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Oaxaca, Mexico

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Oaxaca, Mexico
The natural fresh-water springs at Hierve el Agua were incredible (and cold!). The water is very high in calcium carbonate, and the minerals have formed these natural pools and crazy waterfall-like rock formations. The dusty road was somewhat...
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Km. 3, Carr. Internacional, Cerro del Fortín, Faldas del Fortin, 68030 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Enjoy some of the best views of Oaxaca city while you dine on local specialties such as tlayudas and parrilladas. Come for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just for drinks. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., and the view is great any time of day. El...
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20 de Noviembre 512, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
The 20 de Noviembre market has a variety of food stalls where you can sample many Oaxacan specialties, but carnivores flock to the one corridor that's known as "El Pasillo de las Carnes Asadas" (the grilled meats aisle). Follow your nose to find...
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Diaz Ordaz 712, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
You can find Cuish brand mezcal in a few establishments in Oaxaca city, but head to their own tasting bar located on the outskirts of the city center to learn what this brand stands for. They offer mezcal that is artisanally produced from several...
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Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oax., Mexico
Tlacolula is the largest town in the Eastern arm of the Oaxaca valley. Market day in this town is on Sundays and on this one day of the week hordes of people come to town from nearby villages to buy, sell, and socialize. You'll find all kinds of...
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Portal Las Flores 3, OAX_RE_BENITO JUAREZ, Centro, 68000 Centro, Oax., Mexico
This white tablecloth restaurant on the second floor above the Zocalo is more upscale than other options around the plaza. It opened in 2013, and the floor to ceiling open windows allow all diners to enjoy the views; though from farther back you...
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Calle de Los Libres 212, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
These large, thick tortillas are called "tlayudas" and they're a Oaxaca specialty that you're unlikely to find elsewhere in the country. They're prepared by spreading pork fat and bean paste on the tortilla, then the Oaxaca string cheese called...
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Juárez Maza s/n, Central de Abasto, 68090 Oaxaca, AGS, Mexico
Oaxaca is a world culinary capital for good reason and there is no better place to indulge in all the recipes, ingredients, and traditions of the region than at Central de Abastos, Oaxaca City's main market. It's easy to accidentally spend an...
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Calle de Manuel García Vigil 105, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Most of Oaxaca's better restaurants are quite new, but La Catedral has been around since 1976. It is a Oaxaca institution, and besides reliably tasty food, you can also expect a lovely atmosphere and seamless service. You can pick a spot in one of...
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Calle Macedonio Alcalá 403, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Los Danzantes is a hip restaurant offering contemporary Mexican cuisine. It’s located on Alcalá street, in the same building that houses the Oro de Monte Alban jewelry store. It’s in a large partially covered patio space, with...
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Reforma 402, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Run by the talented Chef Pilar Cabrera, who also offers cooking classes through Casa de los Sabores, La Olla is an unpretentious restaurant offering Oaxacan specialties. Head to the upper-level dining room, which is more spacious than the ground...
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Calle de Mariano Abasolo 121, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Oaxaca is known for its moles. The most famous is mole negro, the black mole—a thick, rich mixture of ground chiles, nuts, chocolate, and other ingredients. But that's not the only type of mole you'll find here. Los Pacos specializes in these rich...
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Gral. Manuel García Vigil 512, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
We hung out at La Biznaga Restaurant a few times while in Oaxaca. We ate dinner there twice—the main courses were a bit too big, so I'd steer anyone who's asking toward the delicious appetizers. They're also open all afternoon and they have...
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San Martín Tilcajete, Oaxaca, Mexico
The residents of San Martin Tilcajete (a village about 14 miles south of Oaxaca city) specialize in woodcarving. The fanciful wooden animals they create are sometimes called "alebrijes" They are usually carved from the wood of the copal tree from...
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Santo Tomás Jalieza, Oaxaca, Mexico
The weavers in Teotitlan del Valle may be more renowned, but the backstrap loom weavers of Santo Tomás Jalieza are practicing the art in a way that dates back to very ancient times. The local market is set up in the main square and every day you...
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México 175 2, Centro, 71510 Ocotlán de Morelos, Oax., Mexico
Apolinar Aguilar is a blacksmith who lives in the town of Ocotlan, about 20 miles south of Oaxaca city. He makes swords, knives and martial arts weapons as well as domestic utensils such as letter openers and cake serving sets. He hand forges each...
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Mariano Matamoros 105, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
This shop offers a wide variety of high-quality handicrafts from all over Oaxaca. You'll find a room devoted to woolen rugs, one to woodcarvings, and several to ceramics. On my most recent visit, I couldn't resist picking up a "Catrina," one of...
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RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Mexico
This handicraft shop in the center of Oaxaca is run by a group of women artisans. It's one of the best places in town to purchase well-priced handicrafts, and it's satisfying to know that the profits go to the women who produce the pieces. Walk...
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OAX_RE_BENITO JUAREZ, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Mexico
Walking through Oaxaca's markets, it's hard not to be a little overwhelmed by the abundance and diversity of items on display. Piles of fresh produce, quantities of beautiful handcrafted objects, baskets of spicy chapulines (grasshoppers), stacks...
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5 de Mayo 114, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
This handicraft shop on the corner of 5 de Mayo and Morelos is impossible to miss: you can spot the lovely handcrafted pieces from the street through the floor-to-ceiling windows. You'll find an excellent selection of high quality items from...
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Calle Macedonio Alcalá 403, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Centro, Oax., Mexico
Los Baúles de Juana Cata is a must-stop for anyone interested in high quality textiles. The boutique is run by Remigio Mestas Revilla, who is devoted to reviving and preserving lost or disappearing textile techniques. He works directly with...
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Miguel Hidalgo 917, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Oaxaca's textile museum opened its doors in 2008. The museum is set in a lovely restored colonial mansion in Oaxaca city's historical center on the same grounds as the San Pablo cultural center. The museum celebrates Oaxaca's rich and varied...
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RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Mexico
The Instituto de Artesanias Oaxaqueños, also known as "ARIPO" has a wide selection of crafts from all over the state of Oaxaca. It's housed in a colonial building on Garcia Vigil near the old aqueduct, and has this pretty central courtyard. Rooms...
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Mariano Matamoros 101, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
The women from the region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca are known as "Tehuanas," and their traditional dresses are made of black velvet embroidered with large, bold bright colored flowers. This outfit is stunning on a Tehuana, but may be...
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Macedonio Alcala 108, La Joya, 68070 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Throughout the markets and shops of Oaxaca you'll find traditional clothing, but if you would like to purchase regional garments with a more contemporary feel, head to Xquenda boutique. They carry clothing made of linen and silk as well as manta...
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Monte Albán, Oax., Mexico
The Zapotec ruled above the Valley of Oaxaca from their hilltop capital, named Monte Alban. Any visit to Oaxaca should include a tour of these impressive ruins. The native people living in Oaxaca today can trace their heritage directly back to the...
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Cerro de la campana, Santa María Atzompa, Oax., Mexico
On a hilltop adjacent to Monte Alban, just outside the city of Oaxaca, there is an archaeological site that has just recently been excavated. Atzompa was a satellite city of the great Zapotec capital of Monte Alban. The site provides breathtaking...
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Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oax., Mexico
Lambityeco rose to prominence around the time of the decline the great Zapotec capital Monte Alban, roughly 700 A.D. The site was originally excavated in the 1960s, although some restoration work has been done since that time. Among the buildings...
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Latin America
Mitla is located in the Oaxaca Valley, just a short distance from Oaxaca City. However you get there, it’s worth the visit. It’s not a large site; an hour and a half will be more than enough time to walk around. There are so many things that set...
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Yagul, Universidad, Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Monte Alban and Mitla are the well-known Zapotec ruins near Oaxaca, but Yagul is worth a visit too. It was absolutely empty the day we were there, and it's overgrown, unkempt, and has an amazing view over the valley.
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Carretera a Tlacolula 190 Km 17, San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya, Oax., Mexico
This small archaeological site is situated on a hillside about 12 miles east of Oaxaca city. The name "Dainzú" means "hill of the organ cactus" in Zapotec, although that most certainly was not the original name. The site was occupied in very early...
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Macedonio Alcalá s/n, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Housed in the former Dominican convent of Santo Domingo, the museum of Oaxacan cultures offers a glimpse at the state's history from ancient times through the colonial period, and into the modern day. The building was beautifully restored and...
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Av. José María Morelos 503, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
This museum is housed in a restored 18th-century mansion and contains the private collection of pre-Hispanic art of Oaxacan artist Rufino Tamayo. He collected these objects on his travels through Mexico, and he wanted to be sure that this heritage...
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Allende, San Jose El Mogote, 68256 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Prior to the founding of Monte Alban, the large hill-top capital, the main center of the Zapotec civilization was in the Etla valley, west of where Oaxaca city is now. The site has several pyramid-platforms, a main square and a ball court....
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Calle Macedonio Alcalá 104, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
You might detect the aroma of fresh coffee on your stroll along the Macedonio Alcalá tourist corridor, and if you're hankering for a caffeine hit, just follow your nose. Cafe Brújula has three locations, but the more central of the three is on ...
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Calle de Manuel Bravo 206, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
This small, independent coffee shop offers excellent coffee (many say the best in the city), and also has an extensive food menu, including a set meal which changes daily. They roast their own coffee and make pastries on site too. There's free...
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Labastida 115, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Cafe Los Cuiles is a casual coffeehouse located in Plaza los Virgenes right in the center of Oaxaca. It's a great spot for a coffee and breakfast, to take a break from sightseeing or to catch up on your email. Have some "enfrijoladas" or a waffle...
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Reforma 401, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Cafe La Antigua has a pleasant courtyard and a choice of two indoor sitting areas. They serve organic coffee that is grown in the shade in the Pluma Hidalgo region of Oaxaca, and they roast and grind the coffee on the premises using solar energy....
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Calle de Armenta y López 120, OAX_RE_BENITO JUAREZ, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
The coffee in Oaxaca is better than it is in Mexico City but still not Blue Bottle standard. We found this relatively new place near the 20 November market. The espresso is great. They roast their own beans and also serve food. Plus free Wi-Fi—...
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Calle de Manuel Bravo 219, Oaxaca Centro, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Café Café got its beginnings as a coffee roaster and then went on to become a coffee shop offering different blends of organic coffee from a few regions of Oaxaca. They hope to encourage the consumption of locally produced quality coffee, and they...
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Calle de La Constitución 108, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
In response to the popularity of a large chain of coffee shops in Mexico selling "Italian" coffee, this family of coffee producers set up a little shop near Santo Domingo church and called it The Oaxacan Coffee Company. Here they proudly serve...
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Monte Albán, Oaxaca, Mexico
It's a good idea to get an early start for a visit to the Monte Alban archaeological site. It's best to get there before the crowds and before the sun is high in the sky. If you don't have time for a coffee before you get there, you can grab a cup...
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Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca, Mexico
This small village just east of Mitla has a large sign declaring it the world capital of mezcal. Here you'll be able to see the whole process of how mezcal is made from harvesting the agave plant to distillation. There's a wide variety of...
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Reforma No. 506, Col. Centro, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Just down the street from where we stayed in Oaxaca there was a mezcal bar called Mezcaloteca. It was staffed by one woman, very studiously sharing her love of mezcal. She poured us a tasting of three different mezcals into the little gourd cups:...
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Oaxaca, Mexico
Mezcal is Oaxaca's smokey spirit of choice and one of the best places to try it is at the mezcaleria Los Amantes in Oaxaca City. The walls of the funky space on Allende 107 in the historical district are lined with dozens of clay pots that were...
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Calle Macedonio Alcalá 403, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Centro, Oax., Mexico
Ron Cooper, founder of Del Maguey mezcal, is the pioneering visionary who introduced the world to mezcal over 20 years ago. Before his tireless efforts to distribute mezcal around the globe, it was a relatively unknown drink in spite of being...
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Calle de Manuel García Vigil 512-E, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Mexican food is extremely varied, and even just considering the cuisine of the state of Oaxaca, there is great diversity. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is where the land thins to the narrowest strip between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean....
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Calle de Tinoco y Palacios 414, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
This little cafe-bar caught my eye because the sign outside says "Chocolateria - Mezcaleria". Chocolate and mezcal is a winning combination in my book, but their menu goes well beyond that. We tried a few types of tapas, a pasta dish and a salad....
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José María Morelos (Av. Morelos) 511, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, OAX, Mexico
Mezcal lovers will delight in this mezcaleria that has over 100 different kinds to sample. Owner Ulisses Torrentera has written a few books and several articles about mezcal and he is on hand to discuss the complexities of his favorite drink. In...
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Calle Hidalgo 2, Centro, 71510 Ocotlán de Morelos, Oax., Mexico
The Aguilars are a family of folk artists who live in Ocotlan, a town about 20 miles south of Oaxaca city. There are four sisters; Josefina, Guillermina, and Irene live in a row of houses at the entrance to the town, and Concepcion lives a bit...
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Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico
Teotitlan del Valle is world-renowned for its production of high quality woven goods. The weaving tradition in this village dates back to ancient times, when they paid tribute to the Aztecs in weavings, although at that time they wove mostly...
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Benito Juárez 17, 1ra Secc, 71256 San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oax., Mexico
Many of the crafts of Oaxaca are still made using techniques that date back to ancient times. At the workshop of Doña Rosa in San Bartolo Coyotepec, you can see a demonstration of how black pottery is made. Instead of using an electric wheel, the...
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Santa María Atzompa, Oaxaca, Mexico
The village of Santa Maria Atzompa is located about three miles from Oaxaca city, near Monte Alban archaeological site. This village has been producing pottery since ancient times, and today you can find a wide variety of pieces, from practical...
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San Antonino Castillo Velasco, Oaxaca, Mexico
Visitors to Oaxaca who would like to acquire some beautiful embroidered clothing have a few options. There are women who sell their work along Alcalá street in the city center, and some can be found in the Benito Juarez market in the traditional...
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Just inland from Ensenada, Baja California exists a wonderland of fine wine, haciendas and Provencal restaurants. There is an energy here that is worth dawning the bullet proof vest and heading a couple hours south of the Mexican boarder to check...
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Colina Baja, Colinas del Valle, Monterrey, N.L., Mexico
In Baja’s wine country, book a room at Adobe Guadalupe, a winery and B&B, or La Villa del Valle, home to Vena Cava winery and Corazon de Tierra restaurant. Don’t miss the beef cheek tacos at chef Javier Plascencia’s Finca Altozano (Km. 83,...
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Carretera Tecate - Ensenada Km 83, Ejido Francisco Zarco, Valle de Guadalupe, 22750 Ensenada, BC, Mexico
Valle de Guadalupe, just 30 minutes inland from Ensenada, is a burgeoning wine country filled with fantastic food, wine and craft beer. Here, my love is enjoying wine from on a comfy couch atop a wine barrel overlooking the vineyard at Finca...
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Carretera Ensenada-Tecate Km 96, Ensenada, B.C., Mexico
One of the highlights of our recent wine weekend getaway to Baja's Valle de Guadalupe, was lunch at Malva Cocina de Baja California. Malva is a new restaurant at Mina Penélope winery, founded by Executive Chef Roberto Alcocer and winemaker...
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Carretera Tecate - Ensenada Km 83, Ejido Francisco Zarco, Valle de Guadalupe, 22750 Ensenada, BC, Mexico
It's not everyday you get to dine on a star chef's own ranch, but that's exactly what you'll find at Finca Altozano in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja. Javier Plascencia, the Tijuana born chef credited with revitalizing the city's dining scene, opened...
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Fracc. 3 Lote 13, Camino vecinal Parcela 71, San Marcos, 22750 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico
The first stop on our recent Baja wine-tasting adventure was Hacienda la Lomita, a vintner in the little village of San Antonio de las Minas. Like most winemakers in the Valle de Guadalupe, they produce mostly red wines due to the area's hot, dry...
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El Tigre, Carretera libre Tijuana-Ensenada Km. 89, El Sauzal de Rodriguez, 22760 Ensenada, B.C., Mexico
You don't have to head all the way to Africa to get a taste of safari-chic. Recently expanded CuatroCuatros in Baja has 14 luxurious cloth cabanas featuring fireplaces, open air showers and rustic Mexican inspired décor; like colorful quilts from...
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Baja California, Mexico
If you visit one winery in Valle de Guadalupe, visit Vena Cava. You can lounge outdoor bar serving local craft beer and wine overlooking the valley, while enjoying Mexican gastropub fare at TROIKA. You also can have a more formal wine tasting...