All Articles Planning a trip around wine: Valle de Guadalupe travel guide

Planning a trip around wine: Valle de Guadalupe travel guide

Hip, laidback, and less commercial than many vinitourism destinations, Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe is where to drink wine now.

Esme Benjamin
By Esme BenjaminJun. 30, 2022 2 minutes read
Vineyard and winery at sundown in the Valle de Guadalupe
Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
Image: Getty Images

From Sonoma County, California to Willamette Valley, Oregon, the West Coast has long been a go-to vacation spot for wine enthusiasts. But those in the know are now heading further south and across the border to Baja California, Mexico. Located two hours from San Diego and a 45-minute drive inland from the port city of Ensenada, Valle de Guadalupe became a globally respected wine region over the past decade thanks to a proliferation of boutique producers, stylish hotels, and world-class restaurants. If you’re dreaming of a vino-focused trip that’s low-key but still sophisticated, Valle de Guadalupe should be at the top of your list.

When to visit

Valle de Guadaloupe is a year-round destination, but the best (and busiest) time to visit is in the summer, when seasonal restaurants offer alfresco dining and the valley hosts the Fiestas de la Vendimia, a wine-harvest celebration in August featuring tastings, parties, live entertainment, and special dinners by lauded guest chefs. However, if fewer crowds and cooler days sound more appealing, a winter trip might suit you perfectly.

Outdoor seating with string lights at Campera Hotel Burbuja in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
Campera Hotel Burbuja, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
Image: Alma Viejera/Tripadvisor

Where to stay

When it comes to beautiful accommodations, you’ll be spoiled for choice with Valle de Guadelupe’s many boutique stays. Built from reclaimed materials that harmonize with nature, Bruma is a bed-and-breakfast set on a working winery amid the Valle’s stark desert landscape. To further immerse yourself in the scenery, book a “bubble” at Campera Hotel. Nestled among the vines, each of the eco-friendly pods combines plush furnishings and a full bathroom with a transparent roof for prime stargazing—the ideal glamping experience.

Our third pick is La Villa del Valle, a luxury inn perched on a picturesque hilltop. Six rooms complete with local touches like homemade bath products offer guests a tranquil retreat. Check out the spa, private yoga classes, and on-site sculpture park to craft your own wellness-focused vacation.

Finca La Carrodilla winery and vineyard in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
Finca La Carrodilla winery and vineyard, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
Image: Management/Tripadvisor

Where to go wine tasting

With over 200 wineries and counting, Valle de Guadalupe boasts varietals to please all palates. Start your tasting adventure at Finca La Carrodilla, the Valle’s first organic-certified vineyard, and enjoy a glass of syrah while wandering the on-site vegetable garden. Next, make a stop at Monte Xanic to savor award-winning white wines (the sauvignon blanc is especially delicious) and views that stretch past a natural lake all the way to the mountains. Finally, head to Decantos Vinícola, a 50-acre winery with a wrap-around patio. The vineyard’s lauded 9.81 line of wines was inspired by its signature decantation method—using gravity, instead of a mechanical pump, to get the job done.

Tomahawk and lamb rack with shrimp at La Esperanza BajaMed, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
Tomahawk and lamb rack with shrimp at La Esperanza BajaMed, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
Image: Alejandro G/Tripadvisor

Where to dine

Although great wine is Valle de Guadaloupe’s main selling point, its dining scene—which encompasses everything from tasting menus to food trucks—is an equally compelling reason to visit. For an upscale experience, book a table at Deckman’s en el Mogor, helmed by Michelin-starred chef Drew Deckman. Equipped with an outdoor kitchen, the restaurant serves up smoky, wood-fired meats and colorful veggies grown on its own farm.

To sample the Valle’s signature Baja-Med cuisine, head to La Esperanza BajaMed, where chef Miguel Ángel Guerrero offers creative dishes like smoked marlin–stuffed burritos alongside an array of Mexican wines. Looking for a more casual bite? Swing by Taqueria La Principal for some of the best tacos in the Valle, served with tangy red salsa and heaps of creamy guacamole.

Esme Benjamin
Esme Benjamin is a Brooklyn-based award-winning writer and the current editor-in-chief of Full-Time Travel. Her editorial work, which covers wellbeing and travel, can be found online at Self, Refinery29 and Culture Trip, and in British "glossies" like Red, Grazia and The Telegraph Magazine. She was a contributing author to the book Wanderess: The Unearth Women Guide to Traveling Smart Solo and Safe, and currently hosts The Trip That Changed Me, a podcast from Full-Time Travel featuring transformative travel stories from guests like writer/illustrator Mari Andrew, celebrity Chef Markus Samuelsson and former star of ABC's The Bachelor Ben Higgins.