Day Trip to Valle de Guadalupe

For Zach’s 30th Birthday I did a lot of research about the best trips down to the Baja peninsula wine country called “Valle de Guadalupe”. We had been there once with friends, and both could NOT wait to go back. After lots of googling I finally got on the phone with Tim Barnes, founder of Boca Roja Baja Wine Adventures.

It was clear after a quick chat on the phone that Tim, his wife Katie, and their whole team LOVED Baja California and that their tour company was born from the desire to share that place and the adventure of visiting there. I knew with their local knowledge, expertise, and local connections Zach and I would be in amazing hands for a day to celebrate his birthday in Baja!

Below you’ll find a summary of our day with photos- and Tim and his team have agreed to give Grownup Girl readers $100 off your own wine tour if you use the code “thegrownupgirl” when you book through the end of June!


9:30- Pick-up! Tim’s friend/co-worker Dan picked us up in a huge van— for Zach and I by ourselves it was crazy big, but it’s amazing they have their own air-conditioned, luxury van that can accommodate large groups! Also a huge bonus was the cold water/beer always available from the cooler!

9:30-10:30- Drive through the border to Rosarito. If you’ve never driven through the border south into Mexico it’s totally painless, if you’re in a regular car you most likely won’t even be stopped. Because we were in a big van they did flag us and take a peek inside, but it took less than 5 minutes!

10:30-11:00: Tacos in Rosarito at Tacos el Yaqui. Zach and I wanted to skip this stop because Rosarito has a “spring break” reputation and we were eager to get to the valley- BUT Tim talked us into keeping the stop and I’m SO glad he did…Tacos el Yaqui only makes one thing, a flour tortilla taco with

12:00: Wine tasting at Vinisterra Winery.

After about another hour drive south and inland we made it to our first stop in Valle de Guadalupe, Vinisterra. This winery was small and tucked away and felt very private/not touristy. Enzo talked us through tasting four of their wines, one which we loved so much we bought a bottle! (PS you can only bring back one bottle of wine per person to the United States, so choose wisely!) We also took a walk around their grounds that has some beautiful views of Valle!

1:00-2:30: Wine tasting and food pairing at Solar Fortun Winery. This spot took a while to get to, but let me tell who it was WORTH IT! This winery is family owned, and the son who is the head winemaker spent over 30 minutes explaining his process and answering our questions about how the grapes we saw growing turned into the wine we were drinking. Did I mention he sat at our table with us feeding his one year old son while he talked? And also his wife is the head chef and made the best pairings of small plates to eat with the wine we were drinking (my favorite being the Spanish sausage sautéed with jalapeño and garlic on toast). The whole experience at Solar Fortun was to die for and we will be going back!

3:00-5:30: Lunch/Dinner at Animalon. This restaurant is seasonal only, and part of a larger property called Finca, but it is REALLY special. Zach and I had read about it in San Diego Magazine and had to eat there, and it did not disappoint. The restaurant is open air, under the canopy of a tree, and is a course-only menu (4, 6, or 8 courses). The chef’s creations were incredible and the ambiance was unparalleled. After eating we took a drink and wandered around through grapevines…it doesn’t get much better than that!

6:00- 7:30: Sunset and drinks at Cuatro Cuartos. If you drive out from Valle de Guadalupe towards the coast you come upon ___ where Cuatro Cuartos sits at the top of an overlook of the Pacific Ocean that is almost hard to believe. Normally you have to go through the gate, park at the bottom, pay for a ticket and ride their shuttle up. HOWEVER because of the amazing relationship Bocaroja has with the venue, we were able to have Dan drive us straight up to restaurant. This was an amazing perk! The views/cocktails/vibe here were unforgettable!

If you haven’t yet, you absolutely have to go visit Valle de Guadalupe, you have to having Tim and his team at Bocaroja plan your trip! Also if you’re a fan of wine you have to check out their wine club Enjoy Valle where you can get Valle wines sent directly to your door!