Quick help! Valle de Guadalupe visit tomorrow and only allowed 1 L per person of wine for 2 people!!
Hey everyone! Desperate for your help here!
I'm leaving for Valle de Guadalupe tomorrow (March 16th) and staying at La Villa del Valle, and unfortunately have been so busy that I just started doing my research today. My flight is early in the morning so I should have the afternoon on the 16th, all of the 17th and 18th, and half of the 19th (flight is at 2:30). That said, there are a few questions... I've gathered that I must go to Laja, Muelle Tres and Manzanilla, and I will be having dinner at our inn I'm sure. That leaves another restaurant or two to try, any suggestions? Anything off the beaten path is great, too... any must tries. I don't eat meat, and don't usually dairy or eggs, but definitely love seafood. To make the most of my trip, which do you recommend for dinner, and which for lunch? Any other suggestions on how to structure the trip in terms of food, and which other places to eat would you suggest?
Also, the major question I have is regarding the wineries. Given the time that we have, and the fact that we also would like to explore the city, go horseback riding, etc, how many wineries is reasonable that we visit, and which are absolute musts? I know about LA Cetto as the big one, and have read so many names of others, but not sure which are most worth to go to. And most importantly and related to that question, I just found that we are only allowed the bring 1 L back per person (is this correct?), and we will be 2 people. That's basically one bottle per person, unless I find a small bottle as well. Which are absolute musts to bring back? I wouldn't want to go over 40 dollars, as I'm not from CA and won't be back for a long time. Still, I generally buy bottles in the 15-30 range. As far as my taste, I drink reds mostly... I love elegance and layers in my wines, bolder flavors but not overly tannic or gripping, but silkier. As always, balance is important to me, hints of smoke, spice, and fruit seem to be a typical wine for me, but I can also change it up. Not a ton of fruit or sweetness, but not lacking either. I love tasting unusual wines of course, and can go for either wines that are easy drinking on their own or food wines (sorry that doesn't narrow it down). My mom tends to go for the lighter to medium bodied red wines, and has sweeter palate than my own. I also can go for medium bodied wines depending on the wine. She also tends to enjoy white wines more than I do, though I also can enjoy a great white. She appreciates wine but I'm much more knowledgeable than she is, so she will be less picky, haha.
Ok, sorry that was a little longer than intended... but basically, knowing a bit more about my taste and price range, which 2 bottles would you suggest? Or if you know bottles that are 350 ml or less...?
Thanks SO much in advance!!
Very good choices of Restaurants you have picked out. In order to schedule your picks you should note that most are closed Monday and Tuesday Here are the hours.
Open Wednesday 1:30 a 3:30 p.m
Thursday, Friday and Saturday 1:30 a 8:30 p.m
Open Wednesday to Saturday 1pm to 1am
Wednesday to Sunday from 1 pm. to 6 pm
Some places I also recommend you check out
Restaurante Del Parque
Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sundays they are opened from 1pm to 6pm
La Guerrerense (Street Cart Specializing in Ceviche) 10am-4 pm Everyday with exception of Tuesday
Tacos El Fenix (Fish Shrimp Taco Stand)
7am - 9pm 7 days a week
I would suggest Muelle Tres for lunch and Manzanilla for late dinner on Wednesday. You definitely don't want to miss those.
I don't have much time for more detail you can search the boards for all of these places, have fun.
The restaurant at La Villa del Valle is well regarded, so that is a good start. The inn is located very close to Laja so it would be possible to go there for lunch while visiting wineries but the menu is fixed and may not have choices that fit your needs.
As far as wineries to visit, consider Adobe Guadalupe. It is beautiful, has some very nice wines and has you can ride horses there as well. Two birds with one stone.
I would suggest visiting Vinisterra, Barón Balch'é, Monte Xanic and L.A. Cetto. L.A. Cetto is a large producer and has some good wines in the $15 to $20 range (I like the nebbiolo) but some of the smaller producers (such as JC Bravo, Roganto) make the wines I think are the best the valley has to offer.
There is a wine store next to Restaurante del Parque in Ensenada (owned by the same people who operate Laja). You may be able to get some of the more obcure wines with less driving.
California residents can only bring 1L per person but I believe residents of other states are subject to Federal limits of 2L. If you are traveling by so-called common carrier from Mexico to US (plane, passenger ship or bus), you can bring larger quantities (with taxes due). If you are crossing the border to the US on foot or by passenger car, you are stuck with the lower limits.