Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Food Court: Valle 13 Sabor del Sabor

Looks like Valle de Guadalupe has several new dining options.  A new food court located in Francisco Zarco opened last Saturday (April 18).

Friday - Sunday
1:00 - 11:00



Getting a bunch of friends together and heading to the Valle to celebrate your birthday is an excellent idea.

Even in the fog, the Valle shines through....

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Progress Report: Moli

Chef Roberto Alcocer (Malva, Tahal) posted this picture on Instagram today. So, it looks like we know the name of his third Valle de Guadalupe project scheduled to open in December of this year.

Photo credit: @alcocerroberto on Instagram

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Event Report: Barefoot Bohemian - History of Carnitas

Tortillas with super powers!

Hey Jamie, let's do this again.

Farmers Market Report: Cintia Soto

We try to swing by the little farmers market on the Mogor Badan property if we are in the Valle on Saturday mornings.  Last time we arrived a little later than usual and they had already sold their last loaf of bread.  Very disappointing but lesson learned.

Citia Soto is good at photography.

Restaurant Report: - Adobe Guadalupe Food Truck

I like talking to Leda Gamboa Rojas and eating food from her truck.

Restaurant Report: San Diego City Beat - Las Gueritas

Michael Gardiner's review of this excellent road side stand is on point.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Chef Diego Hernandez Baquedano on Sustainablility

"Maybe I’m a bit romantic, but to cook what I grow on my own land is a beautiful thing."   
Chef Diego Hernandez Baquedano of Corazon de Tierra

Carnitas con Historia: Doña Esthela

Doña Esthela and Javier Plascencia

There was no way we were going to miss this party.

Carnitas con Historia: Doña Esthela from Cowan Productions on Vimeo.

Shout Out: San Diego Reader

The biggest take away from this Reader article is that staying on the coast (Ensenada or La Mision) is a fantastic option.

Trip Report: Passports & Cocktails

My palate is good for about three tastings. 

With that in mind the wineries suggested in this blog post make a lot of sense - they are relatively close together, make good wines, and you end the trip at Troika!  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Interview: Javier Plascencia (Finca Altozano)

Several years ago I attended an event at The Lodge at Torrey Pines called Celebrate the Craft. As attendees we were able to sample the food from many of the area's best chefs.  

Towards the end of the event and as many of the stalls were closing down I noticed a line of chefs who had previously been working waiting for someone's food.  I figured the best chefs in San Diego must know something, so I got in line.

It turned out that we were waiting for some food prepared by Javier Plascencia.  He had roasted a goat on an open fire and was serving it inside a warm tortillas covered with a spicy tomatillo salsa. The chefs were right - the tacos were delicious.

It was at Celebrate the Craft that Javier Plascencia popped onto my radar as someone to watch.  His restaurant empire now stretches from San Diego to Valle de Guadalupe and it is apparently going to get much bigger.

Shout Out: State of Mine

This shout out is aspirational. 

Nina (State of Mine) has not been to the Valle but it is on her bucket list.  She's clearly done her research although a few of the places she mentions are not in Valle de Guadalupe (Agua Mala, Manzanilla, and Boules). 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Trip Report: Madre Vida

Based upon the spike in page views here, I think there will be a lot more people following Ana Flores and her family to the Valle.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Trip Report:

Misty Tosh visits Adobe Guadalupe and reveals some secrets.

Trip Report: Oh Miso Hungry

Here's a trip report about a "not-so-spontaneous girl's trip to Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe".  

I agree completely with her opinion about Finca's pulpo dish.

Trip Report: SipSavorSeeSD

It appears that Briana did her research and planned an excellent weekend in the Valle.  Her detailed trip report is well worth a read. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

New Winery: Viñas Tierra Santa

A couple weeks ago my friend Colleen and I spent a day in the Valle de Guadalupe exploring.  We had no real plan other than to check out places we had never visited before.  Meandering the Valle's dirt roads is one of my favorite things to do in the Valle.  Without fail the Valle always reveals something special.  

Just before lunch I pulled off Highway 3 onto the dirt road that leads to La Villa de Valle (I may of been thinking of Troika's Lechon) and noticed the sign for Viñas Tierra Santa (VTS).  Neither of us had heard of VTS before and since the gate was open we headed towards a couple buildings on the property.

We were immediately greeted by Gloria who along with her husband Dr. Mario Nomura own and run the winery.  Gloria was more than a gracious host.  She gave us a tour of the place, shared their story and their wine. The VTS is their passion project .  They both have full time jobs and they operate winery in their "spare" time.

Open only on weekends VTS is definitely worth a visit.  They currently produce three wines that are very drinkable and reasonably priced.  It is also worth mentioning that their barrel room has a beautiful mural painted by Liliana Molins.  It is one of my favorite art pieces in the Valle.         

Monday, April 13, 2015

Itinerary Report: Chipotle (Me)

encuentro antiresort

We picked up some friends on Friday morning and headed towards Valle de Guadalupe. The main reason for the trip was to attend the History of Carnitas fiesta at Doña Esthela's ranch. But, since our friends had never been to the Valle, I wanted to show them a few of the Valle's gems.

I had three goals.

•  You can't see everything in a couple days, but I wanted to show a cross section of what makes Valle de Guadalupe special.

•  Even though we were spending the night our time was limited.  It was important to plan the tour to maximize our time enjoying the valley and minimize the time bouncing around on dirt roads.

•  My friend John comes from the world of environmental design.  I wanted to show him some of the best and most unique examples of design in the valle.

With those goals in mind here was our itinerary.


Poco Cielo (right next to La Fonda) -- We made a quick stop here to sit on their patio and watch the dolphins play in the surf. (Mimosas may have been consumed).

Alximia -- Our first wine tasting stop was at what many locals call the flying saucer winery.

Finca La Carodilla -- We tasted their wines and snacked while enjoying the view from their second story deck.

Vena Cava and Troika -- We walked through the upside down boat roofed winery and ate lunch at the food truck.

Encuentro Guadalupe -- Unique architecture and one of the best views in the Valle.

The History of Carnitas  -- A fiesta of major proportions at La Cocina de Doña Esthela


Clos de Tres Cantos -- Looking like a medieval castle,  Clos de Tres Cantos is perhaps the most unique winery in the area.

Sol y Barro -- Aime Desponds makes some of my favorite wines in the Valle.

El Piñar de 3 Mujeres -- A LLL (Long Leisurely Lunch) at one of my favorite places in the Valle, after which we pointed the car north.

Is this my definitive tour of Valle de Guadalupe?

Heck no.

The next time I bring people to the Valle there's a very good chance our plan will be totally different

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Highly Recommended: LLL (Long Leisurely Lunch)

We enjoyed a lovely LLL (I guess that would be a LLLL) at El Pinar de Tres Mujeres on Saturday. Sitting around a table in a beautiful setting for a few hours with friends, drinking wine, and eating delicious food is truly one of life's great pleasures.

Thanks Chef Ismene.

Restaurant Report: San Diego City Beat - Deckman's En El Mogor

Michael A. Gardiner's latest review from Valle de Guadalupe.

Hotel Report: Global Souls - Adobe Guadalupe

I think she liked it.

Originally posted November 5, 2014

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Chef's Night Out with Diego Hernandez Baquedano and Jair Tellez

Oh to be invited to this party.

Travel Tips: Scott Koenig's List of Deliciousness

I wasn't before but now I'm starving.

Scott Koenig aka A Gringo in Mexico put together a nice list for Chowzter of some of his favorite dishes served in Valle de Guadalupe.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Trip Report: 3Up Adventures

Valle de Guadalupe: 5 wineries with spectacular views

I'm often asked to recommend wineries to visit in Valle de Guadalupe. It's a difficult question to answer because there are something close to 100 wineries in the Valle, dozens of which are worth a visit.

So, what I'm going to do is suggest a handful of wineries at a time clustered around a theme.

First up, spectacular views.

These 5 places have excellent wines, but what sets them apart is that they have taken advantage of their setting and provided visitors with beautiful vistas.

Viñas de Garza

Entering the Valle from the west on Highway 3, Viñas Garza is located at km 87 just south of the road. Garza's wooden deck faces to the northeast providing a panoramic view of their vineyards.

Photo credit: @mlwebste on Instagram
Encuentro Guadalupe

As you leave Garza continue heading east on Hwy 3 past where Emiliano Zapata merges into the highway. Located less than a mile after the merger on the north side of the road, you'll see the sign for Encuentro Guadalupe.  The iconic pod hotel is probably the most photographed place in the Valle. Its bar/tasting room faces to the east with an incredible view.

Photo credit: @venuelustjamie on Instagram

Monte Xanic

Now, head back west on Hwy 3, but continue straight on Emiliano Zapata through the town of Francisco Zarco.  You'll soon see the sign for Monte Xanic on the right.

Monte Xanic completed a multimillion dollar remodel in 2014.  Wine tastings have moved from their venue by the small lake to the main building on the hill.  The new tasting room is gorgeous and the view to the west is spectacular.

Photo credit: @vesm_leonas on Instagram
Las Nubes

Head back to Emiliano Zapata, turn right (west) and look for the signs pointing you towards Las Nubes.  The red roofed winery sits elevated on the north side of the valley.  Their patio with its expansive view is one of my favorite places in the Valle to drink wine.

Photo credit: @the_king_of_limbs on Instagram

This one is a bit of a cheat.  

Cuatro Cuatros's El Mirador has a world class view and that might be an understatement, however it's not exactly a winery tasting room (it's a bar) and it's not exactly in Valle de Guadalupe (it's very close). 

From Las Nubes head back to Emiliano Zapata and turn right (west).  Take it all the way back to the Ensenada free road (Hwy 1) and turn left (south towards Ensenada).  Cuatro Cuatros is on the right.
You'll need to tell the guard you want to go to El Miradar.

It is an incredible place to watch the sunset. 

Photo credit: @federicaungaro on Instagram

Monday, April 6, 2015

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Menu Report: Malva

Got a magnifying glass?

Chef Alcocer changes his menu often, but this picture should give you some idea of the dishes Malva offers and their prices.

Photo credit: @gsvinos on Instagram


Friday, April 3, 2015

Trip Report: Grape Collective

This series by Christopher Barnes is nothing if not thorough.  

Here is his overview of the Valle:

Fiestas de la Vendemia 2015

Fiestas de la Vendemia is a Valle de Guadalupe's premier wine festival.  This year's event is special because La Vendemia will celebrate its 25th anniversary this August.

I'll keep this page updated as the wineries and restaurants make their announcements of their special events.

Dates: Friday, August 7 -- Sunday, August 23

Calendar of Events - Provino

Fiestas de la Vendemia - Facebook