Heading to Ensenada on your next vacation? Thanks to its close proximity to the Valle de Guadalupe (also known as Mexico’s “wine country”), going wine tasting should be at the top of every traveler’s list of the “best things to do in Ensenada”. Besides award-winning wines, this region is also known for its striking landscape where the desert meets the lush mountainside.
Ready to plan your Ensenada Mexico wine tasting adventure? Don’t get bogged down by endless Google searches and iffy reviews: We’ve got the inside scoop on the best Ensenada wine tours of 2023 in this comprehensive guide.
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Here’s a quick look at the Wine tours we recommend – You can check them out on Viator and also scroll below for our review of them.
What are The Best Wine Tours in Ensenada Wine Country?
Traveling with a large group? The Guadalupe Valley Wine Route Tour in Baja California is a private, 7-hour excursion that can accommodate up to 14 guests! With plenty to do and several extra perks, this is a great choice for big family gatherings or girls’ getaways.
Throughout your tour, you’ll explore the vineyards and cellars of four different wineries, including the Bodegas de Santo Tomás and Cava San Antonio de las Minas, which is actually the oldest winery in Baja, dating back to 1888.
One of the features that really help to set this tour apart from the rest is that it includes a visit to the Wine Museum of Baja California. This will round out your “wine country” experience and provide an in-depth look at the history, culture, and process involved in creating Valle de Guadalupe wines.
A special souvenir, lunch, private transportation directly from your accommodations, and gratuities are all included in your Ensenada wine tour price, but tastings at each location are an additional expense so be sure to have some cash on hand.
This private tour is all about you. The Valle Experience by Ansell Wine Tours only allows for groups of up to 4 people, but this guarantees you personalized attention and unparalleled customer service for eight to ten hours. Throughout the day, you’ll visit a minimum of four different wineries and one restaurant.
The following stops are current highlights built into this wine tour’s itinerary:
- Finca La Carrodilla (which also boasts a small animal farm to explore)
- Vina de Frannes (with sprawling grapevines and a guided tasting)
- Solar Fortun (a locally renowned restaurant nestled into a canyon)
- Villa Montefiori (a prominent local hotel and vineyard)
All that said, this tour allows for customization. Just let the tour guides know ahead of time if there’s something you really want to see or do and they will build an itinerary just for you.
Is accessibility something that’s important for you and your crew? This tour offers a wheelchair-accessible vehicle and accessibility-friendly itinerary stops.
We know not everybody has a whole week to spend hopping from one vineyard to another, so here’s a quick little tour that will satisfy wine lovers even on the tightest of timelines. Clocking in at just one hour from start to finish, the Xecue Wine Tasting in the Guadalupe Valley is offered multiple times a day, allowing you to fit it into your schedule with ease, whether you need to make it back to the cruise port in time to disembark or for that dinner reservation you worked so hard to make.
This single-vineyard tour will take you on a journey through one of the Xecue region’s most prestigious properties. Then, you’ll settle on the gorgeous terrace for an outdoor tasting led by an in-house sommelier. With three reds, one rosé, and one white wine on the menu, there’s sure to be a wine to tickle every taster’s fancy.
The goal of the Experience the Private Wine Tour at Valle de Guadalupe is simple: To guide you through the region’s scenic landscapes at a relaxed pace, and show you some of the best local spots, from wineries and restaurants to hidden lookouts.
The first tasting (of 2 or 3) will be hand selected from a list of boutique outlets by the experts themselves, and after that, they are open to suggestions. Whether you want them to keep filling you in on the best bottlings of the season or there’s a specific vineyard you had in mind, they’ve got you covered.
Is there a craft beer lover in your travel group? This wine tour is unique in that they also specialize in microbrews. Simply ask to add a couple of pitstops at breweries and they will draft an itinerary that celebrates the region’s best wine AND beer.
Nothing pairs better with a glass of wine than a good cheese, so why not try both? This guided tour includes all the refreshments you could possibly need with multiple tastings, lunch (with an extra glass of wine to wet your whistle), and a fully plated cheese tasting included.
Though this is a longer tour, its schedule and pick-up points are optimized for cruise ship passengers. After being picked up by your private transportation from the docks, you’ll head into Ojos Negros Valley. First, you’ll visit one of the oldest Ensenada vineyards, the San Rafael Winery, for a tasting and a deep dive into the heritage of wine and the winemaking process.
Then you’ll head to Rancho Ramonetti for lunch and another tasting, and finish off the day with a visit to Cava de Quesos. Here, you’ll learn how cheese is made and then sample the results from a yummy spread of six cheeses, local fruits, freshly baked bread, and artisanal olive oil.
6. VIP Tasting
Want to wine and dine in style? Spend a little over an hour in the private cellar and barrel room at Rondo del Valle; one of the most prestigious wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe region.
Your tasting comes with 5 wines and a premium cheese plate for grazing, but perhaps the real highlight of this tour is to learn from your head sommelier. They will be at the ready to share their industry secrets, pairing tips, and tasting note expertise- all of which are sure to make you the star of your next dinner party back home.
Now, this wine tour does not include transportation so you’ll need to find your own way there. There are a few public transportation options servicing this region, as well as reputable taxi companies working with a fixed day rate. You may also want to consider renting a car (with a BajaBound insurance policy – check out my guide on Mexican car insurance) and make this the first stop on a day-long road trip from Ensenada.
Want a romantic wine tasting tour to gift to your loved one? Surprise your spouse with a visit to El Cielo Winery & Resort via the Wine Tasting and Carriage Tour at Premium Winery at Valle de Guadalupe. Start by sipping on pours of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Cabernet Franc overlooking the valleys, and then take a behind-the-scenes tour of their winemaking facilities, which includes yet another tasting in the cellar.
The grand finale? A carriage ride through the surrounding Mexican Countryside. We recommend booking for sunset if you really want to impress your date.
If you want to taste your way through Mexico’s wine country, the Wine Route to Valle de Guadalupe in Private Tour is a stellar starting point. This crash course in the region’s top vineyards has all the must-sees on the itinerary, plus a few unexpected bonuses. You might even get to try grape stomping for yourself!
Here are a few popular stops that previous travelers cannot stop raving about:
- Decantos Vinicola: This vineyard was actually the first in Mexico to get rid of mechanical pumping during the winemaking process. Be sure to ask your tour guide about “the gravity of wine”!
- Vina de Frannes: A massive vineyard with some of the biggest varietal diversity in the region.
- Finca Altozano: Lunchtime! This Steakhouse is frequently regarded as one of the best restaurants in Valle de Guadalupe and we couldn’t agree more.
Ensenada Wine Tour FAQ
How far is the Valle de Guadalupe from Ensenada?
The outskirts of the wine region stretch fairly close to the city, with the nearest vineyards taking about 25 minutes to reach by car. You’ll find the vast majority of vineyards included on Ensenada wine tours are within a 45-minute to one-hour radius of the city, with a few special vineyards situated further afield. This is a huge region so the more time you have to explore, the more you’ll be able to see.
What kinds of wine can I try in wine country Baja California?
There are several varietals that grow in the Valle de Guadalupe region, from red to whites, and everything in between. The most common varietals include Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.
What is the minimum age for wine tours in Ensensada?
The legal drinking age in Baja California is 18, so you’ll need to be at least 18 years of age to participate in any wine-tasting experiences. Some wine tours will enforce this age restriction for anyone tagging along, while others allow children (and even babies) to join in as long as they do not consume any alcohol. Be sure to check with your tour company before you book if you are traveling with minors, as they will each have their own policy, as will the vineyards on the tour.
Why should I take a guided wine tour in Ensenada Mexico?
There are plenty of reasons to take a guided wine tour versus taking a DIY approach to exploring the Valle De Guadalupe region. Off the top, you’ll have an opportunity to interact with locals, direct access to in-depth knowledge of the architecture, landscape, and industry, plus tour perks like souvenirs and preferred pricing.
But, if you want a simple answer, taking a guided tour means you can indulge a little more and explore for longer without costly taxi rides or worrying about whether or not you’re safe to drive. Enjoy a full flight, upgrade to the pour when you feel like it, and make a few extra stops with private transportation at the ready.