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Celebrating the grape harvest is not a new concept – even
ancient Greece celebrated bringing in the harvest. Although Valle de
Guadalupe’s Grape Harvest (Vendimia)
is nowhere near as old, Mexico’s wine region captures all the essentials of the
harvest festival that has been celebrated for centuries.
2016 marks the 26th annual Vendimia in Baja’s wine region, which supplies more than 90 percent of Mexico’s wine. The Guadalupe Valley’s climate and terroir make the region one of the world’s best areas to grow premium wine grapes. The valley has been home to vineyards on and off since the early 1800’s, although wine grapes were first planted in the region in the 1700’s. Wine production has been constant since 1888, when the Mexican government sold the lands of the Santo Tomás Mission to a private group, which established Bodegas Santo Tomás.
Valle de Guadalupe’s Vendimia began as a celebration amongst friends – vineyard owners in the area gathered to celebrate the harvest. Today, the celebration includes dinners, concerts, guided tours and art installations throughout most of the month of August.
Throughout the month of the Vendimia, Valle de Guadalupe vineyards and hotels offer wine-related events to celebrate their harvest. Events also take place in nearby Tijuana and Ensenada. Entertainment ranges from live bands to break dancing to street performances. Area chefs pair area wines with fresh local produce and seafood, plus high-quality imported cheeses, olives and meats.
The celebration ends with the “Ramón García Ocejo” Paella contest. Eighty participating teams create gastronomic wonders using fresh Baja seafood to produce variations of the traditional Spanish dish. More than 50 area wines are available for pairing at the event.
A Taste of Valle de Guadalupe Vendimia 2016 Events:
(For a list of all events, click here.)
Thursday, August 11 Local Food and Wine – Hacienda Guadalupe 6 p.m. Hacienda Guadalupe, Tecate-Cove Rd., KM 81.5 (In front of the Museum of Wine) Listen to live music as you enjoy Hacienda Guadalupe’s regional dishes made by the restaurant’s chefs. Dishes are paired with Melchum wine samples.
Friday, August 12 Jazz at Cavas del Mogor 6 p.m. Rancho El Mogor Chef Drew Deckman creates an exquisite picnic to accompany local house wines and an afternoon jazz concert with Pere Soto and Gypsy Project.
Saturday, August 13 Concert: Fernando de la Mora 2 p.m. Rancho San Gabriel Enjoy the finest Mariachi music from Fernando de la Mora, accompanied by a symphony orchestra.
Monday, August 15 to Wednesday, August 17 Wine Appreciation Workshop 5 p.m. CSCC Riviera of Ensenada Learn about wine from local wine experts. Enjoy a guided wine tasting and lecture about the local wine culture and history from winemaker Adrian Garcia.
Thursday, August 18: Festival in the Valley 5 p.m. Parque el Porvenir, Valle de Guadalupe This free event features wine tasting and regional food for sale. Local artisanal crafts are on display from Valle de Guadalupe artists.
Thursday, August 18: “Ramón García Ocejo” 2016 Paella Contest Noon Viña de Liceaga The Vendimia celebration ends with a paella making contest, with 80 teams creating their unique version of the classic seafood dish. More than 50 local wines are available for sampling.