Situated on 3,000 sun-dappled acres 25 miles east of Ensenada is Baja, Mexico’s wine country — Valle de Guadalupe. The valley produces 90% of the country’s vino. Orchards yield Petite Sirah, Chenin Blanc, and Nebbiolo stellar enough to rival their contemporaries in Europe, making it a popular destination. But, it’s not just the grapes attracting visitors.
Artisanal olive oil, marmalade, honey, and cheese made at the Baja Wineries are huge crowd pleasers.
LA Cetto Winery offers fresh pressed extra virgin olive oil for an inexpensive price. Its light taste and consistency make it perfect for salad dressing. When I was there in October, 2016, a 750ml bottle cost $7.
Nearby, is La Casa Doña Lupe, one of the organic Baja wineries. This place has elevated homemade culinary treats to a new level! Doña’s been running her vineyard for over 50 years. Recently, her son and daughter have joined Doña to help her run the growing business.
Olive trees laden with the green orbs line her driveway. Each November her staff harvest and squeeze the green fruit into Dona’s Ajo y Especias — garlic and spices olive oil. I tried to get the recipe out of her, but nada.
The bottles fly off the shelf. Rightly so.
Another of Dona’s specialties is marmalade. Her amazing combinations dance on your tongue – tomato/chili, chipotle/peach, strawberry/chocolate…okay, gotta stop, my mouth’s watering.
On your way out of the valley you MUST stop at Tienda de Quesos y Vinos Cremeria los Globos. The women who run the shop are ADORBS! They make every kind of cheese imaginable…and give lots of samples.
And…wait for it…they sell
Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon Honey!
Talk about a unique tea party.