Love is the Perfect Flavor in the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s Wine Country
By Brenda Colón Navar of San Diego Red.
We’ve heard of the many wonders in Mexico’s wine country, the Guadalupe Valley. The “wine route” is a must-do journey for the people of Baja and other visitors coming here to discover what the state of Baja offers. Little by little, what is called “Baja-Med” (Baja-Mediterranean) has earned a place within Baja cuisine; now, we get closer to the real heart of the valley and its authentic flavors in a place where wines, cheeses and marmalades allow us to take the taste of Baja California anywhere we want : La Casa de Doña Lupe. (Mrs. Lupe’s House).
Mrs. Lupe is almost 80 years old. Born in Sonora, Mexico, she came to this region when she was 22, and felt in love with the Valley.
In this interview for Mujer Actual and San Diego Red, this very kind woman gave us some of her time after attending to a big group of tourists, which is “an everyday thing” according to people attending the business with her. We waited, while tasting one of the artesanal pizzas she makes, and a homemade cheese.
When did Casa de Doña Lupe start its business?
Mrs. Lupe: I started the grape harvest more than 30 years ago, but the wine was only for the family. Casa de Doña Lupe opened to the public almost 10 years ago with wine and marmalades; nowadays we have dishes because visitors started asking for them. My daughter was the one that organized that area. Most of the ingredients we use are produced here in Guadalupe Valley. We started these activities after my husband passed away; my son stopped selling to other people and we started doing it ourselves. I’ve worked since I was very little and that attitude has allowed me to live in peace all my life.
What can we find in Casa de Doña Lupe?
Mrs. Lupe: Bread, marmalades, cheese, wines, artisanal pizzas. Since I was very young, I lived in a farm and I learned to grow fruits and plants. Then I started making marmalades (one of the most requested products). Currently people are asking a lot for the olive oil with garlic and spices. It is important to mention that the variety of products, especially the marmalades, change depending on the season and the fruits and hot peppers we can grow at that time.
What are the comments of those who visit this place?
Mrs. Lupe: Regardless whether they are from the region or from other countries, the only thing I can say is that they leave this place very happy, they’ve told us that the place is very cozy, and that there are a lot of things to taste. Some have told me, “I’m here to copy your recipes,” but that’s impossible because they don’t make things with the same care that we do. And, a product does not taste good if you do it with a bad mood; the products have emotions, so love is the perfect flavor.
How big is your work team?
Mrs. Lupe: There are three more women that help us in the creation of marmalades. My daughter has been a great support and all the people working in the house are very fond of their responsibilities. I’m almost 80 years old and I still check all the details, what we have, what we need, and so forth.
How’s the atmosphere when all of you are preparing the products?
The atmosphere is nice; we have to be happy and ready to do all the things, even cry like when we do marmalades with hot peppers. The first time we did Habanero (havanan hot pepper) marmalade, we cried for five days, so I told my daughter to sell it at a very expensive price so no one would buy it, but then we had to look for more people to work and use double kitchen glove when making this marmalade, it had a lot of demand.
Do you have plans to expand Casa de Doña Lupe or start selling your products in other places?
I prefer people to come visit us here in the Guadalupe Valley, I’ve been asked to sell wholesale, but I don’t want the product to lose the essence that distinguishes us.
Could you send a message to our readers?
Mrs. Lupe: I invite all of you to come to Guadalupe Valley and visit Casa de Doña Lupe; we’ll be waiting for you here since 9 in the morning until nightfall every day of the year.
How to find the Casa de Doña Lupe: From Highway 3, Ensenada to Tecate, pass the town of Francisco Zarco (which will be to your left) and continue towards the LA Cetto Winery. Turn into the LA Cetto gates/entrance, and follow a dirt road that will take you past LA Cetto, bringing you to Mrs. Lupe’s house.
Want to find out where to stay when you visit Ensenada and Mexico’s Wine Country? Visit Baja.com!
original text : Brenda Colón
translation : Daniel Blanco
Sandiegored.com is designed as the first portal in Spanish that provides information/
Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Possibly Related Posts:
- Ensenada Craft Brewery Named Best in Mexico
- Ensenada Road Trip: From the Cheese Cave to Top Dining Destinations
- Transcending Expectations at Deckman’s en El Mogor
- Bodegas F. Rubio: A Family Affair in the Valle de Guadalupe
- El Jardin de Adobe: A Foodie Oasis in the Valle de Guadalupe