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There were 46 labels present at this wine drinking event, and I did my best to seek out wines I hadn't tried, but mostly I took in the sights. Baja Californios are decked out for these gatherings, where you will see a well-heeled crowd and an endless parade of beautiful young women at every Vendimia celebration.
Dennis Sein and Bo Bendana from Newport Beach, Vendimias
The Vendimia has become more local these past couple of years due to the drop in US visitors yet the events are sold out--locals have caught on that this is the premier Baja fiesta. What has been neglected by the news is that there are a ton of Americans living in Baja like Dennis Sein and Bo Bendana from Newport Beach, who bought a house on Rosarito Beach because they love beach living but couldn't afford to do it in California. They're planning on opening a Baja-Med restaurant soon in Rosarito. "We love it down here, and can't believe people are afraid to come down, I mean just look at how amazing it is," said Bendana.
When not attending one of the gala events, or "mas country" style parties there's wine tasting. Vendimia celebrations run from Tuesday through Sunday each week with at least one event each day, and as many as 8 on the weekends. In between, revelers grab sips at the various wineries.
Las Nubes winery
When I arrived at Vino y Musica en La Nubes on Saturday evening I noticed some familiar faces--many locals stumble from one event to the other. The stunning hillside winery attracted a crowd of businessmen and their wives, guapas, and Mexican wine enthusiasts.
Las Nubes winery, Fiestas de la Vendimia 2012
Las Nubes has made a name for itself in a rather short time, and is currently one of the finest producers in the Valle de Guadalupe. Guests gulped glass after glass of a crisp unoaked chardonnay waiting patiently for a much anticipated Baja tasting menu catered by Chef Plascencia(Mision 19) paired with the winery's boutique wines.
There's still a chance to score some tickets for events if you hurry. Prices range from as low as $22 to around $120 for the more prestigious houses. Live music, DJ's, dance, and even a Russian festival are provided at various happenings during Vendimias. Come get your drink on in El Valle de Guadalupe from now until August 19th.
XXII Fiestas de la Vendimia, August 3-19, 2012, Various locations in the Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, Tijuana, and Tecate, Tickets available at ProVino http://www.provinoac.org/espanol/calendarioCompleto.php
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