Jessica and I were on the road by 9 para celebrar mis cumpleaños en Baja. (Jessica era la única persona que conozco que se arriesgaría el temor de visitar México.) We first stopped by el museo communitario de Tecate so Jessica could check out where I volunteer. I asked Michel (the CAREM employee that I always work with on the weekends) to join us for a birthday picture.
After the museum we drove to the wine museum in Guadalupe Valley, about an hour south west on the 3. I love that so much land has been preserved in this area.
I was so impressed by el museo de la vid y el vino (the museum of vine and wine). The museum is brand new and so informative. It covered the history of wine making as the process moved to different civilizations, along with the process of making and bottling wine, and different types of wine.
The most impressive facts were that:
1) Wine making originated in either Georgia or Iran in 5400 BC. Then the process traveled to Egypt and it wasn't almost 3,000 years later that had been learned by Greece. From Greece it went to France, from France to Italy and then from Italy to Spain (in 218 BC).
2) Wine making moved to the new world with the missionaries who had developed religious ceremonies that utilized wine.
There is also a gallery of wine art.
There is a large upper level where people get married and events are had. The view is beautiful.
I wanted to make sure that we went to the cheese cellar so we decided it was best to wine taste at the end of the day. La cava de queso is about 40 km east of Ensenada on the highway towards San Felipe.
It is difficult to choose which religious rock art is my favorite.
I think many people would be intimidated by the military checkpoints, at least if you don't realize what they are looking for. The are trying to reduce drug trafficking. They ask you where you came from and where you are going.
After exiting the highway, we followed the numerous sign for la cava de queso northward, about 7 km off of a dirt road.
There was a tour that started right when I arrived. I was translating for Jessica when the tour guide who had been speaking in Spanish turned around and informed us in perfect English that they do offer the tour in English.
During the colder months cats come in the barn to get warm by sleeping with the cows.
They have over 100 cows that are milked two times a day for about ten minutes each time. The cheese and milk products are unpasteurized and amazing. We tried ricotta, and butter with no salt added (it had so much flavor).
When we first arrived one of the employees saw that Jessica was cold and hurried out to loan her a blanket. They offered one to me as well. I wasn't very cold but how could I say no?!
After the tour was over we were brought down to the cellar for wine and six kinds of cheese (of varying ages), and bread, and sliced apples, and fresh fig jam. My favorite was the second to the oldest cheese with bread and fig jam.
La cava de queso (la cava de Marcielo) is absolutely incredible. In the courtyard there are a bunch of picnic benches and a food and drink menu which seemed very popular.
The tour, the cheese and the wine samples was 10$ per person.
We did not end up having time for wine tasting but I did two out of three things that I wanted to do (the wine museum and the cheese cellar) so I was happy.
When we arrived back in Tecate around 8 La Antigua (a wine tasting bar by the central park) was still open. I sampled wine and bought a few bottles. La Antigua also has pizza and sandwiches that are fresh, all natural, and the owner is very proud of.
What an amazing trip to Mexico. Deseo que los estadounidenses no fueron intimidados por México.