Ensenada Wine Festivals
Celebrate Rich Culture
By Sylvia Mendoza
Ensenada is a land of wine. In the small town, the best and grandest elements of Baja converge: vineyards, sea and culinary treasures, and priceless resources make this land a place worth visiting to witness the culture of winemaking at its finest. Several events throughout the year celebrate this culture.
Baja California winemaking has become a benchmark in Mexico. In 2016, for example, more than 95,000 national and foreign visitors attended Ensenada’s Harvest Festival – Fiestas de la Vendimia. Thousands of people cannot be wrong if they flock to the area for a taste of the experience – and the wines.
Touted as the one of the most important wine regions of Mexico, the valleys of Ensenada – Guadalupe, Ojos Negros, La Grulla and Santo Tomás – lodge more than 100 wine houses that produce labels with unique characteristics. The kindness of the climate and the typical soil produce premium quality wines, many which are international medal winners.
Pro-Vino Committee, an association that represents more than fifty of the best wineries in Baja California, is committed to the promotion of the wines of its members and organizes different events throughout the year. For lovers of exceptional food and drink, these festivities are the perfect stage, illuminating the magic of Ensenada as the backdrop. However, other unique events allow visitors to see an emergent city in the oenological and gastronomic scene. They offer an opportunity to learn about winemaking processes and the culinary arts led by top chefs.
Some of the most popular annual events include:
Festival de las Conchas y el Vino Nuevo
(Festival of Shellfish and New Wines)
April 17 to 23, 2017
The first activity is in Spring, the moment when the wineries release their new products and present them at the Festival de las Conchas y el Vino Nuevo (Festival of Shellfish and New Wines). The primary objective of this magnum event is linking three of the most outstanding sectors of the city: aquaculture, winemaking, and gastronomy.
For an entire week, visitors can attend aquaculture workshops to learn more about marine life, including visiting mussel and abalone farms. They can enjoy thematic dinners in the best restaurants of Ensenada. They can participate in demonstration kitchens run by internationally acclaimed chefs and learn to cook their own shellfish in a barbecue event, with special pairings of new wines that have not yet been marketed.
With the sea as a backdrop, the festival that closes the week of activities offers culinary samples of shellfish prepared by the best local and foreign restaurants, and different white, rosé and sparkling wines from more than 50 wineries.
Fiesta de los Viñedos en Flor
(Festival of the Vineyards in Bloom)
June 3, 2017, Finca La Carrodilla
When the vineyards are in bloom, it is one of the most important moments of the entire vegetative cycle of the vine. This helps determine the quantity and quality of the next harvest. The Fiesta de los Viñedos en Flor (Vineyards in Bloom Festival), a completely family-friendly country day promotes environmental care with a farmers market, wine tastings of more than fifty wine houses, and gastronomic delights prepared by renowned chefs based on fresh local ingredients.
An art auction also takes place, as well as workshops and plastic arts activities for children. All proceeds benefit Albergue San Vicente, a nonprofit shelter in Ensenada.
Fiestas de la Vendimia
July 27th to August 20th, 2017
After a good year of sowing and cultivation, comes the time of harvest. When summer ends, wineries devote their time to the grape harvest, but not before taking a moment to celebrate it with the traditional Fiestas de la Vendimia (Harvest Festival).
For twenty-six consecutive years, the Pro-Vino Committee has been responsible for carrying out these celebrations, pairing wine tastings with fantastic culinary events such as the Salón del Vino (Wine Lounge), Muestra del Vino (Wine Tasting Evening), Fiesta en el Valle (Party in the Valley), Fiesta en la Riviera, (Party in the Riviera) and a Paellas Competition.
Wine appreciation workshops enlighten the community about the magical world of winemaking. In addition, the Pro-Vino winery members organize pairing dinners by renowned chefs, concerts with top world artists and cultural festivals.
The Pro-Vino Committee has developed these and other events for those just wanting to start an adventure in wine tasting or those already immersed in the richness of the culture and wanting to learn more. Whether for a day trip or a week-long journey, lovers of wine and culinary delights can find an escape and a new experience in Ensenada wine country.
For more information on any of the festivals, visit the Pro-Vino website at ProvinoAC.org