Baja’s Valle De Guadalupe Is A Wine Lover’s Paradise That’s Making Global Headlines

It would be fair to assume that when one thinks of Mexico, they likely think of tequila or ice cold cervezas or maybe even mezcal – but wine? Not so much. However….that is changing at a dramatic rate thanks to the up-and-coming destino in the north of the country (in Baja California to be exact) that is now producing some of the world’s top-rated wines.

The Valle de Guadalupe has long been a wine-producing region but only in the last few years has it emerged as a competitor on the global stage – not to mention on the radar of tourists looking for something different.

As someone who has frequented this wine country, here are seven facts about Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe (and my personal recommendations) that will have you booking a trip down south in no time!

Mexico’s premier wine growing region is located just an hour from San Diego.

Credit: Justin Lessner

Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe is a destination with a magic appeal, whether or not you consider yourself a wine lover. The place is a genuine paradise with so much to see and do and enjoy. Not only is it a relatively short drive from San Diego and even Los Angeles, but it offers everything from desert to vineyards to ocean views.

Driving from either L.A. or San Diego is an easy trip and a perfect weekend getaway. The toll road which skirts along the scenic ocean is the best way to get to all the action and allows you to make a few picturesque stops along the way. Shuttle services to and from the Valley have become extremely popular and allow you to relax, wine, and dine without driving. Or you can even fly into Tijuana and book all your transport for even less.

You can stop at some of Baja’s most iconic beaches — and marisco spots — on the way there.

tostada-singapur | Gourmet de México

Growing up in California, a weekend trip to Baja is a common family activity. From Tijuana to Rosarito to Ensenada, Baja California is an incredible place to experience. If you’re making the drive down south, a must-stop is Puerto Nuevo – a fishing village that offers its famous lobster tacos.

Visitors swear by La Guerrerense; a seafood tostada restaurant featured in Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations. Try their award-winning tostadas and rich variety of salsas. 

There are more than 200 different wineries, meaning the wine tasting never ends.

Credit: Justin Lessner

So whether or not you’re a wine lover — or even if you are but have a very specific palette — you’re all but guaranteed to find a wine you love here. The region boasts more than 200 different wineries, each producing its take on the popular grapes of the region.

Everything from Tempranillos and Malbecs to Chenin Blancs and Chardonnays is produced in Baja and the Mediterranean climate helps produce very unique tasting products. You’ll easily pick up several bottles to bring back home with you.

It’s an outdoor lovers paradise.

Best Glamping Destinations in Baja - Paradise
Credit: Justin Lessner

Although wine tasting is the most popular activity, there is so much else to do. From hiking and climbing to mountain biking and even ATVs, there is literally something for everyone to enjoy. There are lavender garden tours, horseback riding for the entire family, or even a hot air balloon ride.

There’s even the Museum of Vine and Wine, presenting the history, industry, and identity of wine, and contemporary art exhibitions.

There’s even an annual wine tasting festival called Vendimia.

August is the beginning of the very busy harvest season and to make things even more exciting, dozens of wineries join together to help through the annual Wine Harvest Festival, Vendimia, which is a celebration of this region’s two centuries-long wine tradition.

The festival brings together dozens of special wine tastings, workshops, converts, and gourmet meals. Wine enthusiasts from all over the world travel during this season, so book your trip in advance.

The hotel and dining scene is basically made for Instagram.

Credit: Justin Lessner

Although a day trip is possible to the region, I would say that a two-night stay is the best way to experience Valle de Guadalupe. And thankfully, there are several unique boutique hotels that make an overnight stay that much more worth it. It seems each one tries to outdo the other for its level of Instagrammable esthetic.

There are bubble glamping options to mid-century modern villas and traditional yurts dotted throughout the area. You can also book rentals through Airbnb or snag places to camp.

And then there’s the dining scene which is next-level incredible. The unique Baja Med cuisine, with locally sourced menus and land-to-sea options, pairs perfectly with excellent wine.

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