San Diego oenophiles, new wine enthusiasts, friend groups, party planners and more can experience everything Valle de Guadalupe offers courtesy of day tours from Baja Winery Tours.
Travelers on these idyllic, well-planned escapes visit the best vineyards in the Valle, talk to vinters, go behind the scenes, enjoy a gourmet sit-down lunch and more.
San Diegans Matt Schneider and Joaquin Quintero, owners of Baja Winery Tours, are ready to assist wine enthusiasts with tours. Both have extensive experience traveling to Baja and recognized the attractiveness of the area's burgeoning wine industry and gourmet fare.
"We personally just love it," Quintero said. "The food is amazing, truly world class."
After enthusiastically sharing tales of their own experiences, Quintero and Schneider found themselves coordinating Valle trips for others. From those efforts, they recognized demand existed for American purveyors of tours to this up-and-coming wine region.
"Some people just want to go with experienced travelers, a guide, someone who's been down there " Quintero noted.
Baja Winery Tours hosts a weekly wine tour to Valle de Guadalupe on Saturdays or can customize private trips to the Valle for world-class wine and food. Private tours can be perfect for groups, parties or celebrations of six or more participants - from true oenophiles to birthday or bachelor/bachelorette parties. The company can pair particular needs or requests to create the right trip for those newly venturing to Baja and seasoned travelers alike.
Transportation ranges from a passenger van up to a full-size tour bus. Quintero recommended that tour groups of 14 or 15 work especially well because wineries make experiences for such parties more personal and intimate.
On a typical Baja Winery Tours trip, travelers depart San Diego around 9 a.m. for the beautiful 90-minute trip to Valle de Guadalupe. Quintero boasted about the scenic beauty and panoramic views along the drive.
"It's beautiful, sort of like Big Sur," Quintero said, noting the rugged coastline drops into the aquamarine Pacific.
He also praised the beauty of the inland wine region, noting the rustic atmosphere is another Valle charm.
"Beautiful modern wineries are hidden down dusty roads," he said. "It takes you by surprise."
After arriving in the Valle, travelers tour a winery, then enjoy a gourmet sit-down lunch at one of the Valle's renowned restaurants. Another winery tour follows lunch before travelers return to San Diego after a full day.
Tour highlights include the winery experiences and learning about the unique Baja wines. Area soil has a one-of-a-kind impact on these increasingly esteemed Mexican wines, while the wineries themselves are specialists in producing world-class wines with true sustainability.
"Down there, they were adept at making do with what they had and were sustainable before that became a fashionable buzzword," said Schneider.
The food is another of the experience's real superstars. Both Quintero and Schneider noted that chefs in Valle de Guadalupe hail from around the world, providing five-star fine dining in a laid-back atmosphere using fresh, locally sourced produce and seafood.
"Some of the best meals I've ever had have been in Valle de Guadalupe," said Quintero.
Schneider encourages San Diegans and visitors alike to consider a day-trip to Valle de Guadalupe with Baja Winery Tours, noting it's a perfect excursion for anyone who enjoys food, wine, travel and culture.
"If you live in San Diego and are looking for a really unique experience, going to Valle de Guadalupe stands apart," Schneider said.