Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club
Food & Beverage Committee
Wine and Food Tour

The Knights of the Vine-Orange County have been invited to join the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club (BCYC) Food & Beverage Committee-organized Wine & Food tour of the wine country of Baja California

Date: Friday thru Sunday, April 1-3, 2005

Cost: $400/person (based on double occupancy) including tax and gratuity

Location: Baja California

Please RSVP: Deadline is March 6th, 2005.

Join us in a BCYC Food & Beverage Committee-organized Wine & Food tour of the wine country of Baja California. This intimate 2 and 1/2 day tour will visit prominent wineries for tasting and wine-maker discussions and includes lunches and dinners at some of the best restaurants in the Ensenada area.

Vintners began growing wine grapes in northern Baja's Guadalupe Valley in 1888, but a century passed before the wines evolved beyond the jug wine stage. Then, in 1987 Monte Xanic planted fine wine grapes in a Mediterranean microclimate zone and instituted modem practices. Eventually their wines received top international prizes and other serious winemakers followed into the valley. The success of the wines has now attracted pioneering restaurateurs and innkeepers.

While most of the Guadalupe Valley wines are not well known in the U.S., many are well respected by wine professionals. Robert Mondavi, who has visited the area several times has said, "I was dumbfounded and amazed to taste such fine wine. These wines are very good, compared to the better wines of the world." Others have called the Valley "a treasure waiting to be found."

Friday, Apr. 1
  • Board a bus at BCYC at 1:00 pm
  • Check into the Hotel Coral & Marina in Ensenada on the water
  • Cocktail hour with presentation on Baja economy and culture (open bar)
  • Dinner at the Coral's Los Antares restaurant

Saturday, Apr.2
  • Visit 4-5 wineries, meeting the winemaker/proprietors and tasting their wines
  • Lunch at La Cetto winery
  • Return to the Coral In late afternoon for a quick siesta or relax at one of the Coral's three pools overlooking the marina
  • Dinner at Ensenada's La Embotefladora Vieja wine-themed restaurant

Sunday. Apr. 3
  • Depart Coral Hotel mid-morning
  • Visit Art Studio of Guadelupe Gaos for reception and demonstration by the artist
  • Lunch at the village of Puerto Nuevo, famous for its local lobster
  • Arrive at BCYC late afternoon

The Baja Wine & Food trip includes:

  • All transportation
  • Two nights in a junior suite at the Hotel Coral
  • Private winery visits
  • Lunch on Saturday and Sunday
  • Dinner on Friday and Saturday

Not included are breakfasts and alcoholic beverages with most meals.

Price: $4O0/person (based on double occupancy) including tax and gratuity. Travel arrangements have been made through a local Mexican travel agency, Jatay.

To sign up. call or e-mail the club office. The Food & Beverage Committee will contact you with details including deposit/payment instructions and cancellation policy. For further questions, please contact Kris Kasselman or Bob Emmett (949) 248-9408 or .

Tentative Winery Visits:

Monte Xanic ("shahneek")

This is the winery that launched the fine wine movement in the Guadalupe Valley. The winemaker, Hans Backhof was born in Ensenada, trained at UC Davis, and has family roots in France, Germany and Spain. Wines include cabemet sauvignon, mertot, syrah, and chardonnay. Monte Xanic wines were served at the Inauguration of Mexican President Vincente Fox.

Adobe Guadalupe

The adobe is both a winery and a small inn founded in 1998 by transplants from Orange County. The first estate grown wines were released at the end of 2002. The emphasis here is on red blends.

Chateau Camou

This ultra modern, gravity-flow winery provides stiff competition to Monte Xanic. Winemaker Victor Torres Alegre trained at the University of Bordeaux. His nearly 20 years of experience shows especially well in his fume blanc, among other wines. The winery has won numerous medals in international wine competitions.

La Cetto

La Cetto, was founded in 1928 by Northern Italian immigrant, Angelo Cetto. The winery has a current production of around 800,000 cases of everything from high-end premiums to table wines. Angelo's son, Luis Augustin Cetto, is the considered the don of the Guadalupe Valley. The winery has a large, inviting tasting/shopping boutique, where knowledgeable English-speaking employees are eager to talk about the valley and Cetto's labels.

Vifta Liceaga 9I Casa de Piedra

Vitia de Liceaga winery, attached to the winemaker's home, is a contemporary showcase of bright yellow and blue. In addition to barrels and fermenting tanks, It also contains an Italian grappa still. Liceaga's production is 3,000 cases, primarily reds.

On the other side of the road is Hugo and Julio D' Acosta's Casa de Piedra (Rock House), faced in part with rocks from El Mogor. Julio, a graduate of the Montpeflier, France wine school, is the valley's purist. He was recently in Australia, learning harvesting techniques from top vintners there.

Articles about this wine region:

Los Angeles Times: Link

San Diego Tribune: Link

Please let me know that you are coming.

Warm regards,

Tom McCrystal