After moving out of our rental, moving into a storage unit (note to self-don’t ever move out of a house while planning and extended overland adventure…), selling most of our belongings and packing up the Burro we were finally set to head South…kinda.
First, we had a little get together with family and close friends before staying the night at Jamie’s Dad’s house. Breakfast in the morning was a delicious egg and cheese omelette, followed by a nice walk around the golf course. That night we spent with Jamie’s Mom, brother, sister-in-law, and nieces. We made carne & pollo asada and ate chips and salsa, because we weren’t going to have any for the next few months ;-). Ok, now we’re ready to head South.
We were planning on staying a few nights in the Valle de Guadalupe which is only about 2-3 hrs from the boarder so we didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to leave. Our morning was spent getting our things back into the 4Runner and getting some work done at the Starbucks down the street. The boarder crossing at Tecate was uneventful and we crossed without trouble.
Valle de Guadalupe is Baja’s wine country, it had been on our Baja bucket list for sometime and we were so excited to get down there. It did not disappoint.
We pulled up to our hotel La Mezon del Vino, which only had about 8 rooms, at around 2pm and got situated before heading to our first winery. Most of the wineries in the area are only open on the weekends and seeing as it was a Tuesday we had to get the lowdown from the owner of the hotel. After about 10 minutes of discussion the decision was made to head to El Cielo, one of the newest wineries in the area and apparently the one everybody loves to frequent.
The drive to El Cielo was beautiful and when we pulled up to the winery it was easy to see why everyone loves it so much. The view was breathtaking.
There were three tasting packages to choose from, 3 tastings, 4 tastings or 5 tastings, we went with each. 🙂 Our tour guide, Lily, was awesome. The tour consisted of a brief history of the winery and owners, a tour of the barrel room, and finally the tasting. The wine was delicious and throughout the tour we ended up hitting it off with a couple from San Diego, Josh & Laura . They were staying at an AirBnB in the valle and Josh had to leave halfway through the tasting to grab the keys. So the three of us, Laura, Jamie & I, ended up sitting down at Latitude 33, the amazing restaurant at the winery, and having a bottle of wine while waiting for Josh to return. Finally, about an hour later, Josh arrived and we decided, “What the heck!” we’ll stay for dinner. After dinner we said our goodbyes with promises of visiting the restaurant Laura manages, WuLan Ramen, in Oceanside when we return North.
The next day in Valle was pretty mellow. We woke up, I took Reina for a run, while Jamie worked and we then headed out to Ensenada, which is only about 30 mins from where we were staying. We walked around Ensenada for a few hours taking in the sites and grabbed a cafe. Once back in the valle we got ready then went to Finca Altozano for a late lunch/early dinner. This place was amazing and right up our ally. All outdoor seating with fabulous views of the valle, thatched roof, pigs, goats, chickens, homemade woodfire breads, and beautiful gardens. Oh, the food wasn’t too shabby either. 😉 It was the perfect last meal in Valle de Guadalupe.
If you noticed we literally only went to one legit winery in the two days that we were there. Oh well, looks like we’ll have to visit again!