Review: Crossing South: Baja Wine Tours
Like many US citizens, I was honestly a little worried about going to Mexico to take the Crossing South Baja Wine Tour because when I read about Mexico in the news it is rarely good news. I decided to put my fears aside because Crossing South is a KPBS show that has well established itself as a very credible brand. So, I was very confident that I would safe but I was not sure what the experience was going to be like when I woke up on Friday morning.
I was excited the night before and barely got any sleep. When my alarm clock finally went off in the morning I jumped up and promptly got ready for the day's journey. I made sure that I applied sufficient sunscreen to keep me safe throughout the day and then hopped on Lyft to request my ride to the San Ysidro border in California where I had arranged to meet my wine tour guide, Jessy.
After a very lively discussion with a seasoned Lyft driver who has only taken up the gig because his wife told him that since his retirement he would need to stay out of her way and keep himself busy until lunch, I set off to cross the border. I stopped along the way to confirm with one of the Border Patrol officers on duty that I was headed in the right direction. He assured me I was and in a few minutes, I was in Tijuana, Mexico!
My tour guide and driver assured me that he would be waiting for me as soon as I crossed the border, near the Taxis. Jessy met me with a warm smile and friendly conversation which immediately put my heart at ease about the upcoming Wine Tour.
Jessy had that same smile through the whole tour!
When we got into the very comfortable tour van, Jessy informed me that if I need to stop for food and snacks along the way to just let him know. Although our first stop was over an hour away in the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja, I was very surprised and impressed by how much knowledge my tour guide Jessy knew about Mexico. He had a fact, historical reference or fascinating story for just about every place we passed along the way as we headed to our first Winery. I was also impressed by how beautiful Baja California was. Surveying the ocean view, grassy mountain-like landscape, the livestock, and green fields proved to a wondrous pastime, building in my heart anticipation and excitement for the Wine Tour ahead.
The drive to the Valley de Guadalupe in Baja was beautiful
Before I knew it, we arrived at the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja for our first Winery and I was ready for my taste buds to be tantalized by local wines that speak depths about the hard work and resourcefulness of the locals in Baja California.
We saw so many beautiful vineyards along the way.
What I enjoyed about each Winery we visited was the genuine generosity, cheerfulness, and professionalism of every staff member we met and the personal relationship they shared with our tour guide, Jessy . This made the experience more like I was visiting my family and not strangers. We gained unique access to special parts of a Winery closed to the general public in one case, and I received personal translation from Spanish to English at another one Winery, making me feel like a VIP.
The wine tasting experience was amazing!
Another highlight of the trip was stopping for lunch at the Cantera. Once again, my tour guide Jessy seemed to know everyone and we were treated like family with first-class service and a waiter named Alex Torress who had a lively sense of humor. He assured me that I absolutely needed him in the photo below. The food was superior and the landscape, relaxing.
Alex from the Cantera, you made it in the review!
As a bonus, we also had a chance to stop by Tienda de Queso ( Store of Cheese) and I had an opportunity to taste all types of different cheeses! It was so amazing. I tasted cheeses that had been professionally aged for over 3 years! It was so good! Yeah, I loved cheese but back to the story.
Store of cheese!! in Baja California
The time had now come to head back to the San Ysidro border. I was somewhat sad that my beautiful Wine Tour was already over but my heart was full of joyful memories that I would cherish for a lifetime. I gave Jessy a big hug at the end because he literally made the trip so unforgettable. He gave me a local bottle of white wine and a Crossing South: Baja Wine Tours shirt as a memento take with me back home. I sighed, said goodbye and headed to the line to cross back into San Diego at the San Ysidro boarder.
I took with me joy and memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.
I was dropped off at the border around 5:00 pm and waited in line to cross the border by foot. While there, I made small talk with a man who begins to talk about Crossing South: Baja Wine Tours, not knowing that I had just taken the tour. I told him all the things I loved about it and he offered to hold my bottle of white wine in his cooler while we waited in line. I took him up on his offer and we continued to talk about life, experiences and the beauty of Baja California.
In conclusion, Crossing South: Baja Wine Tours was a truly marvelous adventure, that gave me a new perspective on Baja California and a deeper appreciation for the hard-working people who put their heart and soul into the wine they passionately produce in the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja. I not only highly recommend the Crossing South: Baja Wine Tour but would like to add that if you need an extra person to join you on YOUR tour, I would be more than happy to tag along!
Why not visit their website today and book your tour at clicking on the photo below!