This weekend started with a trip to Truly Fine Wine, one of the largest and only distributors of Valle de Guadalupe wines in San Diego, and maybe all of California.
We’re apart of their wine club which is $100 dollars billed every 2 months for 2-6 bottles of wine. I like this wine store particularly for their Valle de Guadalupe selection, but they also have a ton of awesome wines from all over the world AND a super knowledgeable staff. Every time I go in there I feel like I learn something new.
On top of the wine club, they also have something called Sip-n-Go, a $5 dollar tasting of about 5 different wines that change daily (and if you’re a wine club member, it’s buy-one-get-one-free!). Ironically enough, we went on a day where they were pouring Monte Xanic – a vineyard down in the Guadalupe Valley.
We tried their Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Colombard, Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah, and the 100% Cab. Jay described the Chardonnay as “golf-course-drinking-wine” (a bottle we wound up buying, so I now consider this description a good thing) and we also left with a bottle of the Cabernet Sauvignon. I would definitely repurchase the Cab, which we may have to soon because it was gone that same night… ????
While trying all these Guadalupe Valley wines is fun to do at home, it’s wayyy more fun to do in the actual Valley, which is exactly what we did the next day.
Saturday morning we left my apartment in Little Italy around 11:30am and arrived at Finca Altozano around 1pm. It’s timing like this that continuously makes us realize how accessible Baja really is and how lucky we are to live close by.
Lunch at Finca was easily the highlight of the weekend. From the wine & food to the prices and scenery, it was seriously all perfect. And to enjoy it all in each other’s company made for a really special day.
Things we loved:
Monte Xanic’s Grenache
(We clearly had an unplanned Monte Xanic-themed weekend. Not complaining ????)
Octopus, Quail, and Sausage (not pictured, probably our favorite, and maybe why we didn’t take a picture… too good!)
In these massive, wine barrel overlooks
After Finca Altozano we made our way through more of the dirt roads of the Valley to Vena Cava. It coins itself as the “funky” vineyard of Valle de Guadalupe and had a pretty sweet ambiance. There was a guy DJing with actual records and the architecture was awesome. All of the roofs of the building were made up upside down boats.
After a bottle of wine at Vena Cava, we left the Valley and drove to one of our favorite spots, home of the the World’s Strongest Margarita, Dmytri’s La Fonda.
I love this place. Where else can you get an oceanfront table with zero wait and a $5 dollar margarita? And it’s just not any margarita, it could probably get a small village drunk and you can sip on it for as long as you’d like with no pressure to move, all while listening to some live music out on the patio — it’s the best!
After Dmytri’s we set out for our campsite, Alisitos K58. Fortunately, and maybe a decision made strategically, it’s a quick drive from the restaurant (after a marg or two, you’ll understand the strategic aspect). This spot is great — you pay the couple living in the house at the entrance around $10 to park your car and stay the night. It’s never crowded and the view is incredible. It’s also super close to the little town of La Fonda where you pick up firewood, water, and maybe another round.????
The fun doesn’t stop here, in fact, it may start here. We woke up at 5:30am to pack up and drive from Alisitos to Ensenada, where our deep sea fishing charter was scheduled to leave out of at 7am. We booked a ¾ day-trip with Sergio’s Sportfishing — $80 bucks, including a fishing license, for 8 straight hours of fishing out around the Todos Santos island. Rods, reels, live bait and hooks (also important to note, they put the bait on the hooks – Noelle is still not ready for that) were all included.
A couple of helpful tips:
- Take Dramamine: I didn’t think I got sea sick… I got sea sick ????
- Pack a lunch
- Bring plastic bags for all the filets of fish you’ll bring home!
- Have a separate cooler to store the fish as you catch them, and use that same cooler with ice to bring the filets home. Sergio’s supplied a lot, but they did not provide bags, coolers or ice.
- Wear sunscreen! Especially on the back of your neck
Overall, the day was a success. We came home with mostly rockfish, whitefish, a mackerel; but the catch of the day was surely Jay’s yellowtail.
Would we go again? I think so — it’s hard to beat the price. But I’d consider trying somewhere new. I think we’d want to spend more time catching yellows as opposed to so many rockfish.
Once we picked up some ice for our filets, we stopped at Taqueria el Trailero, a taco shop Jay stops at every time he’s in Ensenada. It was my first time there and the Al Pastor tacos did not disappoint!
It took us just over an hour to get from Ensenada to the border and we felt perhaps the best feeling of the entire weekend: breezing past the 3-hour+ border wait and cruising through the SENTRI lane into the states.????????