Viva Valle! A week in Valle de Guadeloupe

We had a blast all week in Valle de Guadeloupe, with a day in Ensenada.
So close to LA and such great cuisine and wineries and physical beauty. Stayed at Bruma - absolutely gorgeous small hotel. Used a wonderful Tour Guide (Karina Campos who made all our reservations (hotel, restaurants, wine tasting, horseback riding etc.) and took care of every little detail, all for a very reasonable price. All the driving, including pick-up and drop-off in LA was included, so no worries about drinking and driving (or, more likely, just getting lost AF).

Meals at:

Fauna FAUNA - Restaurant

Roasted Cauliflower


Scallops in Brown Butter

Pork Salpicon w/ Avocado and Tomatillo (one of our best dishes we had in Valle)

Finca Altozano

Terrific grilled Octopus and Brussles with Parmesan

Sabina (AKA La Guerrerense)
OMG - the tostadas are life-changing


Wonderful Yellowtail/Uni Ceviche and RIBEYE from the gods!


Fantastic tasting menus

Charred Aguachile (cameron, Kohlrabi)

Octo is big in Valle

Clay Baked Lamb Barbacoa

Corazon De Tierra

It’s such a bummer Diego Hernandez’s Verlaine was such a flop here. His food in Valle is just incredible.

Garden Salad

Octo Taco

Can’t wait to return!


Forgot a fantastic breakfast at La Cocina De Dona Esthelaña-esthela-valle-de-guadalupe

How could I forget one of the world’s best breakfasts

100% Corn Pancakes and Borrega and Gordita con Chicharron


Muchas gracias for the great review

The past week was amazing! Thanks for letting me guide you around my favorite wine region and all it’s hidden gems.

Gracias again amigos
Happy anniversary

Out of the 3 which restaurant animalon, fauna, or corazon was you favorite

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That’s tough - probably Fauna but they were all great.


Thanks for the info, I’m going in December so we’ll probably make reservations at one or two of those places.

enjoy - where are you staying? if you can get to La Cocina de Dona esthela, that’s quite special

Will do! Staying in the Gaviotas community so a little bit of a drive.

I’ve been to Dona estela a couple of times and the food is amazing but those lines can be super long though. Definitely going to try to go early or late and take my friends.

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Apologies for the bump but genuinely curious. Was any of the wine here any good?

TBH - I am more of a beer and cocktail man so I cannot answer with any personal authority or serious care.
But my wife, who does love wine, thought some were too sweet, some were too tart, some were too rough and nothing “wowed” her. The food, the architecture, the people, the culture and scenery far outweighed the wine (for us). But I do know that the winemakers we met were very passionate about what they are doing and, to many folks, it is thought of as a place that is “developing” wines that will someday be great. I think - for people who really love to taste these young Frankensteins/experiments - it is very exciting.


Excellent intel and just what I was looking for. Thank you.

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Some of the wine in the Valle is very good, some of it is just okay, and a fair share really isn’t very good.

My hands down favorite all-'round winery in the Valle is Emeve. They’ve been around a long time and have worked really hard at the craft. Their reds are very good. Knock your socks off good? Probably not yet, but they are consistent and produce lovely balanced wines.

Pagano from La Lomita used to be quite good as well, but they’ve got super popular and expanded and the last bottle I had wasn’t up to the usual standards. Pagano is a 100% grenach wine. Lomita is also producing a Gran Reserva greneche that can be quite good if you can get bottles with some age on them.

For every 10 wines you taste, only 1 or 2 will be memorable, 1 or 2 will be undrinkable and the rest nice, drinkable wines without a lot of character or distinction. I’ve watched the commercialization of the Valle over the last 10 years. Too many wineries, too little water, lots of new vines, a lot of passion and a very steep learning curve. To really understand what’s happening in the Valle, you need to go down on a regular basis and systematically work you way through the many wineries so you can get an idea of what is being produced, what grapes are producing well, what trends are developing and so on. I had a phase where I was going down every couple of months and trying different wines and then I didn’t go for a couple of years. When I went back I was amazed (dismayed?) by the development and growth.

Even tho’ I don’t love the wines from the Valle (I do like many of them however), I love going and spending time there. The food is outstanding but the ambiance and overall feel of the Valle is relaxing and, somehow (?) comforting. It’s a little bit like entering a bubble where all your worried and all the problems of the outside world are kept at bay and you don’t have to think about them. Energetically, it’s a very special place.


When I visit Guadalajara I always buy a bunch of Guadalupe wines at Contra Vinos and try them. That’s pretty much my experience except I’d add that they’re generally overpriced compared with similar imported wines.

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I agree, many Valle wines are priced much higher than they should be.

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Strongly agree–food and atmosphere is great, wine is bad to fine.

Look for Bichi wines. Their grapes come from vineyards in Tecate and the Valle de Guadeloupe. Natural wines made with the aid of French winemakers, and owned by chef Jair Tellez and his brother.

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Bichi’s distributed in the US. I don’t think they get many grapes from Guadalupe.

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The Jose Pastor site says:

“Bichi farms 10 hectares of their own Tecate vineyards biodynamically and collaborates with a growing family of organic farmers working vineyard land in Tecate and around San Antonio de las Minas (Valle de Guadalupe).”

Regardless, if you’re in restaurants in the Valle and you see Bichi on the list, that’s a much better choice than most of the generic modern-style overpriced Valle wines.

Helen, do you have recommendations for Bichi? My experiences with them in both V de G and Mexico City is that they’ve been inconsistent. Some good, some barely drinkable.

I think that’s often the case with low intervention wines. Some bottles are great, and some are flawed because they’re not using chemicals to stabilize and control the process and thus gross things can happen on an individual barrel or bottle scale.

Have you tried the Pet Mex and the No Sapiens?