Valle de Guadalupe: Mexico’s Wine Country

Valle de Guadalupe: Mexico’s Wine Country


What’s up everybody? I’m Alex I’m Marko And we’re the Vagabrothers. This week we are wine-tasting in the Valle
de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico. [Intro sounds] The Valle de Guadalupe is one of the best
open secrets in Mexico. Just two hours south of the US/Mexican border, “The Valle” makes
the best wine in Mexico but gets just a handful of visitors. That’s partly because Mexico more known for
its tequila than its wine, but also because of the brutal drug war of the last 10 years,
which – understandably – scared a lot of tourists away from Baja California. – But things have changed, the drug war has
calmed down, the number of wineries in the Valle has doubled, and good wine has attracted
some of Mexico’s top chefs, who’ve become international ambassadors for their so-called
“Baja Med” cuisine. We didn’t need more convincing. So we linked
up with San Diego based Angel Mirón from Let’s Go Clandestino tours, who offered to
show us what makes the Valle de Guadalupe one of the premiere food and drink destinations
in Latin America. We visited in off season just before Christmas
and crossed the border at dawn, so we started with breakfast. Angel tells us this is the best breakfast
place in all of Baja, is that true? I think so, it’s my favorite, if that counts
for anything. What’s it called? La cocina de Doña Esthela. Let’s get some
birria. ¡Vamanos! Let’s do it. The one-room family-run cantina was a reminder
of the Valle’s unpretentious roots, serving up simple yet delicious birria and chilaquiles
that gave us a good foundation for the sophisticated meals to come. …and a good base for soaking up that wine
we planned on drinking… Haven’t even finished breakfast and we got
the first stain of the day, and something tells me that it’s not going to be the last. But before we started boozing, we took a stroll
around Dona Estela’s place to get a taste of the Valle’s rustic charm. One thing about Mexico is that there is always
a bigger dog, like this guy right here. There ya go… ¡oye! You’re a nice guy too, aren’t
you? Alright you guys, we just got to the Valle
de Guadalupe, it’s a beautiful day here and we’re at Lechuza winery. Angel says he’s got mad respect for this winery,
it’s one of the up-and-coming places here. So we’re going to try some wine and meet the
owners. ¡Vamanos! Wine was first brought to the Valle by Dominican
missionaries from Spain and later developed by Russian Molokan immigrants, but more recent
newcomers are from France, Italy or – in the case of Ray and Patty Magnussen – California. Instead of going north to California’s wine
region, Napa Valley, Ray and Patty headed south – to Mexico! They’re part of a new wave of innovators creating
a cross-border culture around food and drink in Northern Mexico. Most Americans, when they’re thinking of wine
country, they’re thinking of Napa. Do you think that’s changing now, more Americans
coming down here? We’re different than Napa, I think we’re very
special. I love what’s going on here, I love the rusticness of it, you know? I mean, you kinda have to know where you’re
going, it’s not like you’re driving down the Silverado Road and you can just pull in and
have a wine-tasting. But we’ve got all these great people that
are passionate about making wine. I mean, you’ll find a bunch of folks in this
valley that will spend their very last dime to make sure that they’ve got the absolute
best wine that they can make. Yeah, you can see the efforts are paying off
in the glass in my hand right here. Cheers, this is the idea. Good stuff. [Alex aerating wine] This is the idea! Eso es el idea… After some wine and appetizers, it was time
for the main course – lunch at Corazon de Tierra, a symbol of the gastronomic revolution
hot on the tails of the Valle’s burgeoning wine scene The restaurant is just down the valley on
the property of la Villa del Valle, a six-room hacienda overlooking a winery, an organic
farm and the restaurant itself, which was recently named one of the top 50 in Latin
America. Head chef Diego Hernandez-Baquedano is part
of a handful of Baja Californian chefs who have made their food famous around the world,
so we sat down to ask him why the Valle had become rising region of Mexican cuisine. For a long time, the best restaurants in Mexico
were French, and now Mexican restaurants are the top restaurants in the country. And this all happened when Mexican chefs started
to own their own restaurants. But what makes this region so cool is that
there’s a lot of fresh produce – you got the seafood, and you guys have like… talk
about ‘farm-to-table’… that’s the farm right there. It’s not a theory – you guys are really
doing it in everyday life. It has a lot to do with… first, the geography.
We are rich in ingredients and biodiversity. And second, the culture. This is a land where
a lot of migration happens. This mix of cultures gives Baja Cuisine it’s own taste. So what
is Baja? This is Baja, this who we are and we are proud of it. Speaking of that I think we should do a cheers. An oysters cheers. An oysters cheers. Look at this dude. This is going in my mouth. Cheers, bro. This is Baja cuisine. That is the most amazing oyster combination
I’ve ever had in my life. Wow. Oh yeah. But food is only part of the story at the
Villa del Valle, which is also home to the Vena Cava winery – a bodega carved into the
hillside and roofed with upside-down boats. It’s a style that’s been dubbed the hippest
winery in Mexico, so we asked Phil what he thought about the praise. I think it’s pretty cool. I prefer to look
at it like that. When Alejandro D’Acosta designed and built this winery for me, I had asked
him for something funky. And I got funky. Here on this property, we have things that
stemmed from the desire my wife and I had to know what we were eating, to enjoy what
we were eating, to be eating really wonderful things. And the same applied very quickly
to what we were drinking. Our wines are a little bit unusual. They’re
very high quality and they’re made by people that are thinking with their hearts and their
souls and not only with their minds. There’s a lot going on here, it’s a really
nice place to be. We couldn’t agree more, so we asked Angel
what he thought about the Valle’s future. Where do you see the Valle going in the next
ten years? It’s doubled in size in the last ten years, but in the next ten years, what’s
going to happen? It’s going to be probably the number one destination
in all of Mexico as a hotel destination, as food destination and for the wine as well. I can imagine in ten years it’s going to change
a bit, so if you’re watching you gotta get down here now while it’s still rootsy. But we’re so lucky, we live literally an hour
from here. But I feel that so few people know about the Valle. Why do you think that is? Because people are still somewhat afraid of
traveling into Mexico by themselves. They need a little a push to find out for themselves. We’d seen quite a bit, but to wrap up the
night Angel took us to a posada, a Mexican holiday fiesta, held at Deckman’s El Mogor,
a country kitchen in a winery run by Drew Deckman, an American chef who came to Baja
California by way of Berlin. But for such a global chef, the food was entirely
local – grilled local quail from the valley, lamb chops and heirloom veggies from the farm
itself, and oyster’s from Baja’s nearby pacific coast. This is out of control. I have no idea how
we ended up here. It’s all because of Angel – we love you. What a pleasant ending to
an amazing day. Quail? Come on… quail?!? Sorted. I’m going to go feast right now. After he got off the grill, we asked Drew
what advice he had for people thinking about coming to the Valle de Guadalupe. This is one of the coolest, most progressive
food places and wine places and beer places in the world that nobody knows about. So if
you even need to put it in question, this is probably not the place for you. This is
where it’s happening, man. Ok well thank you for having us. No, dude, enjoy. We’re going to be here at
least until the cops come. Cool. And then if we can get them to drink, then
they’ll stay. And then the party will keep going. [Laughter] Alright guys, it’s been an amazing day here
in the Valle de Guadalupe. This place is really, really cool but the roads are super complicated
so make sure you look up Angel for Lets Go Clandestino Tours because otherwise you’ll
be lost out here for hours when you’d rather be sipping wine. Perdidos! As always, if you enjoyed the video
make sure you give it a thumbs up, share it with friends and subscribe to our channel
for new travel videos every Tuesday – every martes! Feliz Navidad! Cheers!

68 Replies to “Valle de Guadalupe: Mexico’s Wine Country

  1. Thank you for share the real Mexico, i love your videos and i really think you should go to Chiapas (at the south of Mexico) there lots of places and culture that you can discover there, i would love to have you here 😀

  2. Thanks for this amazing video! Im fromTijuana and it feels pretty awesome watch you enjoy these places. Thank you so much! GREAT VIDEO!
    You should bring Louis next time :p

  3. I would never have thought to venture down there. The fear from the drug war would keep me away. I'm surprised of the number of Americans living in the area. 
    Big Dave

  4. Hello guys, i came from Hey Nadin's video. I enjoy your amazing videos. Happy new year! (새해 복 많이 받으세요! – This is a new year's greeting in Korean)    

  5. Great video! I'd love to go to Mexico again sometime, I spent a couple of months there 3 years ago with my boyfriend at the time who was from Mexico City. There are still so many places I haven't explored though, so it's on my list for another trip sometime!

  6. Guys, this video made me so happy. You're making people see that Mexico is more than violence and tequila. Thank you about that. If you ever come to Mexico City make me know so that I can give you guys a tour or something like that. Thank you guys, keep doing amazing videos.

  7. Awesome guys, you always surprise me with your videos, but more with this one because you talk about of a little place of my country, Mexico.😍💕 🎆Happy New Year🎆

  8. another great video guys…. you should visit Ireland some time… if you do we could meet up and I could give you guys a tour! Happy New Year!!

  9. You guys are amazing!!! But you have to visit Alximia which is an amazing Eco-Friendly Winery with amazing wine!!! and the Restaurant La TerrasseSanRoman it's also pretty amazing itself with an awesome view, please come!! I work there every weekend Saturday and Sunday you wont regret it 😉

  10. A friend and I are planning a trip down the west coast of the US this summer, and I would love to end it with something like this! I'm already looking into the tours, thanks for sharing this with us! 

  11. As a fellow native of SD, lemme just say you guys are doing important work! I love traveling Mexico. I discover something new every time. 

  12. I found your videos pretty interesting, and even there are more videos about many places in the American continent, good work! dudes 😀

  13. Great job guys! too bad you missed Vinos de Piedra  and what Hugo D'Acosta is dong with "La escuelita" which is a new initiative to teach about wine making there in the Valle de Guadalupe http://baja.com/ensenada/getting-schooled-on-wine-in-valle-de-guadalupe/

    Also you guys should visit Oaxaca is one of the most interesting states in Mexico!
    If you liked traditional Mexican food you will love Oaxaca try to go on "Festival de el Saber del Sabor" http://elsaberdelsaborfestivaloaxaca.com/2014/
    or
    "Dia de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead) one of the best places in Mexico for this festivity
    and one of the most famous: "La Guelaguetza"
    Also tequila is the most popular drink but not exactly the best one, one word Mezcal is a trend all over the world check out on the main cocktail bars in London, NYC, Paris etc..
    and it has been an artisanal product in Mexico since even the Spanish arrived.

    more info http://www.visitmexico.com/en/oaxaca

    Keep the great work!, (I'm so jealous)

    Best

    David

  14. very cool…i'm pouring at an event featuring winemakers from Valle de Guadalupe, this is a great primer…i'm gonna have to take a trip there soon.  Cheers and thanks

  15. Hermoso video " los hermanos vagos". I'll be visiting the place soon, and it's great to get an idea thru your video. Plan a trip to Puebla, it's an awesome, unbelievable place. Cheers!!

  16. You should be telling people at the beginning of your video they need Mexican auto insurance and the proper immigration document, the FMM, obtainable at Mexican Immigration (INM) as as they enter Mexico.

  17. great video! my wife and I are planning a trip in a couple months. Great quality as well, do you have a videographer or do it yourselves? (selfishly asking as I just started my own youtube channel)

  18. Great Video Dudes ! Thanks for visiting and showing our real and friendly Mexico ! it's always nice to hear and to know when people really appreciate our culture and showing a different face of our country.
    Saludos Amigos!
    Cheers From Tijuana 😉
    Fer-

  19. I love my Mexico everytime I go to Mexico I fall in love more with it! Thank you for showing a great side of Mexico!

  20. I've watched many videos on the country of Mexico and I must say this one tops them all so far 😎🍷🍲

  21. Great video! I live 10 minutes from the Valle, know most of the people interviewed, and you're right, it's the destination in Mexico in 2014 and also in 2017. Saludos

  22. I love your enthusiasm, but you have your history wrong, guys!

    As a matter of fact, California wine grapes originally come from Mexico originally via Spain/The "Old World". Vines were brought by the Christian missionaries from the Spaniards and raised between 1779-1823.

    Franciscan monks planted grapes for wine for the missions based in "Mexico" up to Sonoma. Remember, Mexico is a new border for a country, hence the Mexican American war i.e.- "Don't Forget the Alamo!!!!" We have all forgotten that the Southwest border is still pretty new. We look at one another like Americans and equals, but the white people are new. As is our culture. I could not be happier that you have been bringing up Mexico as an up-and-coming place. It's amazing!!!!

    But remember the Alamo.

    In 1848, George Yount, basically discovered/planted what is now and the start of Napa/Sonoma (hence Yountville), that has grown into California wine and then some. Do not think for a second that California just came about like Adam and Eve. It came from Spain/ the "Old World" and was brought about by Christianity and missionaries, which one can visit widely throughout the California "continent," as I like to call it, and spread like a vine should throughout the continent.

    Vinifera grapes were introduced largely in the 1850's, via Mexico. It really was not until the 1960's that wine had anything to do with California at all, and thanks to Robert Mondavi. 1966 to be exact, he truly made his mark.

    I love your videos and everything you do, but I just need to make sure that you do not believe everything that you hear. Myself included. If I am wrong, I would love to hear it. So would a lot of the wine industry and rest of the world!!!!! Please keep on going! You are my inspiration!!!! Thank you. Much love!!!!!! Give me more!

  23. I'm an enthusiast, love good food and wine from all over the world but Mexico and its wine looks amazing, a must try. Looking forward to getting my hands on a bottle soon , better still would love to visit the Valle de Guadalupe

  24. So informative! Great job guys! I was just in Calle de Guadalupe last month and is has grown a lot since this vid. Vlog in my channel🎬

  25. I love your videos! I am from Valle de Guadalupe, such a surprise that you visited home 😀 (and so glad that you went to Doña Estela)

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