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Guadalupe Valley Wine –  Is Baja Mexico the next must visit wine region?

Guadalupe Valley Wine – Is Baja Mexico the next must visit wine region?

Guadalupe Valley Wine

Is the Guadalupe Valley, Baja Mexico, the next must visit wine region?

 

Guadalupe Valley Wine

Guadalupe Valley Wine is an emerging growing region that is expected to go mainstream in 10 years

 

This year I crossed out a couple things from my foodie bucket list, one was attending the Cancun Food and Wine festival and the other was learning more about the Wineries in Baja Mexico.

I attended a wine tasting workshop called “Guadalupe Valley, The Jewel of Baja Wine Country”, during this workshop I learned that we have an emerging and dynamic wine growing region, just south of the border.   becoming more tourist friendly and maturing wine industry, it is emerging to eventually compete with the Temecula or Santa Ynez wine growing valleys.

 

Guadalupe Valley Wine - Cancun Food and Wine Festival

Guadalupe Valley Wine – Cancun Food and Wine Festival provided the opportunity to learn and try the Guadalupe Valley Wines

 

My Experience while on a cruise

My first experience with Guadalupe Valley wines was almost three years ago when I went on a Carnival Cruise to Ensenada. The shore excursion that we took was the ATV ride and stopped at a local winery. What I didn’t know is that the Guadalupe Valley wine growing region was going through a little renaissance at the time.

baja map

 

Fast forward 4 years later and the region is now booming with wineries and tasting rooms popping up all over the valley along with high-end hotels and farm to table restaurants.

 

History of the Guadalupe Valley

Around In 1834, Dominican priests began growing grapes at the nearby Northern Mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mission de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Norte), now known by the abbreviated name of the Guadalupe Valley (Valle de Guadalupe).

The valley continued to evolve with the first large scale winery in 1888, Bodegas Santo Tomas. In 1904, the region received an influx of immigrants from Russia who helped establish the valley as a wine producing region.

 

Guadalupe Valley Wine Tours is a big tourism draw

Guadalupe Valley Wine Tours is a big tourism draw. Image courtesy of http://discoverbaja.wordpress.com/ (click image for tour information)

 

Although there has been wine production in the region since the 1800’s, wine has been produced on a large scale commercial basis during the 1990’s, with an original 12 wineries.  Heavy tourism to the area began around 2005-2007 as word got out in the United Stated about the Guadalupe Valley. Even the cruise ships started organizing tours to the wineries.

After several years of bad press from cartel violence, the Baja wine growing region is once again gaining international interest. Fancy restaurants in Mexico city proudly feature Guadalupe Valley wines.

 

Guadalupe Valley Wine -  View of Guadalupe Valley

Guadalupe Valley Wine – View of Guadalupe Valley – Image courtesy of http://www.discoverbajacalifornia.com

Grapes and wine making in the Guadalupe Valley

During the workshop at the Cancun Food and Wine Festival, I listened to the winemakers talk about the grapes and wine making process  The wineries have discovered that warm weather grapes from Europe perform well in the valley including Spanish Tempranillo , Italian Nebbiolo, Grenache and the French Syrah. I also noticed that many of the blends use Cabernet Sauvignon and merlot as the base of their wines, these grapes also perform well a few hundred miles north in Southern California.

 

Guadaleupe ValleyBaja Wine Vineyard

Guadaleupe Valley Wine Vineyard Image courtesy of http://www.discoverbajacalifornia.com

[quote style="boxed"]“In Baja, Tradition and Innovation go hand and hand”[/quote] 

The wine makers explained that they use their old world wine making methods although they could not rely on these skills alone. The terrior and climate has forced them to adapt, experiment and break rules with unorthodox combination of grapes.  As a result of necessity, the region is known for experimentalism. According to veteran winemaker Camillo Magoni , “In Baja, Tradition and Innovation go hand and hand.”

 

Guadalupe Valley Wine - Cancun Food and Wine Festival Wine Tasting workshop

Guadalupe Valley Wine – Cancun Food and Wine Festival Guadalupe Valley Wine Tasting workshop, hosted by The Cancun Food and Wine Festival was well attended

 

Recently local winemakers have started to collaborate and figure out which grapes grow best in different parts of the valley with the goal of improving quality.  In years past many of the winemakers were growing and blending for Bordioux style blends,”  said Daniel Lonnberg, Winemaker for Adobe Guadalupe, “ although now you are starting to see more wines like Malbec.”

 

Guadalupe Valley Wine -  Guadalupe Valley, The Jewel of Baja Wine Country” Tasting

Guadalupe Valley Wine – Guadalupe Valley, The Jewel of Baja Wine Country” Tasting

 

[quote]We are still defining our tradition[/quote]

In the words of Magoni, “We are still defining our tradition.” Winemaker Thomas Egli indicated that he thinks that Baja is about 10 years away from peaking as a world wine producing region.” I personally see that the Baja wine growing region is similar to Napa Valley in the late 1960’s, still evolving but on it’s way to greatness.  One thing is for sure the valley is starting to develop its own wine personality.

 

Guadalupe Valley Wine - The Winemakers Panel at the "Guadalupe Valley, Jewel of Baja wine region" workshop

Guadalupe Valley Wine – The Winemakers Panel at the “Guadalupe Valley, Jewel of Baja wine region” workshop

 

Meet the Guadalupe winemakers who spoke at at Cancun Food and Wine Festival

 

Daniel Lonnberg Hume Adobe Guadalupe  - Daniel, who is originally from Chile, move to the Guadalupe Valley to apply his knowledge in this quickly evolving wine region. Chile’s wine growing climate is similar to California and Baja, so he is applying his knowledge and skills. He has worked with various Guadalupe wineries including under famous winemaker Hugo D’Acosta.

Guadalupe Valley Wine -  Winemaker Daniele Lonnberg Hume (left) from Adobe Guadalupe Winery

Guadalupe Valley Wine – Wine Maker Daniel Lonnberg Hume of Adobe Guadalupe  Winery

 

 

Thomas EgliParalelo Winery- Thomas studied enology in Switzerland and moved to the Guadalupe Valley to apply his skills in this up and coming region. Thomas embraces the challenges and experimental nature of winemaking in the Gaudalupe valley.

Guadalupe Valley Wine - Wine Maker Thomas Egli of Paralelo Winery

Guadalupe Valley Wine – Wine Maker Thomas Egli of Paralelo Winery

 

 

Camillo Magoni- L.A. Cetto Winery –  Camillo is one of the Grandfathers of the Guadalupe Valley’s wine making business. He Immigrated from Italy as a young winemaker at an eager age of 25 to assist the Cetto Family is developing their wines using the old world techniques and knowledge of grapes. Camillo is considered to be one the foremost experts of the Guadalupe Valley Growing region.

Guadalupe Valley Wine -  Camillo Magoni, winemaker at L.A. Cetto Winery

Guadalupe Valley Wine – Camillo Magoni, winemaker at L.A. Cetto Winery

 

Guadalupe Valley  Wines I tasted

Paralelo Winery

2009 Paralelo – Ensamble Colina

2010 Paralelo – Ensamble Arenal

Guadalupe Valley Wine - Paralelo Winery -  Image Courtesy of Paralelo Winery

Guadalupe Valley Wine – Paralelo Winery – Ensamble Arenal and Ensamble Colina

Both of these wines from Paralelo winery are made from a mixture of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and together they form the main flavor profile of the wine. These two wines were developed in parallel with the same mixtures of adding Petit Syrah, Barbera and Zinfandel to add finishing flavors.  The two wines differ by their soil and sun exposure.

 

Adobe Guadalupe Winery

Guadalupe Valley Wine - Adobe Guadalupe Winery - Gabriel and Rafael

Guadalupe Valley Wine – Adobe Guadalupe Winery – Gabriel and Rafael – Image Courtesy of Adobe Guadalupe Winery

 

2009 Adobe Guadalupe Gabriel  - Gabriel is a regional favorite made with a blend of seventy percent Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and Malbec.  This wine had great complex fruit  and leather flavors that I would find in wines on the Silverado trial in Napa.

2010 Adobe Guadalupe Rafael – Rafael  is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Nebbiolo, aged 11 months in quality oak barrels. This wine was very similar to the Gabriel, atlhough this wine had a softer finish and a slight laquer aroma.

 

L.A. Cetto Winery

Angelo Cetto 2001

Angelo Cetto 2008

This is a delicious and very complex wine that is deep in ruby red color.  Both The wine had aromas of violets, cherries and some leather.  The wine had flavors of soft pepper, cherry and earth. The wine has a long, but elegant finish on the nose.  The 2001 was a great year in the Guadalupe Valley and it showed in the the wine by presenting the fruit forward, more complex aromas and softer finish.

Guadalupe Valley Wine -  L.A. Cetto - Angeleo Cetto Platinum

Guadalupe Valley Wine – L.A. Cetto Winery – Angeleo Cetto Platinum

 

 

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About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.

14 comments

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! I would love to visit one day and try some wine! :-)

  2. How interesting – I had no idea Russian immigrants arrived in 1904 and helped develop the area and the wine industry. Would love to visit the Baja region someday.

  3. Very interesting! I need to travel to Baja someday!

  4. Didn’t realize Baja had such an active wine community. Will have to see if we can get some here locally in the Midwest.

    Note: Your CommentLuv isn’t installed correctly, the server is asking for a WP login.

    • Scott,
      Unfortunately I do not think the wines are available in the midwest right now. Most of the wines are consumed in country, that is why there has been a big tourism boom from Southern California.

      Thanks for the heads up about the log-in, I just fixed it.

  5. Good information and a great review! ive heard Mexico is one of the inspired wine industry. I hope i can visit Guadalupe Valley, such a lovely place..

  6. Great review! I like how you share so much about this up and coming wine region. It is definitely a place I would like to visit soon:)

  7. I think I might visit this area soon! I’ll let you know about my experience!

  8. What a great review! It really makes me want to go there and have you as a tour guide.

  9. I would love to take this wine tasting trip. Looks great!

  10. I know they have great soil in Baja Mexico for growing grapes.
    I hear the wine is awesome there

  11. Great review! Was the cruise exclusively for wine tasting and such?

  12. Incroyablement fascinant : mon petit doigt me dit que cet article intéresserait une gonzesse
    http://www.nexopia.com/users/truculentp458/blog recently posted…http://www.nexopia.com/users/truculentp458/blogMy Profile

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