A Summer of Wine and Music in the Guadalupe Valley of Baja California, Mexico

Published 03 June 08 11:53 AM

Column 060208 Dryden

Monday, June 2, 2008

“Vino-Tourism” by Steve Dryden


Things are hot in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California – literally, as temperatures have already reached ninety degrees or higher in some parts of Mexico’s premium wine country. Spring was nice, the one day it lasted! We’ve had a hard time planting new root stock in the vineyards this year due to the early summer-like weather, and we’re seeing another shortage of water this year with below average rainfall during the fall, winter and spring months.


But I do have some “cool news” to share with my readers. It’s time to party in Valle de Guadalupe with the L.A. Cetto Summer Concert Series, and the upcoming Fiestas de La Vendimia – the grape and wine harvest festivities. 


L.A. Cetto and family are presenting a summer-long concert series again this year with world class entertainment, fine wine and great food. The next event will be held on Sunday, June 8, and the summer long schedule can be found on the Events page of their website. This is a great way for foreigners or newcomers to emerge yourselves into the magical Italian/Mexican wine, food and entertainment culture of L.A. Cetto and friends. Wine flows as freely as the music, and its more than likely you’ll make some new friends.


One key element is to pace yourself due to the combination of summer heat and wine. I’ve had a few events at Cetto’s where I don’t really recall much afterwards, but everyone in the region seems to know me or what I did at the last event!


The L.A. Cetto winery is celebrating their 80th anniversary (1928-2008) this year – so expect some incredible entertainment from a family that fully understands “classic” event hosting and planning. On Sunday June 8th, at their Tijuana location and corporate facility, they’ll be presenting Festival de la Paella y el Vino at 1 p.m. Saturday June 28th will mark the return of one of Mexico’s most famous bands, Mariachi Vargas with Fernando de la Mora. This group is amazing and can’t be missed! The concert will start at 3:00 p.m. in the Valle de Guadalupe, with VIP tickets at US$60.00, and US$40 for general admission. July 12th (Saturday), at 2 p.m., Viñedos Valle de Guadalupe (Cetto) presents Valle Sunset.


Don Luis Cetto loves the world of premium wine, gourmet cuisine, music and art. Every year his family hosts an artistic wine-related competition that brings out some of the best artists in the region. This year’s event will be held at their Tijuana facility on Wednesday, August 6th, at 6:00 p.m. The biggest musical and cultural event of the year for Cetto is held on Saturday, August 16th, but it is already sold out and has been since March 1st, as usual. Yet tickets are still available (if you move fast) to see and hear the incredible Raul Di Blasio on Saturday, September 20th, in the Valle de Guadalupe at 4:00 p.m. VIP US$60, general admission US$40. For information and reservations call (664) 685-3031 or or www.cettowines.com. I’ve had the best of luck getting tickets in person at the winery in Guadalupe Valley by calling in advance to: (646) 155-2264 with Alex or Ofelia.


These events are too much fun, so I recommend that you spend the night and keep any driving to a minimum, or use a designated driver. Most of the hotels and B&B’s are already booked for the Fiestas de la Vendimia season, but there is hope (again if you act fast) with a new and exciting new hotel opening on June 26th.


Hacienda Guadalupe will feature twelve deluxe rooms with king-size Serta mattresses, T-300 bedding, Dubay quilts, original artwork, custom-made furnishings, jacuzzi/pool with waterfall, and fantastic views from each private balcony. This will become a valley favorite with the addition of a gourmet restaurant that will feature stunning sunsets and wine country views along with affordable dining.


According to owner Daniel Sanchez, “we plan to offer a deluxe hotel with upscale amenities, good food and unsurpassed hospitality. Our lobby, restaurant and wine bar features an artisan designed chimney with open beam ceilings in an environment that is designed for the ultimate in relaxation.” The restaurant will seat 160 guests and include an outside terrace with magnificent valley and sunset views. Dinner specials will feature regional and international culinary delights. In addition, Daniel Sanchez and his wife, Gabriela Melchum, are growing five acres of Tempranillo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that will eventually allow for the production of house wines and wine tastings. Normal room rates will be US$139 week days and US$150 weekends. Call now for summer reservations: (664) 151-3273 Mex, (714) 313-5138 US, info@haciendaguadalupehotel.com or www.haciendaguadalupehotel.com


Be ready for summer fun with a diverse production of entertainment, jazz concerts, country sunset dinners and Tango dancing in the vineyards and wineries of Valle de Guadalupe. Almost every winery will feature special events during the summer season, and generally they have tickets for their events at each specific winery. Tickets do sell very fast, so come on down now and plan your summer adventures.

In the June 15 issue of the Baja Times I’ll have more specific information about Fiestas de la Vendimia events at various wineries.

MexiData.info note: For a map to the Baja California wineries, go to Better Roads Offer Easy Access to Mexico’s Wine Country (MexiData.info, May 12, 2008)


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