Our Weekend Trip: Valle de Guadalupe

A friend of mine traveled to Valle de Guadalupe a few years ago, and I was in awe of her pictures. It seemed like the ideal destination for someone who loves food and wine and its relatively close to us, so I immediately added it to my bucket list. We planned to go last year, but then I unexpectedly got pregnant and had to back burner the trip. It wouldn't be fun to visit wine country and not be able to drink all the wine. Opportunity knocked again when my parents offered to watch Nico for my birthday weekend. We wanted to visit somewhere new but also relatively close (because we're paranoid new parents), so it seemed like the perfect choice. We went for three nights last weekend, and had such a blast. Here are a few photos from our trip.
We flew into San Diego, rented a car, pit stopped at The Taco Stand downtown for guacamole, shrimp tacos, and beers, and then made the 1.5 hour drive across the border. We've never actually driven across the U.S. / Mexico border, so we didn't know what to expect, but we were super surprised that we didn't actually have to stop - we just drove straight through. Luckily, Enterprise upgraded us to an SUV. We did very little planning ahead of time, and the roads in Valle de Guadalupe were all dirt roads filled with pot holes. It was tough but manageable to drive in an SUV, but it would have been next to impossible to do in a smaller car.
We stayed at La Villa del Valle, a bed and breakfast conveniently located in the middle of the valley. The villa has a pool and hot tub, expansive views of the wine region, and cozy rooms with private balconies (and fire pits!). On our first day we checked in, immediately changed into our bathing suits, and hit up the pool and hot tub. I trust my parents completely, but I definitely had new mom anxiety and guilt over leaving Nico for the first time. I cried when we left in the morning and then again on our flight, but about two sips into my first glass of wine at the pool, I was over it - ha. We booked dinner at the restaurant on site, Corazon de Tierra, which was a fancy 7 course dinner featuring dishes like seared duck and oysters. It's funny how adult we felt in that moment, after lots of recent take out dinners or early evening restaurant visits with baby in tow. 
On day two, we had an amazing, Mexican breakfast at the hotel and a couples massage, and I swear it was the best massage I've had in a long time. I don't feel particularly stressed on a day-to-day basis, but I could feel tension melt away from my shoulders. 
We showered and drove to lunch at Lomita. We had amazing food all weekend, but Lucas and I agree that Lomita was our favorite meal of the trip. We drank chilled rosé and feasted on ceviche, pork tacos, and grilled chicken. 
Later that day, we did two wine tastings at Monte Xanic and Vena Cava. Monte Xanic was a bigger winery and felt a bit more corporate, and Vena Cava was smaller and offered a more personal tasting experience. My advice to anyone traveling to Valle de Guadalupe is to focus on the smaller, more boutique wineries like Vena Cava, but I'm glad we experienced both. We were still stuffed from lunch, but Vena Cava also had a really cute food truck with delicious looking food.
We had dinner at Fauna, which has communal style seating and family-style food. The portions were huge and the cocktails and food were amazing. We sipped on mezcal old fashioned cocktails (so good) and ate grilled pork and fresh oysters. The architecture of the property was really cool, but we arrived after dark, so we made plans to return the next day for a wine tasting so we could explore a bit more. 
The next day we had breakfast at the hotel again, and then we drove around and explored a bit. We had lunch at Deckman's, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the heart of the valley. In terms of ambiance, this was our favorite spot. The restaurant is tucked beside wine vines and there is a huge open-air kitchen, so you can see all of your food being prepared right next to the table. Luckily we booked our reservations far enough in advance, because we heard from folks at our hotel that they were unable to get into Deckman's.  We loved it and can't wait to return. 
After lunch, we popped back over to Bruma (property where Fauna is) for a wine tasting, which is conveniently right next door to Deckman's. From there, we went back to the hotel to relax by our fire pit before dinner. The hotel brought around snacks and wine every day from 5-6 PM.

On the last night, we went to Finca Altozano for dinner. The vibe was lively - it was filled with families and couples eating, hanging out on the grounds, and everyone seemed to be having fun. We had grilled octopus, pork tacos, churros, and of course, wine. It was the perfect casual but delicious way to end our whirlwind foodie weekend. 
We were worried about the long lines at the border, so we decided to get up and head out at 6:30 AM, so we would get to the border by 8:00 AM. Luckily, the lines were only 10 minutes when we arrived, but the lines can get up to 5 hours long, so we didn't want to risk it. We grabbed coffee in San Diego, checked out the surf in La Jolla, hit up a SoulCycle class to sweat out some of the wine we consumed, and had one final brunch before flying home to see our little dude.
The entire trip we kept saying it was the best foodie trip we've ever taken. The cocktails, wine, and food were world class, and we cannot wait to return. It was the best way to unwind, reconnect, and feel like adults again for a few days. Mexico, we love you so much!