Baja Trip-4

Off to another winery, Santo Tomas, after visiting the fish market where I glanced at all the fish and saw fish I could not begin to identify. This winery is in a different valley, Santo Tomas Valley, and the second oldest winery in Mexico. Although their official sign says it is 130 years old, it is actually older and originated years before that to produce wine for communion and the Catholic Church.

Rather than have the wine tasting in a building or patio, here they put us on a wagon pulled by an old tractor and transported us to the vineyards where they drove around then stopped to give us various wines to try while we sat on the wagon. Our guides brought along cheese and other goodies for snacks as we tasted the wine.

The main building for production.

Vineyards for miles. They have 800 acres of vineyards mostly in this valley but a few in another area we did not visit.

Baja Trip-2

Day Two we visited several wineries and went to dinner at one of the top 50 restaurants in Latin America, La Laja. The following photos are from the first winery where we not only tasted various wines but also took a tour of their remarkable wine cellar dug deep into solid rock.

This is the name of the winery and each barrel is marked with varietal, date, etc.

The hills in some part of Valle de Guadalupe reminded me of the hills near Temecula, CA.

Here you can see how the cellar is dug out of the rock. The rock was oozing moisture due to the unusual amount of rain they received this winter.

I loved this message so much I had to take a photo of it.

I wish I could find a duplicate to hang outside on one of the empty sides of my house.

The wines here are all natural. Many of the wineries we visited do not use pesticides or herbicides.The sophistication of many of the wineries in Baja is very impressive.

Wine tasting, thunder, and thieves

In last night’s blog I mentioned the wine tasting to occur at my house tonight.  I have never seen so many bottles in one place.  Take a look.  At one point someone counted and said there were 64 bottles.  Since there were over 100 people in attendance…and left overs everywhere.








About two hours before the event, dark clouds appeared on the horizon.  I turned on the TV; severe thunder storm warnings slid continually across the screen; it began to sprinkle. Oh, no.  The storm went around, guests showed up, and they could even eat outside on the patio.  About half way through the party, the smoke alarm went off.  Market Street, the party sponsor’s grill apparently smoked too much or my alarm system is very sensitive.  A friend grabbed a broom, pushed a button, and it stopped, only to repeat the process several times.

The boxes on the left in the photo below contained approximately 100 wine glasses.  The procedure:  get your own glass, walk to the bar, pick a wine and try it.



Several people wanted some empty glasses, one for a friend’s craft work and another for herself.  She makes her won wine.  Here are the bottles I rinsed and lined up for her to pick up later in the week.



In the end after nearly everything was packed up and the garbage bagged and in the garage, a few of us sat around and drank some of the friend’s homemade wine.  Hobby, the Market Street wine guy, had set aside a copy of my poetry book to purchase and have me sign.  He looked where he put it.  We looked around; nothing.  Apparently we had a poetry book thief at the party.  Who would have thought.

About ten minutes after everyone drove away,  lightning zoomed across the sky, the thunder boomed, and the tempest finally stuck, the perfect ending.






Wine tasting and book signing

This day has been so full of events and planning that I almost forgot to blog.  First, I made a quick trip to town to accomplish some necessary tasks before my big trip to Ethiopia starts in two weeks.  In fact, two weeks from this moment I will be on Emirate Airlines flying for 14 hours and 45 minutes to Dubai.  With a long layover there, we get a hotel room and a tour.  Then on to Ethiopia for two and one half weeks.  Since only wifi is available there and only in a few places, you will hear from me but not all that often.

I bought an iPAD mini to take photos (in addition to a camera) and keep a log of my daily adventures–maybe I will turn it into some sort of small travel book or my friends with whom I am going and I will make a book.  When I returned home, I tried to figure out some things on the mini myself, but alas, it is not the same at all as this iMAC.  Finally, I gave up and called my ten year old grandson (he has a mini).  Of course, he knew exactly what to do and walked me through everything.

About that time the wine guy at Market Street showed up with this huge cooker–it is really large, bigger than my Mini Cooper.  Tomorrow night they will have a wine tasting at my house, but with a different twist.  Market Street is providing the food:  hamburgers, hotdogs, brats, and all the trimmings.  My garage has boxes of buns, chips, and I am not sure what all stacked up.  In  my great room boxes containing 100 wine glasses are stacked.   The guests are supposed to bring their favorite bottle of wine to share.  I have told several friends to not bother because I have about five bottles of white wine I want to get rid of–I am not a white wine drinker.  We expect approximately 100 they told me.  They predict thunderstorms.  I am hoping the storms, if they come, hold off of until late.  Here on the canyon edge storms provide incredible drama including waterfalls.  And mud.

While in town, I stopped by Hastings, a chain that sells books, movies, CDs, that sort of thing.  This Saturday, the 21st at 3, they are hosting a book signing for me for my new book On the Rim of Wonder.  We have everything all set and ready to go.  They already have fliers posted, gave me one to display during the wine tasting and said I could bring chocolate brownies to share with buyers.  Yesterday, I was in a minor panic because they had spelled my name incorrectly on the flier.  Kudos to Crystal at Hastings, she got it fixed quickly.

Now I am going to vacuum even if it is ten at night.