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Encuentro Guadalupe May Be My Favorite Place on Earth

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Last year, Vogue made a bold suggestion - skip Napa and Visit Mexico’s Wine Country (Valle de Guadalupe) instead. After a beautiful weekend in the Valle, Napa dropped to an all-time low on my bucket list and I may have found my favorite place on Earth. 

Getting There & Leaving

When my friend C. suggested the weekend get-a-way, I had several questions about getting from San Diego to Valle de Guadalupe. 

  • Do we need to book a flight? No, we drive! 
  • How long is the drive? From her house - an hour, thirty tops. 
  • Do I need my passport? Yes! Not to get in, but to get out. 

Once we crossed the boarder into Mexico, we took Highway 1 which was a stunning, coastal drive that took us through Tijuana and Ensenada. The drive was not only beautiful but quick thanks to good conversation, Spotify antics from C.'s boyfriend, and a throwback playlist (Shakira, Santana, Celine and Usher).

Returning to San Diego was more complicated. We had a 55 minute wait time crossing back into the U.S. on a Monday morning, and there was a closed exit which added about 30 minutes to the commute.

Where I Stayed, Ate & Wine Tasted 

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There are many great places to stay in Mexico's Wine Country, but Encuentro Guadalupe offers the most unique, lux experience. Rihanna once rented the entire property! 

Encuentro is designed to interfere with nature as little as possible and includes a winery, grape plantations, 20 Eco-Lofts and an Eco-Villa that will accommodate 10 people. 

We were greeted with sangria at check-in and shuttled to our loft outfitted with crisp white walls and bedding, wood accents and natural flooring. The loft (#4) was also steps away from the infinity pool and spa and had a private deck with a wood-fired chimenea. Early Monday morning, I was sitting on the deck and was visited by a gentle coyote looking for breakfast (check out the photo in the gallery above)! 

The wine tasting was intimate. The pours were generous and the owner gave a private tour of the bottling facility and cellar. Stand out wines were the Flor De Guadalupe (Chardonnay) and the Cavamaciel (Tempranillo). 

I don't recall many details about dinner after a long day of wine tasting, lol, but I do remember the chef being extremely accommodating and making me churros after a compelling plea (I may have begged her on bended knee).

I am so captivated by Encuentro that I've been telling people it's my favorite place on Earth! To make sure it wasn't beginners luck I'm headed back VERY soon for an extended stay.