At first glance, I was captivated by the classic architecture of Adobe Guadalupe Vineyards & Inn surrounded by gardens, mountains and 60 acres of flourishing vineyards.
Persian architect Neil Haghighat designed the striking hacienda and winery influenced by traditional lodging of the Iranian desert. The graceful, geometric lines of the buildings, central courtyard and dramatic archways blend in peacefully with the contours of the Valle de Guadalupe. My visit was part of a tour hosted by the Ministry of Tourism of Baja California.
Escape to Adobe Guadalupe
In addition to the striking architecture, I was drawn to the work of many local artists sprinkled throughout the property. A magnificent heard of flying iron horses stands at the entrance and a huge angel overlooks the vineyards.
I followed Director of Operations Luis Garcia past a lovely hillside planted with rosemary and lavender to the cool confines of the stone cellar for a VIP wine tasting.
They served us the tastiest freshly harvested olives. Adobe Guadalupe produces small production olive oil from their own Mission and Manzanita olive trees.
There was a sinuous horse sculpture on display by artist Juan Sebastian Beltran. Beltran also designed the winery’s attractive wine labels. The winery was started by American banker Don Miller, now deceased and his Dutch-born wife Tru, located in Baja's Guadalupe Valley, about 40 minutes inland from the port city of Ensenada.
Louis also talked about Don's love of wine and Tru’s passion for horses. The property has a program for not only breeding and training Aztec horses for dressage and jumping, but uses them in an equine therapy program for children with cerebral palsy and women in need.
Discover Adobe Guadalupe Vineyards Wines
Finally, I was introduced to the impressive line of nine different wines. All are blends except for the white. Current winemaker Daniel Lonnberg is veering in the direction of using only French oak by 2018.
Luis explained why all of the wines are named after archangels. When Don and Tru first decided to follow their dream of opening a winery, they lost their college-age son Arlo in a tragic car accident. Their original winemaker, Hugo D’Acosta, suggested they name the wines after their son’s friends. Instead, the Millers chose the names of archangels they believed surrounded Arlo in heaven.
- Uriel 2015—a rosé blend of Tempranillo, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Barbera, Sauvignon Blanc and Grenache aged in stainless steel with notes of watermelon. It’s dry, young expressive and ready to drink now. Pair with seafood, paella or soft cheeses.
- Gabriel 2013—a red blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec aged 11 months in French and American oak with balanced fruit, acidity and alcohol. The caramel-vanilla notes pair well with red meat, poultry and cheese.
- Karubiel 2013—a red blend of Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache and Mourverdre aged 10 months in French and American oak. Inspired by Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this is the winery’s most complex blend big on blackberry, cherry and currant flavors. Pair with pastas, cold cuts, red meat, fish and cheese.
- Serafiel 2014—a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah aged 10 months in French and American oak with cherry-strawberry notes that pairs well with red meat, pastas, soft cheese and fish.
- Rafael 2013—a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Nebbiolo aged 11 months in French and American oak is full-bodied with big ripe berry notes. Pair with red meats, pastas and cheese.
Adobe Guadalupe Bed & Breakfast
We returned to the main house for a tour of the six-room Adobe Guadalupe Inn decorated with European flourish housing fantastic collections of crystal and Dutch clogs.
Originally designed for family and friends, the home was opened up to the public as demand for lodging increased in the Valley.
From May to October, Adobe Guadalupe runs an outdoor restaurant appropriately called El Jardin (the garden).
Every three years a different international chef takes over. Currently, an Italian chef is in charge while the last one hailed from South Africa. Guests enjoy traditional Mexican fare prepared in the hacienda's main kitchen. Breakfast is served around a large communal farm table while dinners are available in the more formal dining room.
At the end of my visit as I sat in the shade overlooking a bubbling fountain in a tranquil courtyard, I could only imagine how wonderful it would be to stay in this magical wine country retreat one day.
It is easy to escape to the alluring Adobe Guadalupe Vineyards and Inn in Baja Mexico. Located only about 40 minutes from Ensenada, it is an ideal retreat and perfect place for great food and wine.