Bienvenidas y bienvenidos a Mexico! Our entrance into the first Mexican port, the city of Ensenada, was greeted with a misty morning with gulls and sea lions. Even though the morning was slow, we had a great view from the cityscape, the port, and the couple of rays of sunshine trying to trickle between the clouds. While waiting for clearance from Mexican customs, we had a great lecture from the Field Staff on expedition photography, followed by the presentation of one of Jacques Cousteau’s earlier films from the region. As soon as customs was cleared, we boarded the buses with excitement and made our way out to Valle de Guadalupe where our hosts from Adobe Guadalupe winery would greet us.
El Valle de Guadalupe is known for being one of Mexico’s prime valleys for wine-growing, producing over 70% of the country’s wine. The terroir and distinct climate characteristics combine to make some unique blends of varietal grapes. The thick skins of these grapes produce some of the most aromatic and flavorful reds, whites and roses, with emerald rich colors apt for any food pairings. Lucky for us we had one of the celebrity chefs from the region prepare us a delicious meal, which was accompanied by the dazzling voice of a local opera singer and mariachi band. Despite the atypical weather in the Valle, the scenery from the vineyards was impressive, and we got to dine inside the wine cellars of Adobe Guadalupe. An evening full of flavors, wine tasting and touring of the winery’s building made up the bulk of our evening, as the sun set and we soon found ourselves making our way back to the Venture. This was a perfect gastronomical and cultural detour that is also part of the Baja Californian richness. Now, on our way south towards Isla San Martin!