yet, they make great wines. They have an awesome awesome private tasting room. The staff is knowledgeable as well as their sommelier, Jonathan. Their winery is the first biodynamic certified organic winery in el Valle, too.”