A Wine Lovers Heaven

by Jennifer Doncsecz

The El Cielo Winery and resort is located less than 2 hours south of the San Diego Airport in the glorious Guadalupe Valley. This region is home to Mexico’s wine trails in Baja, California. Often referred to as Mexico’s Napa Valley, the beautiful wine route in the Guadalupe Valley hosts dozens of renowned wineries, but El Cielo is especially unique because of its beautiful resort, wedding chapel, restaurants, as well as amazing wine! El Cielo translates in English as “Heaven,” which appropriately describes the location. This boutique hotel and winery are nestled between mountains and situated on 79 acres comprising olive trees, lakes, and vineyards as its backdrop. The villas are Tuscan architectural in design and unique to the area. Every villa features stunning views of the lakes, mountains, and vineyards. The winery and tasting complex is hacienda inspired and designed from the natural rock found when constructing the winery complex. There are 56 suites positioned within 2,350-square-foot villas. The villas feature 3 bedrooms with individual access. They are each equipped with private terraces, living rooms with sofa beds, Nespresso coffee machines, and smart TVs. Some of the larger villas have dining rooms, kitchens, and wrap around terraces. Guests staying here can enjoy the walking trail on the resort grounds or use the included bicycles to tour the vineyards. There is also a large outdoor pool and numerous firepits to soak in the views with a fabulous glass of wine in hand. Additionally, the resort is the only 5-star accommodation in the area.

The El Cielo winery produces 15 different varieties of wines, many of which have won international awards. Wine lovers can partake in El Cielo’s wine seminars, which include a wine-blending course, where guests can create their own bottle of wine with a personalized label. El Cielo’s commitment to producing high-quality wines and avoiding the use of pesticides in their vineyard resulted in the winery utilizing hawks and falcons (and trained Falconers) to deter crows and other small animals from ruining the vines. Guests can also meet the Falconers and see the birds in action during their stay.

The resort’s two restaurants feature Baja-Yucatan farm-to-table cuisine and include wine tastings from the El Cielo winery. Charcuterie boards are available to purchase, and guests can picnic on the grounds or take a motorized cart tour along with a sommelier guide who highlights the different varietals of grapes. Their Latitude32 restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while their Polaris restaurant is open for only breakfast and dinner. El Cielo can also arrange transportation to other local wineries and to the San Diego or Tijuana airports.

Having stayed at El Cielo two times, I can honestly say that I have been to heaven and back and can’t wait to return again!

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