Wednesday, January 09, 2013

My Biased Guide To Mexican Wine Country

Explanation and disclaimer: this is written at the very beginning of 2012, and is current to that time. Be advised that things can change rapidly around these parts.
Ensenada and the Valle de Guadalupe compose what I think is the premier wine country destination for Southern Californians, but finding an initial handhold in the area can be a little tricky: much of the best stuff is hard to get to and requires a little upfront knowledge. The flip side of this coin is that the region is small and the people are very familial, so it’s easy to personally meet a lot of the people driving the gastronomy and culture.
The Origin Story
First, a little background. The Valle de Guadalupe and surrounding areas are one of the oldest wine growing regions in California. However, its current era is considered to have started in the late 80′s, when winemaker Hugo D’Acosta came to Santo Tomas winery with a program to develop the region via wine, food and culture. He brought chef Benito Molina from Mexico City to helm Santo Tomas’ restaurant in downtown Ensenada, and Hugo’s brother, architect Alejandro D’Acosta, designed the new Santo Tomas winery faciltiy south of town.

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