The towering snow-capped Alps jutted into the sky behind us, shrinking as we drove southward through the gently rolling green hills. Dark church steeples and shadowy medieval towers dotted the distant landscape, barely visible through the receding fog. As we wound our way through the twisting side roads, neat rows of vineyards zipped past the window, punctuated by an occasional field of grazing cattle. If we hadn’t detrained in Turin an hour ago, I’d have thought I dozed off and woke up in a Hans Christian Andersen story.
Picturesque beaches, endless fiestas, and bottomless tequila are usually what come to mind when people think of Mexico. But nestled in the hills of Baja California is the hidden gem that is Valle de Guadalupe.
Darioush Winery immediately captures your attention and imagination with its stunning, unique architecture, and landscaping. Lily ponds with bubbling fountains and palatial, double bull topped stone columns flank wide steps to the visitor center and are reminiscent of royalty and architecture of an era long past.
The Texas Hill Country is a place where cowboy meets white collar, rural meets metropolitan, and hills and bluffs meet flat land—the contrasts and diversity bring harmony and wonderment to this area and beckon you to stay a little longer.
With over 40 wineries dotting the map here in Southern California’s wine country (and more on the radar), Temecula Valley welcomes more than two million visitors a year. Not bad for a region that planted its very first grapevine in 1968.
ITWPA Member Carol A. Pierini explores Mexico’s Wine Trail, just two hours south of San Diego.
Between pours of two medium reds, the server shares that the vineyard grows grapes for other vintners, as well as for its own wines. The tasting closes with a sampling of Jaquez, a dark red, slightly sweet port, while the server carefully wraps purchased bottles of favorite wines and crystal glasses etched with the vineyard logo for the ride home.