Exploring Guanajuato by the Glass: Travel Weekly

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Meagan Driller

I make it my mission to only drink Mexican wine when I’m in Mexico. I don’t mean this arrogantly – I’m by no means a wine expert. What I mean is Mexico has some really amazing wines, and the majority of us don’t drink them. So really, I’m just doing my part for the sake of research.

For those who are “in the know” of Mexican wine, you will recognize the name of Valle de Guadalupe, which is the wine region of the Baja Peninsula, a region of landform remarkably similar to California. Hence the Californian caliber wines.

Less well known than Baja, but much older in terms of wine production (it started here in the 16th century), the state of Guanajuato is another wine region in Mexico and one that deserves your attention. I recently took a trip to the Guanajuato wine region while visiting San Miguel de Allende.

Related: Feel at home at Rosewood San Miguel de Allende

The crowd that flock to San Miguel de Allende is the one that appreciates the beautiful art, history, culture and fantastic food. And what is fantastic cuisine without wine? This is the question Guanajuato seeks to answer today. Visitors can taste the answer on La Ruta del Vino, and it circles the Bajio region in central Mexico, a region known for its eternal spring climate.

My tour took me to the San Lucas and San Francisco wineries, sister properties located less than an hour from San Miguel de Allende. The route to the vineyards teleports travelers into the Tuscan countryside, with olive groves, lavender fields, and white stone buildings topped with clay-colored roofs.

Guests are invited to stay at the wineries, which have been outfitted with stylish and chic accommodations with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the vineyards. Vinedos San Francisco has more modern decor, while Vinedos San Lucas is more of a traditional hacienda style, but just as upscale in terms of amenities. Both wineries have fabulous restaurants, a spa and pool, and of course, frequent tastings of the wines they produce.

A must is a stop at the Vinedos San Francisco restaurant, which has an outdoor terrace overlooking the beautiful vineyards. Here you can taste the local wine and feast on Mediterranean-style cuisine. The cheese plate and the char siu salmon are fantastic.

But there is so much more to explore in terms of wine culture around San Miguel de Allende. Visitors to the Bajio region can experience fine wines, as well as food and wine pairings, along several different paths that depart from the city.

Heading to Quer̩taro, which is in the same direction as the San Lucas and San Francisco wineries, visitors will also find the Toyan Vineyard. This vineyard is known for its historic architecture Рviticulture in this region dates back to the 16th century, believe it or not. Toyan has a beautiful underground cellar and lounge, perfect for dining or tasting.

Towards the town of Celaya, visitors will find the 400-year-old San Miguel Vineyard, a 148-acre vineyard run by the Cuadra family. This vineyard cultivates 13 grape varieties, although three are the most popular in this region: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. Visitors to this route can also explore the winery, which, at 108,000 square feet, is one of the largest in the state.

For travelers heading to Guanajuato and Dolores Hidalgo, the San Jose la Vista Winery has a restaurant, wine cellar, gardens, terraces, and a hotel. The cellar here produces Syrah Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot. Continue to venture to Dolores Hidalgo to explore Tres Raices. This sprawling resort is known for its large-scale art installations as well as its local cuisine offerings and wine tours. One of the most popular experiences at Tres Raices is its blindfolded tasting, which includes a five-course menu and food and wine pairings.

Continuing on to Guanajuato, visitors will discover Cuna de Tierra, or the Cradle of the Earth, which is Guanajuato’s premier winery. Here, four different experiences are available to choose from, including tasting tours, wine pairings, corporate events, or romantic getaways.

Of course, you don’t have to leave San Miguel de Allende to add that dimension to your next visit. San Lucas and San Francisco are easily accessible and explored in an afternoon, but on your first visit I can safely say that you will be planning your return – trust me.


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