Fred thought it would be most fitting if we celebrated me graduating with a BA in Spanish in Mexico. Buena idea...
I chose la ruta del vino as our destination as I have been wanting to explore the area since I realized it was there (not that long ago). We crossed the border at Tecate, and it was a much different experience. The drive is rural and completely gorgeous all the way from Jamul to the wine route.
La casa de Doña Lupe was our first stop, which is just minutes past L.A. Cello, a larger and more famous winery.
The man interviewing Doña Lupe is Jorge Meraz. I recognized him immediately, before we noticed his small film crew. He has a show on PBS called Crossing South. Although I can hardly stand him because I am jealous that he is trying to be the Huell Howser of Baja (and I am quite certain I could do a better job), but I decided to be the bigger person and look past our feud that he doesn't know exists and introduce myself.
Doña Lupe makes a delicious vegetarian pizza.
They also have amazing jam, Fred said the best he has ever had.
After our pizza, jam samples, a complementary plate of cheese and bread, and two four-glass wine tastings we headed to L.A. Cetto.
L.A. Cetto has wine tours every 30 minutes. Fred didn't know what was going on but he was a good sport.
After the tour we sampled 8 different wines, the reserves were our favorites.
The last stop on this short wine tour was Encuentro Guadalupe.
The structures on the hill, behind the restaurant, are living quarters. They claim they are not a hotel (you can buy the houses) but they are listed on Trip Advisor as one. I need to look into this. The view of the valley is incredible.
This goat cheese platter with fig jam was amazing.
After our day in la ruta del vino we wandered around Tecate.
When Fred noticed the Tecate sign he remembered that this is the location of the brewery.
When we asked the security guard in front if we could enter he said 'claro que si' and gave us a ticket for a free beer. Apparently this is were locals go after work and get their payment for having a factory in their backyard.
We noticed this restaurant on our way into town because it was packed with locals, it is a omnivores dream. They have four options for beef, one of them is 'cabeza'- head. We decided to play it safe and I ordered the 'asada' for Fred. He said it was the best carne asada burrito he has had since he was a kid.
We only had to wait 55 minutes at the border, which I thought was pretty good for a three day weekend.
We will definitely be going back to Tecate (I spoke with the tourism board and got two phone numbers for possible places I can volunteer on the weekend), and we will be exploring more of la ruta del vino (there are over 30 wineries in the area).
Mexico is amazing.