Suggestions for enjoyment in El Valle de Guadalupe on your next tour of wineries:
1. Always get local advice, if not a local guide. There are so many hidden and new wineries that offer fun tastes and education about the art of wine making.
2. Call ahead to find out hours, food, other options. English is spoken in many wineries as a gringo-friendly marketing embrace of tourism.
3. Bring lots of water. I always carry a 24 ounce bottle in my car no matter where/when. Suggest everyone in your party have water on board for your wine tasting adventure.
4. Food service and restaurants are not easily found in the Baja wine valley. Bring your own picnic of bread, cheese, fruit and meat to enjoy. Add a few napkins, plates, knife. Share your food with your wine host. She/he may be on an 8 hour shift and will appreciate your generosity.
5. If you like a particular wine, buy a bottle and lengthen your stay with your group and your picnic. Or bring it with you to Ensenada for your next dinner reservation. Corkage fees in ‘Nada town are typically 50-100 pesos.
6. If experiencing #5 above, ask this winery for advice on their other favorite wineries to visit. They all have friends and neighbors in the industry and are happy to share their experiences(reenforce rule #1 above!).
7. Pack a jacket or sweater. Sunset means significant drop in temps here. If you are lucky to score a tour of your winery’s cave, that will be a cool room, too.
8. Darkness means difficult navigation, unless you are familiar with the area. Plan your time wisely so that you aren’t touring the pastures in the dark.
9. Slow down, slurp it, quaff it. Enjoy it. Choose 3 wineries and relax. This is Baja.
10. “Wow, I REALLY like this one and want to buy a case. But, I’m only allowed 1 liter per person driving back across the border to SoCal, RIGHT?” That’s true, if you have a California driver’s license. Other-than-CAL D.L. can bring up to 60 liters. But, if you are SoCal, hit me up and maybe we can work a deal with me acting as your burro.