Admittedly, Mexico is not the first country that comes to mind when thinking of wine, but the emerging wine country in Baja does make for a memorable exploration and a unique and easy trip from Southern California. Take a long weekend and indulge in an exploration of the spirits — and the scenery — here.
Day 1: Tijuana to Ensenada
Cross the border into Mexico and make a stop in Tijuana for a generous sampling of Baja's wines at the Cava de Vinos L.A. Cetto (L.A. Cetto Winery). Cava is big and commercial, but it will give you an introduction to what Mexican wines have traditionally been known for. The cork-covered building is a sight to see in and of itself. When you're finished (and of course you will have designated a driver), have lunch at La Contra, which crafts its menu to complement wines. Be sure to book a room in advance at La Villa del Valle or you can stay in Ensenada, but it's a winding 29km (18-mile) drive.
Days 2 & 3: Valle de Guadalupe
Take a break from drinking and pay a visit to the Museo Comunitario del Valle de Guadalupe and the Museo Histórico Comunitario for a crash course in the region's history. Then it's back to the bottle. Don't miss smaller, boutique wineries, such as Adobe Guadalupe, Monte Xanic, Chateau Camou, or Mogor Badan, but the larger, industrial Guadalupe branch of L.A. Cetto and Domecq put out a gracious welcome too. Be certain to plan a meal (reservations are recommended) at Laja, or in summer, at Silvestre, before heading back.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.