For Reservations Call: 1-800-997-9431

Desde México: 01-800-681-6534

CONNECT WITH US:

Valle de Guadalupe's Wine Country, Baja, Mexico Part 1

Vineyards
Young vineyards in the Valle de Guadalupe.

 I normally don’t do blogs on areas other than Puerto Peñasco, but over several years of doing this, I get asked a lot by tourists who winter here, what can I do to see Mexico.  Many of the Rv’ers love wine and have never heard of the Valle de Guadalupe’s Wine Country. So we decided to take an adventure and headed over to see what it looks like.

On May 17th we left Puerto Peñasco and headed over by ourselves and without a map!  If you don’t get off the toll roads it is anywhere from a 5 1/2 – 6 hour drive.  It is 3 1/2 hours to Mexicali and the rest of the trip takes you over La Rumorosa (which is windy step climb) it resembles Highway 8 between El Centro and the Tecate turn off.  This part of the road is called 2D and it is not for the faint of heart or people that have a fear of heights.  As the driver, you can’t enjoy looking around as the bus lines use it and they do fly. Seeing the vineyards, makes the trip worth it. Once you arrive in Tecate, you take Mexico 3 towards Ensenada which will take you through the Valle de Guadalupe.  It is indeed beautiful to see all the green vineyards and the stunning wineries up on the hillsides.

Kruger Winery
From shipping containers to a winery.

Our first stop was to meet our friend and winemaker Iker Turcott (KRUGER VINEYARDS) who also has a cute little sandwich shop (La Doble T) next to the winery and he has some great gourmet sandwiches.  He prepared a couple of the sandwiches, while we relaxed with a glass of Chardonnay and checked out the winery.  He is doing an outstanding job with his new Chardonnay and also does some wonderful reds.  We had time for one more winery before checking into Quinta Estrella B & B, so Iker suggested RETORNO  Vinicola.  The young man in the tasting room was very knowledgeable and helpful.  They were in the process of doing some labeling and it was all by hand.  Here we purchased a bottle of red called Palabra.  Nice wines at reasonable prices.  Most of the small wineries that we went to, do under 2,000 cases and we prefer them to the large wineries.  However, we did find a couple of the large ones that were a treat.  We checked into Quinta Estrella  and were greeted by the hostess Patricia (Beba) Sanchez Dias.  After we unpacked we sat outside with our purchase from RETORNO and some cheese and sausage.  The evenings and mornings were cool and foggy but the daytime was beautiful.  Beba’s husband Benito joined us that evening and we learned a lot  about the area.  He is Director General of Abulones Cultivados in Ensenada.  It is there that they farm raise Abalone.  We learned that an Abalone grows at the rate of 1″ per year.  No wonder they are so expensive!  It was at this winery we ran into a couple from Sonoyta which is the crossing most people use to enter Mexico and he is an architect. She invited us to stop by and say hi when we pass through.
Bruno
Bruno the wine dog at Kruger, eyeing up my dinner.

Kruger Wines
Iker Turcott explains the making of his wine at Kruger Wines

Vineyards
The view from Rancho Velasco

Day 2 of our adventure began with a wonderful breakfast with fresh fruit, pastries from Ensenada, eggs any way we liked and coffee.  Our first stop was a small winery close to the B & B called Rancho Velasco.  When we arrived , we learned that Sr. Velasco had been hospitalized but the winemaker Acessio Bellafiore, took us down to the winery.  It is located in what appeared to once be a basement to the very old Misiones de California and was constructed of thick Adobe walls that had been plastered over.  As we sampled the wines we talked about the area and he explained he had come from Italy a few years ago and was also making some of his own wines there. We purchased 3 bottles of  Misiones de California Vino Tinto Blend. He graciously poured one of his wines out of the barrel and even though it had only been in the barrel about 8 months you could tell how good it is going to be.

Rancho Velasco
Rancho Velasco

Rancho Velasco
Winemaker at Rancho Velasco explaining the process.

Valle de Guadalupe Vineyard

These little grape clusters at Vinisterra will become wine come fall.
These little grape clusters at Vinisterra will become wine come fall.

Wine
Baby grape clusters will be wine come fall.

Our next stop was VINISTERRA that started in 2002.  The young man in the tasting room, Omar, was very pleasant and knowledgeable about his product.  Here we ran into a Canadian fella with a small group, who had been to Puerto Peñasco and was telling them how beautiful it was there.  Ironically the Canadian had taken a wine making class with the girl friend of Iker Turcott and they are splitting a barrel … small world.  After doing the tasting, we decided to sit on the patio and enjoy a bottle of Domino Rosado, while taking in the vineyards and winery. We purchased  both Domino Rosado and Domino Blanco as the warm summer will soon be upon us, making us not drink our favorite reds.  Here again the white wines and Rose’s of the Valle De Guadalupe have come along way and although we are red wine drinkers, really enjoyed the weather, wine and cheese and crackers.  Next stop was TRES VALLES, a 1/2 mile down the road (as the crow flies).  Here were met again by a nice young man in the tasting room, who knew his wines and also knew Rocky PointWe tasted all of their wines and purchased 2 bottles of a red blend called Jada Rosada and Jada Blanco.  My husband and I have spent many years wine tasting in Paso Robles and Lodi, California and if there is one thing we finally learned is that you split tasting or by the end of the day they all taste good.  We did the same in the Valle as it is especially important when you are not familiar with an area.

Tres Valles
Very knowledgeable young man in the tasting room at Tres Valles.

Please see Part 2 to learn about the rest of our mini wine vacation.  I hope you enjoy this and the photos.  It was amazing to see at one winery the tiny fruit had just begun and 5 miles down the road they were about the size of peas.

CLICK HERE FOR PART II

Come out and join the fun while enjoying the beautiful weather in Puerto Peñasco and the stunning  Sea of Cortez views.  Remember Rocky Point is only a 4 hour drive from Phoenix or Tucson.

Don’t forget to share us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

If you any questions Contact Us at Blog@Puerto-Penasco.com

RV Caravans to Puerto Penasco Part 2

In the previous blog about RV Caravans coming to Puerto Peñasco, we touched on how these groups get here and where they come from.  In part 2 we will be addressing several things to do once you are here as well as what you can and can not bring into Mexico.

After sitting down with Charlie and Geri Sing from The Rambling Suns RV Club  (Sun City Elk’s Lodge 2559 who will be the hosts for the trip in October of 2018, one comes to realize that there is a lot of planning that has to go into these caravans when you have a minimum of 20 RV”s traveling together and not just to and from Rocky Point.  These trips have to be planned far in advance in order to get the reservations at the RV parks.  As stated previously, at one time there were 9 RV parks in Puerto Peñasco and now there are 2 large ones that are on the water that can accommodate that many rigs plus all the other rigs that are already there.

El Tapeo for wine tasting

So now the 20 plus rigs from the Sun City Elk’s Lodge have arrived at Playa Bonita on Sandy Beach and have set up home for a week.  What do they do next?  Usually at the end of the day there is a social or happy hour, followed by an evening pot luck dinner with lots of conversation going on.  These groups are made up of folks of all ages so there is something for everyone.

Here is a  list of suggested things for them to see our city and everything we have to offer.

1)  Tour the Pinacate Biosphere where they will see where Apollo 11 astronauts trained for the Moon landing.

Pinacate Biosphere
View from visitor center

2)  Be adventuresome and go Zip Lining

3)  Golf? Las Palomas, Mayan Palace or Laguna Del Mar will not disappoint the beginner or avid golfer.

4)  Fishing? Go out with Capt. Adolfo Perez on his charter boats or if you want choose one of the Pangas.

5)  Sunset Cruises? Choose from Senorita Rita, Intrepid, Pirate Ships, Eco Tours or About Time are just  few of the  choices.

One of our many sunset boats
Rey Del Mar (The Pirate Ship)

6)  Tour the Oyster Farm for lunch, they also serve shrimp, clams and fish.  You can take a tour for this event.

7) City Tour join Russ Black on a great City Tour.

8)  Julio Mesa Shell Artist, he will come to Playa Bonita or go to his shop and see him at work and learn how much goes into the pieces of art.

9)  Satisfied Frog the end of the Malecon great food and right on the water.  Yes it is the Satisfied Frog from Cave Creek, AZ.

10) Cholla Bay: go out in the bay and find sand dollars or go to JJ’s and have a cold beer and enjoy the tide swings which can be huge.

11) Shopping anyone?  The shops on the Malecon, Mercedes Rusticos in the Old Port ( a must stop) and Rodeo Drive are all great choices.

12) Old Port: Check out Boo Bar, Shark Bite, Blue Marlin, Mr. Amigo’s or the Tequila Bar for lunch or a cold beverage.

Stunning views
View from the Malecon

Picture yourself here!
Puerto Peñasco Sunset

 

13) Need dental work done?  Imagen Oral, Dr. Yamamoto are just a few for you to choose from.

When you are coming to Mexico, make sure you have insured your rig and tow vehicle if you have one. This can be done from the USA either on line  from several different companies. But it is a must!!

When you are in a caravan, as you enter into Mexico, you probably will all get the green light, which means proceed slowly.  If you are traveling in groups of 3 or more, you may get the red light which means stop or they may just wave you on through.  If you travel with your fur babies be it dogs or cats, have their shot records handy (they are looking for the rabies shot).  If you are coming for more than a week and need a large bag of dog food, chicken is allowed but no beef.  An example is the 38 lb. bag of Kirkland Chicken is allowed if it is sealed.

Here is a partial  list of things that you can not bring into Mexico. The whole list is very long, so this gives you an idea.

Plants, eggs, dairy products, beef and pork products.  Depending who’s list you are looking at, these can change.  If you are coming at Thanksgiving, you are allowed  one turkey per vehicle (as they recognize this is a big American holiday).

You can bring in 6 liters of wine plus the 3 liters of alcohol, but remember you can only take 1 liter back into the USA.  Again with Sam’s Club in Rocky Point, there is no need to haul down a lot of stuff.  You can buy cases of bottled water, chicken, meat, pork, cheese, eggs  at Sam’s or Ley’s.  The town also features the best FRESH SHRIMP and FISH, a lot of great fresh produce markets and a couple of butcher shops.  Remember if you are a meat eater, some of the best beef in Mexico is raised in the State of Sonora.

If you have any questions about what you can and can not bring, please feel free to email me at nocomosi@msn.com and I will provide you with an answer.  Maps of Rocky Point are available, just send an email.

So come on down, sit and relax and enjoy what Rocky Point has to offer.  The people are friendly, no traffic congestion, great food, warm weather, beautiful clean soft sandy beaches and sunsets.

Ride the hoses on the beach
Horse back riding