22338
Mexico
The Bounty of Baja: Wine, Food & Local Life in the Guadalupe Valley
Discover the wine industry’s best kept secret in Guadalupe Valley as you learn from world-class winemakers, chefs and artists about their industries and get a taste of their creations.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22338RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,849
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Orientation and welcome dinner
San Diego, California
D
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Mission Valley/Hotel Circle

Activity note: Independent arrivals.

Afternoon: 5:00 pm Gather in a private room of the hotel to meet your expert leader and fellow participants. An overview of the program, the sites, the logistics, will prepare you for the exciting days to come. --------------------------------------------------------------- San Diego is a convenient gathering place to begin this exciting program. Your wine and culinary experience and immersion begins upon crossing the border into Mexico on day 2.

Dinner: Dinner is served in the same private room, plated or buffet style. Iced tea and coffee or tea is included. Additional beverages are available for purchase

Evening: A presentation discussing the culinary and winemaking industries of Baja California is imparted by the group leader.

DAY
2
Art and Culture Across the Border
Ensenada, Baja California
B,L,D
Las Rosas Hotel & Spa

Activity note: Standing and walking at a slow pace for up to one hour per activity. Must carry all belongings across the border and walking 200 feet.

Breakfast: A buffet breakfast is served in a private section of the hotel lobby.

Morning: Depart San Diego and cross into Mexico. Walk through a traditional Mexican market, colorful and lively, displaying fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs for any ailment, age-old cooking gear, piñatas and more from all Mexico. Visit a gallery displaying works of art representative of the emerging “borderless art” movement, as explained in a lecture by the owner.

Lunch: The world-renown Cesar salad was created in Tijuana by an Italian chef. In the restaurant where it originated, taste the delicious salad prepared at your table. The meal includes a hearty soup, chicken strips and a non- alcoholic beverage or one beer. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Afternoon: The route to Ensenada offers magnificent vistas of the Pacific Ocean. Stop along the way to see a home built in the shape of a woman! Get to know the artist and his eclectic creations. In Ensenada, settle in the ocean front hotel where every room has a balcony with a view. Before dinner, take part in a themed wine tasting experience aimed at developing your senses in identifying aromas and flavors to better appreciate the wine experience. A lecture on Baja wines, its development and production completes the event.

Dinner: Welcome to Baja-Med cuisine! Adjacent to the wine bar is Boules, an informal garden restaurant serving excellent platters, a favorite among local people. An assortment of appetizers, main dishes and desserts are served family style for everyone to taste and feast on. Wine or a non-alcoholic drink is included. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Enjoy the bar and peaceful ocean front location of the hotel.

DAY
3
The Heart of the Wine Country
Ensenada, Baja California
B,L,D
Las Rosas Hotel & Spa

Activity note: Visits to studios and wineries imply standing time of approximately 1/2 to 1 hour per activity. Short walking distance with slight uphills.

Breakfast: A plated breakfast offering a variety of choices is served at the panoramic restaurant of the hotel.

Morning: Rolling hills, granite boulders and vineyards adorn the landscape of Guadalupe Valley, the heart of the wine country. Rows of grapevines surround wineries ranging from simple working establishments to state of the art industries, often displaying innovative architecture. Sprinkled among them are gourmet restaurants, ranches, orchards and artist studios. The day begins with a visit to the home of an artist. Born into a family of etchers from Mexico City, Guadalupe moved to Ensenada establishing her workshop in her home where she always has an open door for visitors. Learn the process in developing each etching. Commence the wine experience, compare production processes and flavors, taste premium wines! Of recent construction, inspired on a monastery and using all recycled materials, Clos de Tres Cantos winery provides a unique experience, a true work of art both for their architecture and their wines!

Lunch: A catered lunch in the winery consists of fresh sea food cocktails, ceviche and tostadas served from a “cart restaurant” that has become internationally famous. Wine is included. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Afternoon: Explore different niches at the North end of the valley. Local enologists established a small hands-on non-profit school and cooperative to spread their knowledge on processing local products such as grapes, olives and agaves; some graduates have become top winemakers. Walk through the ecologically built installations and taste their available products. The valley was once home to people with diverse heritage: Kumiai Native Indians, Spanish missionaries and a colony of Molokay Russians. A quick visit to a small museum reminds us of its past. Several mid-sized wineries producing quality wines dot the North Valley. Visit one of them, possibly Monte Xanic located on a hillside with a panoramic view of the vineyards and a small lake

Dinner: Remain in the valley for a memorable dinner at Laja’s restaurant with Jair Tellez, one of the world’s top chefs. Savor its highly praised coursed tasting menu with wine pairing.

Evening: Back at the hotel, let your body loose and follow the rhythm in a fun salsa class!

DAY
4
Santo Tomas Experience and a Blowhole
Ensenada, Baja California
B,L,D
Las Rosas Hotel & Spa

Activity note: Walking up to one mile on slightly uphill flat ground. Standing time up to one hour at the winery. Be able to take a high step to get on and off a wagon.

Breakfast: A plated breakfast offering a variety of choices is served at the panoramic restaurant of the hotel.

Morning: The day explores the shores and valleys south of Ensenada. Encircle Todos Santos Bay admiring panoramic views of the calm bay and of the turbulent Pacific Ocean. Reach the famous Bufadora (Blowhole), a natural sea spout probably the highest in the world, which shoots water up to 70 ft high. Continue to Santo Tomas Valley. The wine making industry in Baja had its roots in the mission of Santo Tomas founded in the 1770’s, eventually becoming an established winery in 1888, one of Mexico’s oldest and biggest. See the modern installations while riding through the vineyards in a wagon stopping to wine taste at different sites.

Lunch: A paella is served in the restaurant of the winery. Although a Spanish dish, the paella has become a favorite culinary option in the wine country. Wine accompanies the meal. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Afternoon: End the visit with an exercise to distinguish wines. Return to Ensenada, a city established by the English at the end of the 19th Century as a port to serve the boom of inland mines. Today it remains an important harbor for cargo, fishing and cruise ships becoming a tourist destination. Drive past historical wooden homes built by the English; walk through the fresh fish and sea food market where live music groups entertain the buyers; enter the epic Riviera del Pacifico ex casino listening to stories about its glorious past; admire the art work of local artists that decorate the plaza of Ensenada’s cultural center. Return to the hotel to enjoy the view and the facilities. Step into the jacuzzi located above the restless Pacific Ocean. It is a 5 minutes taxi ride between town and the hotel for those interested in additional time in town.

Dinner: Back to local delicacies, dinner is at a fusion restaurant where Mexican dishes with a touch of Asian cuisine are prepared with farm - and - sea - to - table products. A glass of wine or non-alcoholic beverage is included. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Enjoy the bar and peaceful ocean front location of the hotel.

DAY
5
Ensenada and Guadalupe Valley Continued
Ensenada, Baja California
B,L,D
Las Rosas Hotel & Spa

Activity note: Walking in the ranch and in wineries up to one mile on uneven terrain. Standing and slow walking up to one hour per activity.

Breakfast: A plated breakfast offering a variety of choices is served at the panoramic restaurant of the hotel.

Morning: Visit the internationally recognized De La Torre brothers in their Guadalupe Valley home-based studio. Their talents include glass representations, paintings, metal structures and ceramics. Continue the winery visits. The beautiful Mogor Badan ranch produces organic herbs and vegetables as well as wine. Walk through the orchard accompanied by the owner to learn about the produce as well as the interesting history of the French family who established the ranch. Enter the small charming winery, learn about the production process and taste the wines..

Lunch: A country restaurant occupies a niche of the ranch. Internationally known Chef Drew Deckman prepares his delicacies with products from the ranch. Wine or a non-alcoholic drink accompanies the meal. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Afternoon: Perched on a hilltop among bugambilias, scenic Garza winery holds a privileged position in the valley. Next to Garza is Tres Mujeres, a lovely small hidden artisan establishment run by three women, one of them a ceramist. Appreciate the ceramics and the wine! Return to the hotel for time on your own.

Dinner: Cook your own farewell dinner, a fun hands-on experience! The class imparted by Chef Juan Hussong reveals the secrets of the newly defined Baja-Med cuisine. Artisan beer as well as wine accompany the cooking event and the fine dinner you helped to prepare. A non-alcoholic drink is available.

Evening: For a final farewell to Ensenada, enter Hussong’s Cantina, practically untouched since its 1893 founding. Claimed to be the inventor of the Margarita, patronized by distinguished guests, it is a true Ensenada experience! Margarita in hand, toast to a delightful journey!

DAY
6
Back Across The Border
San Diego, California
B

Activity note: Participants must carry all their belongings across the border and walk up to 1/2 mile on smooth flat ground. Possibility of standing in line.

Breakfast: A plated breakfast offering a variety of choices is served at the panoramic restaurant of the hotel.

Morning: Depart Ensenada in the morning crossing the border back into San Diego. Program ends approximately at noon. Final destinations are the San Diego Airport and the Courtyard Marriott Hotel. Please do not book flights before 2 pm.






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