A weekend in Valle de Guadalupe wine country engages the senses with food, wine, and a new adventure at every turn

Claire Martin


Some to consider bringing home (there’s a 1 liter per person border-crossing limit), plus where to eat and stay.


  • Agrifolia 2008 “Ulloa” ($32 U.S.). In this blend, Cab, Grenache, and Petite Sirah add up to a worthy food wine. Peppered cherries, pleasantly briny herbs, and solid tannins. ulloawines.com
  • Casa de Piedra 2008 “Contraste” ($48 U.S.). Global-minded Hugo D’Acosta splashed some juice from Livermore, California, in this Tempranillo, Cabernet, and Merlot blend. Dark, juicy berries, tangy red fruit, mocha, and hints of spicy oak. vinoscasadepiedra.com
  • Las Nubes 2011 “Selección de Barricas” ($16 U.S.). Four grapes team up in this berried, briary package with Bing cherry, pepper, and herbs. vinoslasnubesbc.com
  • Santo Tomás 2009 “Tinto Misión” ($12 U.S.). Dusty red berry and Santa Rosa plums spiked with cinnamon add up to a steal in this Tempranillo/Carignane blend from one of the oldest wineries in the valley. santo-tomas.com
  • Vena Cava 2010 Tempranillo ($27 U.S.). A whiff of resiny, cedar aromas fades into this varietal’s characteristic tangy, peppery berries, herbs, and warm spices softened with sweet mocha and vanilla. venacavawine.com