Pristine beaches, a thriving craft beer scene and surrounded by the ocean, desert, mountains and Mexico. San Diego should be top of your destination dream list for 2019 – coupled with a stay across the border in Baja California, Mexico. Savour editor Georga Spottiswood says these are the places you need to visit in her week-long San Diego feature. Check back each day to see another review and recommendation. Today, it’s Valle de Guadalupe.
The spirit of the many families behind the 100-plus, independent wineries is what’s putting Valle de Guadalupe on the world stage as being one of the best places to visit for wine.
That energy is echoed in Fernando Pérez Castro, owner of Lomita Vinicola Mexicana, a project which started in 2006 when his parents bought a property behind the hills as a retirement home.
They’d made their money from an insurance business, and wanted a summer house, but realising the potential – turned themselves into a winery.
“They started just for family and friends with two barrels,” said Gerado Tejeda Soto, who works for the family. “Fernando became completely connected to it, so they bought a second property with 7 hectares, then another 3 to accompany the full ranch.”
Fernando, formerly in communications and design, had a vision to make wine appealing to a younger market. Lomita produces eight different wines. “We are focusing on doing better rosé and whites, the weather is mostly hot and no one wants to drink red on a hot day.
“We do a French, Italian and Spanish blended wine. We like to be creative. We’re still a young business and we’re setting new rules.”
In Wine Country, next-generation wine makers are experimenting, championing new ideas – there’s also organic and biodynamic wineries, five are producing sparkling wines – and many of the venues have opened farm-based restaurants.
In response to the growing wine scene, stylish boutiques, smart B&Bs and luxe bubble tents – such as Campera Hotel Burbuja – have sprung up around the valley to accommodate the trendy wine aficionados that now travel here.