Friday, April 17, 2009

Ensenada's newest wine tasting room (3/3)

The “Green Room” includes one queen size bed, private bathroom and balcony with a sitting area offering a majestic view of the mountain range. The “Blue Room” includes two full size beds with one private bathroom and balcony with sitting area featuring a view of the mountain range. Many guests rent the entire complex to host family, friends and clients. The ranch reflects the traditional values cherished by the Malagon family and showcases their respect for nature, conservation, preservation of the land and the Baja California ranch lifestyle. And, somehow their wines seem to capture that same essence via the expression of the old vine roots that are deeply woven into the native soil of the valley, transforming mature fruit into rich, complex wine that speaks volumes about the strength and determination of the abandoned vines, who waited patiently for decades for someone to discover their palate pleasing treasures.

Rancho Malagon or ViƱedos Malagon is a “hidden jewel” located in the village of Francisco Zarco in Valle de Guadalupe. This family owned 400 acre ranch, vineyards, winery, bed and breakfast gets a gold medal for hospitality, first class service, romantic ambiance, hidden location, and for creating fantastic wine. Until recently this amazing private estate has been “a little known haven” for selected friends and members of the Malagon family whose relatives have owned the property for several generations. One would never have guessed that such a special ranch exists behind the village of Francisco Zarco where lucky guests experience a stunning setting with valley and mountain views, an abundance of natural beauty, blessed with wealth of peace and tranquility. The ranch was originally a Russian homestead established in the early 1900’s by Molokan settlers. In 2000 Jose Luis Malagon purchased the ranch from relatives with the vision of creating premium wine crafted from old vine Grenache grapes planted over fifty years ago on his property. Over the years, with the help of his wife, children and friends they’ve have created the perfect Baja California retreat.

Next time you’re in downtown Ensenada, stop by and sample wines from two premium wineries of Baja California Norte. The tasting room will be featuring guest wineries each month as well as hosting special events. Guests from the cruise ships who purchase a case of wine will be offered free transportation to the port, and local residents can use their free taxi shuttle if they live within five miles of the tasting room. This summer Roganto wines will be available for tasting and purchase at the Rancho Malagon tasting room in Valle De Guadalupe, and Malagon will be hosting another unique food and wine event this summer during Fiestas de la Vendimia in August.

Steve Dryden is a wine, food and travel writer who lives in Mexico’s wine country where he guides private and small group wine tours. He can be reached at: or

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