Getting on/off a Sprinter; driving about 40 miles (65 km), approximately 1 hour. Walking approximately 1/2 mile (800 meters); standing approximately 1/2 to 1 hour during field trips; slight uphills.
In the hotel’s panoramic restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with choices including Mexican and international dishes plus orange juice, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
We will spend today getting acquainted with the Guadalupe Valley in the heart of wine country. Amid rolling hills and granite boulders, wineries range from simple working establishments to state of the art industries, often displaying innovative architecture. Sprinkled among them are ranches, orchards, vineyards, artists’ studios, and gourmet restaurants. We will board the Sprinter and ride to the home of an artist. Born into a family of etchers from Mexico City, Guadalupe moved to Ensenada and established a workshop in her home. We will learn about the ancient process of etching and see how the artist develops her works. Moving on, we will visit La Escuelita, a small hands-on nonprofit school and cooperative established by local enologists to spread their knowledge on processing local products such as grapes, olives, and agaves. Some of the school’s graduates have become top winemakers. With a local specialist, we will walk through the ecologically sensitive installations and taste some of their available products. Several mid-sized wineries producing quality wines dot the north side of Guadalupe Valley. We will visit one of these, walk through the installations, and taste wines. The valley was once home to people of diverse heritage including Kumiai Native Indians, Spanish missionaries, and a colony of Molokan Russians. A visit to a small museum will acquaint us with this history.
We will dine at Laja’s in the Guadalupe Valley, a restaurant founded by Jair Tellez, now regarded as one of the world’s top chefs. His first restaurant is consistently called a hidden gem due to its location off the beaten path. We will savor the highly praised tasting menu with wine pairing, an outstanding example of locavorism.
We will then ride to a prominent winery to see and lean about production processes, flavors, and taste premium wines! Clos de Tres Cantos is unusual. Founded in 2014, it is based on sustainability and recycling with distinctive architecture, a passion for winemaking, and a philosophy of living the good life with respect for Panchamama — a Quechua word for Mother Earth. The owner will lead our exploration as we experience all of these elements that together have created true works of art in both wine and architecture. Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the afternoon is to relax and enjoy the view. Or, you might like to step into the jacuzzi overlooking the restless Pacific Ocean.
At the hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated dinner ordered from a select menu and served with a nonalcoholic drink; other beverages available for purchase.