Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fiestas de la Vendimia 2009 (1/3)

by Steve Dryden

Every summer the wineries of Baja California Norte pool their talents and wares to host an amazing series of wine, food, music and cultural events throughout the region. Most of these festivities take place in Ensenada or Valle de Guadalupe with a few events in other areas. You may need to get a bank loan to attend some of the events, but if you’re selective and practical you can enjoy some great wine, food and entertainment. The Vendimia 2009 takes place from August 7th and continues to August 23rd. Summer temperatures during these events usually hovers around 100 degrees F, so pace yourselves and hydrate with fresh water as needed. Due to the abundance of wine, it is suggested that you book lodging (ASAP) and spend the night near the location of the event. Hotel Plaza Fatima, Hacienda Guadalupe and Rancho Malagon B&B still have some rooms for the event season, if you act now.

Two of my favorites events include “Noche de Cofradia en Ensenada” held this year on Tuesday August 18th at 6 p.m. This is the most reasonably priced event and exposes your palate to about 30 wineries and local culinary establishments. Held at the seaport terminal this competition matches wines with regional gourmet cuisine. Another great day can be enjoyed Saturday August 15 at 6 p.m during the annual “Malagon Family Celebration” held near Francisco Zarco on a 500 acre ranch, vineyard, winery, B&B. This family orientated event includes a horse show, live jazz and mariachi, an abundance of authentic Mexican/American food, and large samples of all their wines. In addition, their B&B is available for lodging during many of the other events, if you book early!

To be continued ...