Mexico is the home of hot peppers, hot weather, bright colors and adobe buildings. Add to that delicious cuisine, sandy beaches and tequila or two and you’ve got one of our favorite vacation spots. You probably don’t think wine, right? That’s because while Mexico has had a thriving wine industry since the 1920s, pretty much all of Mexican-produced wine is consumed within its borders. Sound intriguing? It gets better.
Believe it or not, Mexico has its own version of Napa Valley, called La Valle de Guadalupe, where you can find vineyards producing juicy cabernet sauvignons, crisp chardonnays, and full-bodied tempranillos. You’ll find other varieties there too — vineyards en la valle are known for blending varietals that you might not see mixed by European wineries. But the real distinguishing factor of Mexico’s wine country is the way it feels off the beaten path. It’s the perfect option for millennials
who don’t mind roughing it (or, alternatively, have the money to stay in the one very high end hotel) or any wine aficionado who’s aching for something less traversed.
Take a trip south of the border for a unique long weekend perfect for any wine lover — as long as you’re up for a bit of an adventure.
Oh, and those tacos? The fish ones pair perfectly with those chardonnays I mentioned.
A B&B With Soul
Parcela A-1 s/n Col. Rusa de Guadalupe
Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
+52 646 155 2094
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars
Don’t let the Persian-influenced architecture of Adobe Guadalupe fool you. You are, in fact, in Mexico. In addition to the vineyard, the grounds also boast a B&B, where breakfast is served at a long communal table. The property also boasts a breeding and training stable for Aztec horses that are also used for therapy for children with cerebral palsy. Sip on one of their nine wines, take a break next the fountain in the courtyard, or enjoy some of the art by local artists scattered throughout the property.
You might notice that all of the wines are named after archangels. That’s because the owners lost their son in a tragic car accident when they were starting Adobe Guadalupe. The wine names are a tribute to the angels that they believe are surrounding their son in heaven.
A Labor of Love
Valle de Guadalupe | Km 89.1 Ensenada-Tecate
Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
+52 646 175 3830
: 5 stars; 92 reviews
Xecue Vinicola is relatively young. They started selling wine in 2005 but have already made a splash in the Mexican wine scene. They specialize in reds and rosés, which are enough of a draw, but definitely don’t miss their octagon-shaped tasting room. The open walls allow you to look out over the countryside and enjoy the smells of tress and cactus as you sip your wine. “Xecue” means love in an indigenous Mexican language and visitors rave about how clearly the owners, José Luís and Alberta, love their winery and love showing guests the upmost in hospitality. Stop here if you want a truly personal experience during your visit to La Valle de Guadalupe.
José Luís love succulents, so make sure to stop by and see his collection while you’re there.
Tostadas and… Boats?
Vena Cava Vinícola
Exit left near Km. 88
Valle de Guadalupe 22755, Mexico
+52 646 156 8053
: 4.5 stars; 44 reviews
Vena Cava is one of the most unique wineries you’ll ever visit, at least when it comes to architecture. Look closer and you’ll realize that many of the buildings on the property have very distinctive rooflines — they’re overturned boats! Wander through the boat buildings, have a sip or two, and then treat yourself to lunch at Troika, their on-site food truck.
Don’t miss the octopus tostadas from Troika. They provide a mashup of tastes that will have you asking if there are rooms available in their La Villa del Valle
just so you can have more tomorrow!
Ensenada Km 87
Valle de Guadalupe 22650, Mexico
+52 646 101 5268
: 4.5 stars; 17 reviews
Tres Mujeres winery was started by three women who originally just wanted to create a cooperative for local women to share their knowledge about winemaking and pool their resources to buy bigger and better equipment. These days, the tres mujeres who started it all are known for running one of the best artisan wineries in La Valle. Each bottle that comes out of this winery is signed by the woman who made it. Ivette is known for her grenache blends; Eva her merlot; and Laura her tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon.
The tasting room is actually a converted cold cellar, which perfectly fits the aesthetic of this funky, rustic winery. Also, don’t miss their prix fixe lunch under the trees!
Once you’ve finished up your tour of Mexico’s hottest wine country, we guarantee you’re going to have a taste for more. Check out this article for more unexpected wine countries and start planning your next trip.
Emma McGowan is a full time freelance writer who doesn’t have a wine rack because she never manages to keep a bottle full long enough to need one. Check out more of her writing at emmamcgowan.com.