Quinta Monasterio is a family owned small winery located in the heart of Valle De Guadalupe in Ensenada, Mexico.
Quinta Monasterio was opened in 2006 by Reynaldo Rodriguez Sr. (pictured below) and his son Reynaldo Rodriguez jr., when they produced their first private label. The Rodriguez' vineyards have been in their family for years and today, Reynaldo Sr. and Jr. bring together their own unique winemaking experiences and influences to produce their first world class label. Reynaldo Sr. was one of the first winemakers in Ensenada to produce 50,000 bottles of high quality wine. His son, Reynaldo Jr. received his formal studies and training in Spain including a Master's Degree in Enology and has been the head winemaker at Emeve and Hacienda La Lomita Wineries in Ensenada.
Our stay at Quinta Monasterio was so pleasant, but more so was the hospitality of the family. It was amazing how they took the time to give us a tour of the entire winery and explain their family history to us. Below was my absolute favorite wine from Quinta Monasterio, the Sinfonia de Tintos (symphony of 3 reds). This is a beautiful dry red wine with a smooth finish that is well balanced. This wine had three varietal grapes (tempranillo, zinfandel and grenache) that harmonized perfectly together like a symphony that kept me wanting more. I'm not a sommelier, so my tasting notes are not professional. My notes are more of what I taste as a wine enthusiast who knows nothing...well a little (insert smiley face).
If you ever have the chance to visit, make sure you take their cave tour and Viniphera Spa. Their boulder cave is super awesome with unique features that allows for ideal temperatures for aging their wines. Reynaldo Jr. is currently in the process of carving the cave with plans of expansion to run a tunnel that connects their cave to the Viniphera Spa.
Tasting room pictured above
The picture above is owner and winemaker Reynaldo Sr. talking with my aunt and uncle about his wines and vineyard family history. To be able to speak Spanish has definitely enhanced all of my travels and has produced different experiences than others. When speaking the language, I can ask questions that can lead me into different experiences and understanding of the culture or place I'm visiting. The picture above is an example of one of those moments where you are able to experience something from a different perspective because you speak the language.
Quinta Monasterio also has three cottages for rent that are designed to fit the feel of the winery. One room in particular has walls that are made of oak barrels, giving it a rustic ranch feel. All guests are provided with breakfast and fresh squeezed orange juice outdoors, making your stay super cozy.
I'm so excited to be returning to Quinta Monasterio and show you more of this wonderful place.
Alximia winery was a spontaneous visit on our way out of Valle de Guadalupe. Upon our arrival, we were immediately taken back by its galaxial and spaceship feel. Alximia was built by a mathematician turned winemaker and his astronomer father, who wanted to develop wines that were delicious while minimizing their environmental impact. Alximia opened in 2013 and is currently producing seven varietals that are organically fertilized, Petit Verdot, Zinfandel, Tempranillo, Barbera, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
The winery structure was built with the idea of preserving nature while incorporating the four natural elements during the winemaking process. The "earth" element, is the natural soil that the vineyards are grown on. The "Water" element, is the reuse of the scarce water from the top of the circular dome like roof of the winery. The fresh "air" element, is from the sea and the "fire" element, is from the sun to help the vines grow.
As you can see in the picture above and the picture below, the entrance to Alximia's winery is on the second floor, which brings fluidity to their winemaking process. Their grapes are brought to the third floor for selection and de-stemming, which are carefully brought down as gravity draws them to the second floor for the fermentation process. Finally, They are gently taken to the bottom floor to the cave where they are placed in French oak barrels for aging.
Alximia is definitely is a must visit winery with delicious food and wines.
If you plan on visiting these two wineries, click here for information on 2 for 1 wine tastings to 24 wineries in Valle De Guadalupe, including Quinta Monasterio and Alximia. Have you visited any of these two wineries before? Let me know in the comments below!
With Love | Paper and Wine,