A local guide to Mexico's wine region.
Alfredo Acosta, owner of the luxe Baja resort Encuentro Guadalupe, loves welcoming visitors to the Valle region. “People come here, and they’re like, ‘Wow, this is Mexico?’” That said, road signs in Valle are baffling, and GPS can be sketchy. (As local winemaking legend Hugo D’Acosta likes to say, “Good roads, bad tourists. Bad roads, good tourists.”) One option: Hire a good tour guide. Baja Wine & Food, which organized the Bayless group’s trip, is one excellent option.
Where to Stay
Local architect Alejandro D’Acosta’s distinctive style—buildings that merge with the valley’s landscape, utilizing found materials—is on display at this elegant resort. rooms from $350; bruma.mx
Individual eco-lofts on a hillside above the valley floor offer both privacy and gorgeous views; if you’re feeling flush, rent the grand three-bedroom villa. rooms from $300; grupoencuentro .com.mx
This glamping option offers spacious tent-cabins with king- or queen-size beds and outdoor showers, perfect for a warm-weather visit. The dramatic bar overlooks the Pacific. cabanas from $190; cabanascuatrocuatros .com.mx
Where to Eat
Chef Javier Plascencia’s live-fire cooking drives the menus at both Finca Altozano, his primary restaurant, and Animalón, open year-round as of this year, a short walk away.
Rising star Sheyla Alvarado runs this outdoor destination at Lomita winery. In addition to the recipes in this story, make sure to try her roasted vegetables with mole and hazelnut butter.
La Cocina de Doña Esthela
Esthela Martínez Bueno started out with a tiny store selling potato chips and toothpaste; now people flock to her restaurant for delicious Sinaloan cooking: machaca, borrego tatemado, and corn pancakes with honey. 52-646-156-8453
Where to Taste Wine
Clos de Tres Cantos
With its pyramidal buildings and light passing through reclaimed-wine-bottle walls, it suggests a monastery devoted to vino. 52-55-8568-9240
Owner Paolo Paoloni’s brand-new tasting room should be open this September.
As Rick Bayless says, “Everyone reveres Camillo Magoni.”
This annual event, happening this year October 5–7, is a great place to try a vast number of Valle wines. (tickets from $125)
Wines to Buy
More and more Valle de Guadalupe wines are available in the U.S. For a start, seek out the following:
2013 L.A. Cetto Reserva Privada Nebbiolo ($24) “The first Mexican wine I ever tried,” Rick Bayless recalls. It’s dark, fruity, and intense.
2017 Bodegas Henri Lurton Chenin Blanc ($28) Lulú Martinez Ojeda is a Baja winemaking phenom. This succulent white shows why.
2017 Casa Magoni Chardonnay-Vermentino ($18) A crisp, bright white blend from a master winemaker.