The Ranch believes “wine is an ancient, nutritious, and healthful (in moderation) food that has its place at the table and in life’s celebrations.” There are grape vines growing on the property that were here when the Ranch was founded, and in the early days, the grapes were used in treatments.

Wine is only served at the Ranch during Friday night’s celebration (you can bring alcohol to consume in your room), and it’s a great chance to try the local wine region, Baja California Wine Country.

In the northern part of Baja California, Mexico, where the Ranch is located, sits this wine region with 38 wineries and vineyards. The Mediterranean climate is ideal for grape growing combined with the soil and elevation. The valleys of Calafia, Guadalupe and San Antonio de las Minas make the heart of the wine route. White wines from the region are made with Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay grapes. Red wines are made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Carignan, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Zinfandel.

The two wineries served at dinner are located about 43 miles south of the Ranch.

L.A. Cetto Blanc de Blancs

Cetto Wines dates back to grapes planted in the Valle de Guadalupe in 1928. The winery officially started in 1975.

  • Varietal: 50% Colombard, 50% Chenin Blanc
  • Aroma: Bright citrus and melon
  • Taste: Guava, papaya, melon with a hint of lime and slight sweetness
  • My thoughts: Nice! I was pleasantly surprised at the quality and the interesting flavors reminescent of the local fruits. Gabby, our fabulous La Cocina Que Qanta Cooking Class advisor, said the local wines have been developing and improving substantially over the last few years. This was a great example!

Barón Balché Mezcla de Tintos 2009

Barón Balché is also in the Valle de Guadalupe.

  • Varietal: Malbec, Carignan, Grenache, Cabernet Franc
  • Aroma: Red fruit, tobacco
  • Taste: Primarily leather taste
  • My thoughts: This one needs some work. I wasn’t a fan nor were those at my table. Had a tire aftertaste.

So I guess I did have one craving by the end of the week…wine. ;) It was great to be able to try some from the local region.

Salud to Rancho La Puerta and Baja’s Wine Country!