Wine tasting in Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe
Erin and I were quite excited to visit Mexico’s premier wine region – Valle de Guadalupe – where wine makers are making fine and world class wines.
The majority of wineries ask you to make reservations ahead of time. There is simply not the same amount of traffic as in Napa which makes it possible for walk-ins, so don’t be intimidated about calling ahead. In addition most tastings cost about $10 USD.
We learned California limits the amount of wine that California resident’s can bring back via an overland border to 1.0 liter. I’m ready to write my state senator. Seriously? They coudn’t even make it a rational 1.5 liters so each person can bring home a mere two bottles? They could at least do me the courtesy of limiting import to 750ml so I don’t feel I’m losing out on the other 250ml.
If you are not a California resident you are not subject to this ridiculous restriction.
I’ve visited several Caliornian wine regions: Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, a few Italian (Tuscan) appellations : Montalcino, Montepulciano, and even the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario, Canada.
The Guadalupe Valley wines remind me most of the wines from Santa Ynez Valley (close to Santa Barbara) in that the terroir comes through providing a distinctive taste across many of he fine wines – especially as it relates to Cabernet Sauvignon. There are a great many blends of grapes as their are no restrictions on what can be grown in the region.
Although both Monte Xanic and Baron Balche have premium limes that range from $75 to $250 USD per bottle, neither winery offers tasting flights of these reserve lines. You’ll have to buy your own bottle to sample these.
Monte Xanic has an awe-inspiring 50 foot tall wine cave blasted out of the side of the mountain the winery sits on. Make sure to ask to see this cave. Monte Xanic also has a beautiful man made lake where they host concerts next to.
I’d advise skipping Baron Balche, but encourage you to try all the other three I tried.
I also recommend going to Rancho Cortes for artisan fresh and aged Mexican cheeses.
We did not visit Vinos Pijoan, but we had three bottles ordered along with our dinners. We really like their wines and recommend you visit them.
Vinos Pijoan Silvana – a Sauvignon Blanc with a little Chenin Blanc and Viogner
Vinos Pijoan Domenica – Grenache
Adobe Guadalupe Gabriel 2010 – a Merlot 38%, Cabernet Sauvignon 30%, Malbec 23%, Cabernet Franc 9%
Monte Xanic Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 – but you should spring for their Gran Ricardo
Vena Cava Tempranillo 2010 – this was served at a G20 meeting this year
Vena Cava Big Blend 2010
Vena Cava Sauvignon Blanc