encuentro-guadalupe-baja-california-mexico

Where?

Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico

Why now?

Valle de Guadalupe has been slowly creeping onto the radar of wine and food lovers across the globe. Miles of vineyards are framed by arresting desert mountains in Baja California’s alluring landscape.

In the past 30 years, farming lands have been transformed into over 100 wineries along the Ruta del Vino – the area’s Mediterranean microclimate provides perfect conditions for growing wine grapes.

Head to Viñas de Garza for deep, rich reds, or Vena Cava to sit at an outdoor bar overlooking rolling hills covered in vines. The area’s relatively new status is accompanied by an unpretentious, low-key atmosphere, attracting a fun, young crowd of budding oenophiles.

As well as delicious wine, Valle de Guadalupe is the centre of the Baja Med cuisine, a fusion of Mexican meat- and cheese-based dishes with Mediterranean grilled vegetables and fresh seafood platters.

Restaurants in the valley are known for using locally sourced ingredients to create elegant, innovative dishes – paired with a perfectly matched glass of wine. Try Deckman’s en el Mogor, a sustainable restaurant run by chef Drew Deckman. Dishes are prepared in an outdoor kitchen, and all ingredients are harvested from the Mogor Estate surrounding the restaurant.

Don’t miss…

The laid-back atmosphere of this region favours a slow, appreciative lifestyle. Take the time to soak up the sunshine and wander through vineyards at your own pace, or drive out to the desert mountains to trek up rugged terrain and admire views of lush fields across the valley.

Who to take with you

Someone who enjoys the good life.

When to go

The annual Valle Food & Wine Festival takes place at the beginning of October. Live music, Baja artisan stalls, food trucks and, of course, wine make for a varied trip that will show you a different side to Mexico.

Where to stay

For modernist architecture and views across the valley, stay at Encuentro Guadalupe. These minimalist eco-lofts are complete with a private terrace and an outdoor clay kiva. Stroll through mountain vineyards before heading to the resort’s underground cellar and wine-tasting room. In the evening, the hotel restaurant, Origen, serves dishes inspired by the surrounding landscape. Opt for the nine-course tasting menu for Baja Med cuisine prepared in an open kitchen.

Most likely to bump into…

A few festival goers who are doing a lot more than just tasting the wine.

Essentials to bring with you

This lightweight, floaty RIXO dress will keep you cool as you drink your way through Mexico’s wine reserves.

How to get there

Fly to San Diego Airport, where you can drive to Valle de Guadalupe in under two hours.

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