This past weekend, we made the trip out to Valle de Guadalupe located in the mountains between Tijuana and Ensenada. It has been nearly 7 years since the last time we visited and my oh my do things change. I didn’t remember seeing anything like what we saw this time around. There are many artisan wineries, restaurants, and boutique hotels dispersed throughout the valley. The culinary scene is quite exciting and left me wanting to return for more. I already have my eye on a restaurant and hotel for our next trip.
Back to the wine, our main reason for returning to Valle de Guadalupe was to make a bee line for Vena Cava Winery and do a tasting. More specifically, we wanted to get our hands on the special blend made for this restaurant. Let’s just say in addition to our wonderfully satisfying meal, we were impressed with the wine recommended to us by the sommelier. We made that “note to self” and made it a point to stop by for a visit in hopes that we’d get lucky. And, you know what? Jackpot! We got to try a similar blend that was good, but I was more impressed with their Big Blend the most. This was even better, more robust flavor. The sauvignon blanc and claret were also winners and we walked away with several bottles of each only to return an hour or so later after we realized 1 liter was the maximum amount of alcohol 2 people could cross the border with. Uh-oh. So, we ended up taking 4 bottles (fingers crossed) and left the rest to pick up the next time around. Needless to say, we will be back to retrieve our other bottles and have the rest sent.
After all the wine we were hungry and ready to eat. It’s a good thing Troika was just about to open because we were just about to pass out from all the delicious wine on empty stomachs. We headed right outside the doors of the tasting room to the Troika truck. Here’s what we had for lunch:
Octopus and lengua (beef tongue) tostadas (above/below)
Vena Cava: +1 (646) 156-8007/Valle de Guadalupe/Baja California, Mexico
Tip: Make sure to call for a reservation in advance. It will be a private tasting which I enjoyed far more since it’s a bit more personalized where you actually get to ask questions and learn about their process and get some good recommendations for eating and more wine tasting.