Explore the Mexican Wine Country with Ease with Valle Guadalupe Baja
By Samantha Butts
Wineries are the perfect place to go if you are looking to unwind and relax. However, they can also be adventurous and incredibly fun.
This is certainly the case for the Mexican Wine Country, Valle de Guadalupe Baja.
Valle de Guadalupe Baja is home to more than 150 wineries, boutique hotels, fresh air adventures, and more.
The region is just a two-hour drive from San Diego, CA across the Mexican border. The Valle de Guadalupe Baja is gorgeous, it’s where the coast breaks into hills and valleys.
Throughout the region, there is family ownership of different parts of the land.
Family’s Own Spin
Each family has put its own spin on its wineries and boutique hotels. This has resulted in luxury “glamping” (or glamorous camping) and authentic restaurants with some of the best food in the area. The chefs in Baja offer a lot of seafood and different flavors.
Nebbiolo, an Italian red wine grape, and Tempranillo, a Spanish black grape, are able to thrive in the Mexican climate and have taken well to the soil found in Baja. This produces a wide variety of wine options in the area.
Many people call Valle de Guadalupe Baja the “Napa Valley of Mexico,” but Aimee Cruz, CEO of Valle Guadelupe Baja, doesn’t think this title fits. She said the Mexican Wine Country has a unique vibe that is entirely its own.
Valle Guadelupe Baja
When Cruz was in college she would travel to Mexico often with friends to party and dance. However, as time passed she went less frequently as her schedule got busier and she began to start a family.
Things started to slow down in Cruz’s life after COVID hit and she found herself returning to Mexico. She drove her own car there, which she finds empowering. Previously she would walk across the border and take a taxi to her desired destination.
“Having your own car gives you so much freedom to explore,” she said.
This is when she visited Valle de Guadalupe Baja for the first time. While exploring, Cruz realized it can be difficult for a traveler to plan a trip to the wine country. There was no website that allowed you to look at all of the different hotels, wineries, restaurants, and adventure packages that the region has to offer.
“I decided I’m a business person, I’m an entrepreneur,” Cruz said. “I’m going to build a site that basically helps them put it all in one spot.”
This is where Cruz came up with the idea for Valle Guadalupe Baja. ValleGuadalupeBaja.com makes it stress-free by arranging details of your trip so you don’t have to.
With this company, Cruz hopes to help people learn about this region and plan a trip perfect for them.
Cruz’s Valle Guadalupe Baja arranges wine tours and helps you find the right hotel or Airbnb.
In the Valle de Guadalupe Baja, there are many different styles of wineries.
There are the outdoor landscape vineyards, where you are surrounded by nature. Then there are the more urban wineries, which are much smaller. At these, you can see the wine production. You can see how the wine is being made right in the tasting room. Then, there’s the classic tasting room with the shop and bar.
Each of these different styles offers unique experiences.
Cruz’s company organizes day trips for wine tours. It is a long day, but the trip allows you to meet the actual family behind the wineries. You get to learn about the winemaking process.
The tours in Valle de Guadalupe Baja are typically between six and eight hours long. The tours can be anywhere from two people to twenty people. They hit at least three different wineries, all with different styles.
At each stop, you try three to five different wines — reds and whites. They are “pretty healthy pours,” said Cruz.
On the tour, you’re usually talking to the main winemaker who shows you the different varieties and how they’re made. They help you understand the taste differences between each wine.
While on the tour, at one of the wineries, they do a full chef’s lunch. They often also include cheese boards at some wineries.
Valle Guadalupe Baja can pick you up for your tour from your hotel or even at the border.
Valle Guadalupe Baja helps you plan your trips for those special occasions and other group outings.
They have helped plan many multi-day events such as bachelorette parties and retreats for influencers and yoga instructors.
Cruz has the “Dreams Do Come True” retreat run by Ashley Jacobs coming up. Jacobs is a host for Fox 5 in San Diego. According to Cruz, Jacobs began her dream job at Fox.
This is a one-night retreat for women where Jacobs will be giving a talk to share how she got where she is now. After a day of visiting wineries, the women will journal and spend the night by the fire getting to know one another. In the morning, they plan to do yoga and another activity that will help them understand their aspirations and dreams.
Three Different Packages
Cruz offers three packages, Adventure, Romance, and Family, apart from the full-day wine tour.
The Adventure in the Valley Package offers a one, two, or three-night stay plus a full breakfast for two. It also includes a two-hour ATV rental which enables you to off-road with a guide that takes you to one winery.
The package also includes a list of hikes you can do in the area.
The Romance in the Valley Package also offers a one, two, or three-night stay. The room includes a bottle of wine and a cheeseboard. This package includes couples massages, a wine tour, and a 90-minute photoshoot with a photographer and one of the vineyards.
The family package finds you toddler and baby-friendly hotels as well as kid-friendly wineries. Many wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe Baja are built for groups of 21+, so Cruz makes sure to find you the wineries that allow children.
What to Know Before Traveling
Thankfully, the Valle de Guadalupe Baja area takes US credit and debit cards. This means you do not have to get pesos for your trip.
However, before you leave for Mexico, do not forget to grab your passport. When preparing to cross the border, you can check the wait times online. However, Cruz recommends giving yourself at least two hours.
The Future for Cruz’s Valle Guadalpue Baja
Cruz is looking into importing the wine from Valle de Guadalupe Baja into the US to make the wine more known.
Ultimately she hopes to bring virtual wine tasting experiences to people anywhere they go.
The virtual wine tasting would set you up on a Zoom call with the winemaker. Then you would taste the wine together and get to know both the wine and winemaker. Cruz says this will make the trip after the call to Valle de Guadalupe more enjoyable for travelers.
Cruz’s license is still pending in the state of California but hopes to be approved in the next couple of months.
Why Valle de Guadalupe Baja?
Cruz said the Valle de Guadalupe Baja has a lot to offer. It combines the Southern California, Baja weather with the Mexican culture, and, family-oriented, non-corporate, way of doing business.
“It’s a unique feeling that I have not found anywhere else,” said Cruz.