Entertainment & Events

Tasting the Valle

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Discovering the food and wine of Guadalupe at the Valle Food and Wine Festival

The Valle Food & Wine Festival is only in its third year, but the festival, hosted by celebrity chefs Nancy Silverton and Javier Plascencia, is already an international success with 3000 attendees at Finca Altozano. 

Photo Credit: Edgar Lima

Taking place in Valle de Guadalupe on Saturday, October 5, 2019, the festival brought a stellar list of more than 40 award-winning chefs, including Rick Bayless, Michael Cimarusti, Susan Feniger, Diego Hernandez, Wolfgang Puck, Drew Deckman, and Jonathan Waxman Eduardo Garcia. These top chefs came from all over Mexico and the United States, from Mexico City to New York City. Some chefs prepared dishes over open fires, barrel smokers and Caja Chinas, creating a rustic feel. San Diego was represented by chefs Brad Wise from TRUST, as well as Edgar Chong and Erik Aronow from Puesto. 

Photo Credit: Tait Campbell

While the star-studded line-up of chefs is certainly a draw, the highlight of the festival is the local Guadalupe Valley wineries that are showcased. During the heat of the day, Las Nubes cooled things off with their Kuiiy, a bright Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc blend with a fruity character of green apple and citric notes like grapefruit with light herbaceous touches. Casa Magoni brought a salmon pink rosé made with Pinot Noir 25%, Pinot Meunier 25%, Grenache 40% and Cabernet Sauvignon 10%, all grown in the valley. Xecue Wines showed off their Special Reserve, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Nebbiolo, deep red with a nose of dried fruit, spices and wood and aromas with a soft and silky mouthfeel, sweet and well balanced on the palate. Finca la Carrodilla offered their Canto de Luna, equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Syrah aged nine months in French and America oak, presenting with a red pomegranate color and aromas of raspberry jam, tobacco, freshly cut red berries, refined wood, vanilla, and blackberries.

Photo Credit: Edgar Lima

The festival went until midnight with live music and dancing, mezcal tastings, book-signings, inspiring talks, and live painting. While shuttles were available to return festival-goers back to San Diego the same day, many chose to make a weekend of it, staying overnight in the beautiful Guadalupe Valley. Many of the top hotels in the wine country sold out months in advance, like Campera Hotel Burbuja and their 12 clear bubble-shaped tents offering unobstructed views of the vineyards and starry night skies. 

Michelle Stansbury is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer. Feel free to reach out to her at [email protected] with story ideas!

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