I am not good at uploading photos so let me start by saying, pictures of all the wineries we went to on this trip can be found here:
We go to the Guadalupe Valley often and took some pictures this last trip. It started with the drive to the Valley. The roads were never good but they are working on them right now and it is a downright treacherous trip out there. If anyone is thinking of going, you MUST have 4 wheel drive to get around (it was especially bad for us because it rained a few days before and there were massive mud puddles). Personally, the 4 wheel drive issue makes the trip more fun, but I know that's not for everyone. The first winery we stopped at was Liceaga.
They have been around for a long time but they just opened a new tasting room. It is absolutely beautiful, I believe it could stand up just about anywhere. They were decorating for the holidays and we were able to meet Mrs. Liceaga while she was putting decorations on the tree. Her husband died a few years back and she is now in charge of wine production. The wines are very nice, we tasted about six. They charge $7 for tasting but if you purchase one of there higher end bottles (at $30 or up), the taste was free. To me, this is a no brainer, buy a bottle! After the six tastes of wine they always end with tasting their two kinds of grappa. I am not a grappa fan myself, and since I always drive, I do not partake in this. However, I take my families word when they say it is some of the best grappa they have ever had. Overall, an amazing experience and we walked away with 2 bottles of wine.
Next it was on to Tres Mujeres. We have been here a few times and thought it would be a great place to take pictures. The tasting room is a cave dug into the side of a hill. Unfortunately, they were not open today. We did however include a picture from the outside. From there, we drove down the road and saw a sign for one we had never tried before. We pulled up to someone's farm and used our mangled Spanish to see if there was a tasting room. We discovered that it too was not open today but that someone would come from the main house to let us in (we waited while she came running).
She had us taste in the room where they were currently labeling bottles so I can't speak for what the actual tasting room is like. She told us she makes two wines but was out of one of them. So, she poured us almost whole glasses of the one she had (for free I might add). My initial thought was, "Oh no, this better not be crap because I am going to HAVE to drink it all!" Thankfully, it was quite good. It was a Bordeaux blend and very pleasant. As we talked with her, we found out that she has an organic farm and the winery was her brothers but he passed away last week so she was going to be taking it over (I thought we all might start crying). We had a very nice time here and left with 3 bottles of wine ($33 each).
From there we hit lunch. Although lots of good food around, we almost always go to the same place because we like it so much: Las Naranjas! They make there own wine which is also quite good. I get burritos which come fried and crunchy. The rest of my family orders quail; they say it is the best quail ever (it was cooked with beer, tequila, and wine). I included a pic or the quail after one had been eaten (sorry, didn't think about taking it until then). Next we headed to LA Cetto.
Probably one of the best known wineries in Mexico (others are Domeq and Santo Tomas). It is always beautiful there and incredibly crowded (the busses bring people in from the cruise ships). They have many levels of wine but only really let you taste the low end. There is no fee for tasting 5 wines. I always enjoy there low end whites and bought a bottle of Blanc de Blanc for $4. We were also able to talk our way into a taste of a Malbec blend that we ended up buying two bottles of at $3.40 each. They also make the BEST olive oil I have ever had and we stalked up on 3 more bottles of that at $7 each.
Next to Fuentes:
First time here, don't want to talk much about it. The wines were REALLY BAD! Tasted like peppermint.
FIrst time here. They only have one wine, it was okay.
They have 4 different tasting plans that run from $5 a person to $45 per person with a minimum of ten people. Each plan only allows you to taste 3 wines. There wines are okay but they are pretty snotty about them and charge way too much. It is pretty to taste there because you go downstairs into there barrel room.
Last stop of the day Bibayoff:
A rustic little place that always has a lot of locals hanging around having a good time. Wines are okay, not great, but it is a fun place to hang out. Once we met a Russian Ambassador hanging out in the backyard, having a BBQ.
It was a great day of food and wine. Something to remember if you are headed that way: you can only bring back i bottle of wine per person without paying duties. I am fortunate to have a place down there where we can leave it until we make enough trips across the border to get it back. It is a really up and coming area and runs the gamut from high end wineries to podunck places serving out of their houses. Also runs from pretty good wine to rot gut, but don't all areas?!
Wineries of Guadalupe Valley, Mexico
- Reply by Mark Angelillo, Dec 4, 2008.
Ocean -- thanks for the report and the wonderful pictures. It looks like a very pretty area. I've noticed that a lot of wineries make olive oil as well. I wonder if there's crossover on the equipment needed or the type of land for olives and grapes or some other reason?
- Reply by Philip James, Dec 4, 2008.
Thanks for the great writeup - I took a quick check and we have most of these wineries in the system already, and here are their group pages:
Not a whole lot going on on them yet, but they'll fill up over time...
I'll go and add some content / images now