Mexico in December

It was a brisk, sunny day on December 28th, 2017, and it also happened to be a day to celebrate. It was my mother’s 50th birthday, and her only wish was to road trip through the hills and vineyards of Mexico. We packed our bags for a two day adventure, drove three hours from Newport Beach, California to the wineries of Valle de Guadalupe and began our remarkable escapade.

We reached Monte Xanic, our first winery, before even putting our things up in our quaint hotel. It was a beautiful establishment with vineyards miles long and outside seating along an exquisite, man-made lake. We enjoyed a crisp, dry glass of Rosé while looking at the fascinating view. I knew this was going to a very special weekend that I would enjoy with my mother and step-father.

The next winery on the list was L.A. Cello, which had an amazing wine tasting tour through the vineyard and a place to custom label your own bottles of wine. Outside, the air was filled with the smell of leaves and beautifully fragrant wine. This was the only winery where we took a tour, and it taught me so much about the wine culture in Mexico. After the tour finished, we purchased four bottles of wine, each one labeled with the names of my siblings.

Last on the list was Vena Cava, which happened to my favorite place of all. From the neon colored wine barrels to the intricately-shaded outside seating area, this winery was calling my name. We enjoyed three different red wines, which came with cheese and crackers from a local Mexican market. All of the employees were very enthusiastic and knowledgable about their selection of wines, which made our experience even more magical. We sipped on our wine, looked at the sky as the sun was setting and embraced our time together as a family.

It was then time to check into Hotel Boutique, our charming, picturesque hotel. Our room was large, but felt cozy and warm. It had a superb view of the vineyard and the array of plants lining the establishment. Down by the front office, there were outdoor stables filled majestic horses that we were allowed to engage with. After taking a walk around Hotel Boutique, we showered, got ready and enjoyed a bottle of wine outside that we purchased earlier that day at L.A. Cello.

We then took off to our dinner reservation at Finca la Carrodilla. Known to the locals as Finca, this place lived up to its glowing reputation. There were many guests enjoying the outside area under a sea of hanging lights and bright stars. We sat next to a sweet couple from Oakland, California who were there for their 25th wedding anniversary. I glanced through the menu and saw exactly what I wanted– three crispy tacos with chicken, shrimp and beef, and Mexican street corn on the side. We sipped on magnificent white wine while waiting for our food, and took in the incredible atmosphere and live music. It did not take long for our food to arrive, and once it did, there was no stopping us. The food was outstanding, the ambiance was perfect and the wine was phenomenal– I will definitely be returning.

After dinner, we drove back to our home for the night. At 7 in the morning, we were all sad to wake up and head back to reality. This trip was nothing less than extraordinary and it connected my family in unimaginable ways. I had the opportunity to celebrate my mother in one of the most breathtaking places on Earth, while spending quality time with the ones I love the most. I feel so fortunate that I had this experience and I will never forget the adventures (and wine) we had.

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