Valle de Guadalupe is Mexico’s premier wine region, and it is a place unlike any other. Located just a couple of hours south of San Diego, the Guadalupe Valley serves up the best Mexican wines you’ll ever taste. The Valle de Guadalupe has been a favorite stop for Southern Californians for decades, but the secret is starting to get out about this Mexican gem.
Just a couple of hours inland from the Pacific Ocean, the Valle de Guadalupe seems like little more than a bunch of rural dirt roads. But a quick trip to some of the best wineries in Mexico’s wine country is all it takes to realize how special of a place this truly is! The Northern Mexican state of Baja California may have a reputation for danger, but this place is unaffected and tranquil.
During our trip to Valle de Guadalupe, we visited a bunch of really incredible boutique wineries. Many of the Valle de Guadalupe wineries we visited really impressed us, and they definitely served the best wines we had in Mexico. While we visited a bunch of these upper-echelon wineries, we really had an incredible time visiting smaller, lesser-known Vineyards as well.
In this post, we’ll outline our picks of the best vineyards in Valle de Guadalupe that you should visit, along with our favorite wines from each one. If you’re in the middle of planning your next Valle de Guadalupe trip, I also recommend that you check out my Valle de Guadalupe Travel Guide for tips and advice regarding your trip.
You can see our whole Valle de Guadalupe trip in our Vlog!
Best Wineries in Valle de Guadalupe
Our Top Picks: Vena Cava Mezcla Especial Red Blend and Sauvignon Blanc
Vena Cava Vineyards is easily the most popular and famous Valle de Guadalupe vineyard on this list, and we couldn’t help but put it first on this list. Vena Cava is one of the top wineries in all of Valle de Guadalupe, and you really need to include it on your next trip to Mexican wine country. The red wines here are top-notch, the vineyard itself is gorgeous, and the views of the rest of the Valle de Guadalupe are stunning.
The property also has a peaceful pond with ducks overlooking a massive mountain range. In terms of food, they have a gourmet food truck named Troika that is set up outside of the tasting room.
Enjoy a duck pond at the foot of the Mexican mountains at Vena Cava.
Our Top Picks: Xecue Kekoo Grenache Rose and Xecue Kumeey Red Blend.
Xecue Vineyard is devoted to commemorating the cultures of the native people of Baja California. Each of their wines is named after a type of family member, like “daughter” and “father,” and all of the names are in the local native language. While we didn’t try the food, we thoroughly enjoyed their wine tasting.
The restaurant and tasting room share an outdoor terrace with absolutely stunning views. Of all the Valle de Guadalupe vineyards that we visited, this one had the best views. The natural landscape could be seen for miles off of the outdoor patio!
The views at Xecue are gorgeous.
Our Top Pick: Chenin Colombard and Gran Ricardo
Monte Xanic is one of the most recognized wineries in all of Mexico. Established in 1987, this vineyard’s vibes rival those of some Napa Valley wineries. There is no doubt that this is one of the best places to taste fine wines in all of Valle de Guadalupe.
Wine enthusiasts will love the Chenin Colombard. This wine is a blend of Chenin Blanc and French Colombard grapes, and has even won international awards.
This wine maker, with its Gran Ricardo and other world-class wine labels, helped to put Mexico’s wine industry on the map.
Our Top Picks: Dubacano Gran Reserva Merlot and Dubacano Tempranillo.
Vinos Dubacano has some really, really good wines. It’s necessary to specify that you want their Valle de Guadalupe location, because their vineyard is actually located in another region a couple hours south of Valle de Guadalupe. While you’ll only be able to visit a tasting room and can’t walk around the vineyard (since it’s hours away), it is still really worth the visit.
Their wines are magnificent and have flavors that are slightly different than the rest of Valle de Guadalupe because of their different growing climate. Many of Valle de Guadalupe’s wineries serve up merlots and sauvignon blancs, but Vinos Dubacano specializes in popular Southern European grapes, like Tempranillo and Sangiovese.
Varieties of Wine in Valle de Guadalupe
If you’ve never heard about Tempranillo or are curious about the varieties of wines that Valle de Guadalupe is known for, check out my Valle de Guadalupe Wine Guide. In that post, I go into more detail about why the dry climate of Valle de Guadalupe creates different flavors than places like Italy and France.
Valle de Guadalupe wines are unique in a lot of ways, even though the actual wine production methods are very similar to the top vineyards in Europe and California.
Our Top Picks: Setecientos 700 Reales Cabernet Sauvignon and Nebbiolo blend and Linaje Cabernet Sauvignon
We may be a little bit biased because we stayed in a luxury cabin on this vineyard for the duration of our trip. But really, the wines are pretty good, especially for one of the lesser-known wineries of Valle de Guadalupe. The staff here is extremely friendly, the vineyard is beautiful, and the food is really great.
La Ruta del Vino, as it’s called, is often very booked up during popular months at most of the top boutique wineries. This boutique winery, however, is also very amenable to people that forgot to make a reservation. So if you’re having trouble booking wine tastings, Don Tomas Vineyard is a great place to check out.
If you’re interested in staying in a luxury cabin while you’re in Valle de Guadalupe, check out our YouTube video detailing what it is like to stay in the Cabins at Don Tomas Vineyard. There are plenty of Valle de Guadalupe hotels to choose from, but many boutique hotels miss on the special touches that Don Tomas offers. It is the perfect place for wine lovers to unplug after a long day of exploring Mexico’s wine region.
We booked our stay in Don Tomas’ vineyard cabins. You can read about our excellent experience with them HERE.
Our Top Pick: Sauvignon Blanc (The Best Wine in Valle de Guadalupe)
The wines at Corona del Valle were really good, but the best part is their food and their atmosphere. They have an outdoor beer garden type of area as well as an indoor restaurant and tasting room. We came here for lunch and a wine tasting and wound up going back for dinner just because of how great our first experience was.
While their Malbec leaves me a little disappointed, the Corona del Valle Sauvignon Blanc and Tempranillo are magnificent. Both of these are exceptional wines. I’m not usually a fan of white wines, so for me to call a sauvignon blanc the best wine in the area, it has to be special.
Corona del Valle is a fantastic spot to enjoy a sunset.
7. La Cetto Vineyard
Our Top Pick: Petite Sirah
L.A. Cetto is the oldest winery you’re likely to visit while in Valle de Guadalupe. Founded in the 1970s, this place is the largest wine producer in Mexico and one of the oldest wineries in Baja California. Its own vineyards span for thousands of acres throughout the area.
L.A. Cetto is not world-class, but it is noteworthy. As the largest wine maker in Mexico, this company has solidified its footprint in the Mexican wine industry. The wines are all tasty, and the affordable price points make La Cetto a popular destination on any first trip to the Valle de Guadalupe.
Our Top Pick: Perseus Nebbiolo – Sangiovese
El Cielo is the gold standard of accommodation in Valle de Guadalupe. This 5-star resort offers up incredible amenities, like a gourmet restaurant, to its guests. While it is quite expensive, it is first-class.
The wines at El Cielo are also wonderful, but at a much higher price point. El Cielo is very expensive and exclusive. While most Baja wine producers only dream of true exclusivity, El Cielo seems to have accomplished it.
Rooms here usually start at over $300 per night, which is unheard of by Mexican standards – especially in the dirt roads region of Valle de Guadalupe! However, if you have the cash to spend, it is a very lavish place. Follow this link to book your stay.
Our Top Pick: Canto de Luna
The Finca La Carrodilla is one of the best environment-focused wineries in Mexico. This winery pays special attention to the purity of the organic ingredients that it uses to create its wines. It is the first certified organic vineyard in Valle de Guadalupe!
It is also the perfect place for any animal lover to visit, as there are several animals roaming around the property, from cats and dogs to chickens and sheep!
10. Bruma Vinicola
Our Top Pick: Ocho Tinto
Bruma Vinicola is a luxurious eco-resort in the heart of the Valle de Guadalupe. This winery focuses on connecting its guests with nature. They accomplish this through local experiences as well as delicious wines.
The small resort’s most eye-grabbing feature is its gorgeous pool. There is also a restaurant located on the premises. Restaurante Fauna serves up great food that goes perfectly with the vineyard’s delicious wines!
Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Valle de Guadalupe
Is it safe to drive to Valle de Guadalupe from San Diego?
It is safe to drive to Valle de Guadalupe from San Diego as long as you know what to do.
There are certain aspects about driving in Mexico that are off-putting for Americans, like corrupt police and organized crime. Neither of these are a major issue on the roads from San Diego to Valle de Guadalupe, except for in and around Tijuana.
Outside of Tijuana, Baja California is a very safe state. Driving to Valle de Guadalupe from San Diego is a great idea, as it’s almost impossible to get around the area without your own car. There are very few Ubers and taxis that operate in the valley.
Do you need reservations in Valle de Guadalupe?
You do need reservations at most nice vineyards in Valle de Guadalupe. While some vineyards accept visitors without a prior reservation, this is not the case at most of the area’s best wineries. It is highly recommended that you book your tastings in advance, especially if visiting during the high season.
Is it safe to travel to Valle de Guadalupe right now?
It is safe to travel to Valle de Guadalupe right now, as long as you take normal precautions. Mexico is known for having flare-ups of criminal activity, but this region is usually unaffected. Tijuana has a reputation as one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico, but Valle de Guadalupe is several hours removed from these risks.
Do I need a car in Valle de Guadalupe?
You absolutely need a car in Valle de Guadalupe. The region is very remote, equally blending paved and dirt roads. There is technically Uber in the area, but there are never cars available. We were once stranded without a ride and had to walk three miles back to our hotel. Don’t be like us – make sure you have your own car.
What should I wear in Valle de Guadalupe?
You should wear comfortable yet professional attire in Valle de Guadalupe. There is no need to wear formal attire to most of the area’s wineries. But it is a good idea to dress in at least smart casual.
Valle de Guadalupe is very rural, so you should opt for boots instead of high heels or flip-flops. During the cooler months, the area can get pretty chilly, so you should be sure to bring a jacket.
Can you use Uber in Valle de Guadalupe?
You can use Uber in Valle de Guadalupe if you are lucky. There is technically Uber in Valle de Guadalupe, but the supply of drivers is very low. Most drivers stay in the nearby city of Ensenada where there are more riders.
We were once stranded three miles from our hotel and there were no Ubers available. After waiting over two hours, we just decided to walk.
If you’re looking for more information to help plan your trip and decide which vineyards to visit, check out our blog posts below: