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Las Nubes: Wines of the Clouds in the Valle de Guadalupe

Las Nubes: Wines of the Clouds in the Valle de Guadalupe

Perched on a hill on the north side of the Valle de Guadalupe — Baja’s wine valley and the heart of Mexico’s wine industry — is the ethereal Las Nubes Winery.  Even the name, Las Nubes, is other-worldly, meaning ‘the clouds’ and, indeed, the experience of visiting this airy aerie is somewhat magical, as are each and every one of the seven wines that Las Nubes produces.

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Las Nubes winery in Mexico’s wine country.

Perched on a hillside in teh Valle de Guadalupe, Las Nubes is open to the public for tours and tastings.

Perched on a hillside in the Valle de Guadalupe, Las Nubes is open to the public for tours and tastings.

We were welcomed to Las Nubes by Adriana Sanchez, who showed us into the glass-encased, modern tasting room with its panoramic vistas, and beautiful impressionstic art decorating the walls.  While we waited for enologist Victor Segura to arrive, Adriana explained that Las Nubes produces 6,200 cases of wine annually.

Adirana Sanchez introduces us to Las Nubes' seven wines.

Adirana Sanchez introduces us to Las Nubes’ seven wines.

Adriana poured us a glass of Kuiiy (the Kiliwa word for ‘clouds’), a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Chardonnay, and then we stepped out to the vast stone patio that is constantly swept by valley winds.  Adriana pointed down to a man-made reservoir that Victor Segura and his team have created to capture water — rain, run-off, condensation — that will help support the production of grapes.  According to her, the catch basin can hold up to 36,000 cubic meters of water.

This man-made reservoir captures natures water for use in grape and olive production.

This man-made reservoir captures nature’s water for use in grape and olive production.

Upon returning to the wine bar, Adriana shared with us her “new baby,” a rosado wine called Jaak, which means ‘wind’ in Kiliwa language.  A combination of Grenache, Carignan and Zinfandel, this dry rose seemed perfect for the sunny, springtime afternoon. It was this we enjoyed while waiting for Victor Segura to arrive…which he did, momentarily.

Meeting Victor, one cannot help but note his youthful energy and sheer passion for his wines and the winery he has imbued with his personal conviction and engineering savoir faire.  As he escorted us down to the cava, skirting the beautiful rolling winery walls of regional stone glowing in golden and lavender hues, he waved his arm to indicate the surrounding acreage of vineyards and  brown earth.

“Everything about Las Nubes is about respecting the land, respecting the view, respecting the foods,” he said.  He explained that in creating the wines for which Las Nubes is rapidly gaining its own high level of respect, everything from water and energy conservation to responsible farming techniques have been employed.  And, knowing that ultimately the wines will be enjoyed with good food and good company, they have been designed to complement this experience.

In the Las Nubes wine cave, one can actually hear the malalactic process at work in the barrel.

In the Las Nubes wine cave, one can actually hear the malalactic process at work in the barrel.

Currently, Las Nubes — which encompasses 30 hectares of land, devoted to the production of grapes and Manzanilla olives — produces seven varietals, including what Victor calls the ‘happy girl’ wine Cumulus (Grenache, Carignan and Tempranillo),  Nimbus (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and just a bit of Tempranillo),  Nebbiolo (all Nebbiolo), and the reserves — Selección de Barricas (Carignan, Grenache, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon) and Coleccion de Parcelas (Tempranilla, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Nebbiolo).

As we returned to the patio and tasting area, Victor pointed to the west of the property and the silver-toned olive groves.  It is there, on May 18, that Las Nubes will host Vinedos en Flor, the Flowering of the Vines, a Provino event that starts off the wine season with a fiesta of campestre foods (regional dishes inspired by the bounties of the wine region) paired with wines from many of the Valle de Guadalupe’s wine producers.

From that venue in the heart of Mexico’s wine country, visitors to this area will gaze up upon the edifice that is Las Nubes winery, the place of the clouds, that blends into the earthy colors of the hills and the valley.  And, if they are fortunate, they will return to sample these wines that so respectfully represent the character, depth and nature of Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe…and so accurately reflect the mission that Victor Segura holds close to his heart.

You can visit Victor Segura and Las Nubes winery on Facebook. The winery is located between the Bibayoff winery and El Porvenir in the Valle de Guadalupe, and is open daily for wine tasting.

Planning a trip to Mexico’s wine country? Find out about hotels and vacation rentals at Baja.com.

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About Carla White

Carla White is a freelance writer, public relations/marketing consultant and event organizer based in Ensenada, Baja, California. Carla and her husband Jim moved to Baja in 2003 from the Los Angeles area believing that, thanks to the internet and satellite communications, they could continue working from home while enjoying a richer, more affordable lifestyle. So far, they’ve been right. Connect with Carla Google+

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