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A Taste Of Mexico’s Wine Country
As seen on Forbes Magazine, Amanda Arnold , Contributor

Just a two-hour drive south of San Diego across the Mexican border lies a peaceful Baja California valley brimming with ripened grapes, delicious wines and gourmet cuisine concocted from the freshest of fresh local ingredients. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors take a peek at Mexico’s lovely—and somewhat little known—Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley), a wine country destination screaming for a late summer getaway of the great outdoors, delicious food and plenty of vino.

Interested in trying a sweet alternative to beer? Venture over to our blog to explore Washington’s cider scene.

A Taste Of Mexico's Wine Country

A Taste Of Mexico’s Wine CountryThe Fiestas de la Vendimia, a celebration of the annual harvest, runs from Aug. 2 through 18 this year, which is why we recommend a late summer visit to the Valle de Guadalupe.

Where To Play
The Fiestas de la Vendimia, a celebration of the annual harvest, runs from Aug. 2 through 18 this year, which is why we recommend a late summer visit to the Valle de Guadalupe. Many of the valley’s wineries participate in the festivities by hosting special events: This year, there’s a wine pairing dinner at oft raved about restaurant Laja with special guest and prominent Mexican chef Daniel Ovadia on Aug. 7; a street party at the Plaza de las Artes in Ensenada on Aug. 8; and a wine pairing dinner at Viñas de Garza on Aug. 15—to name just a few of the happenings.

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By Sandra Dibble | Sign on San Diego News

TIJUANA — Baja California has been losing cruise-ship visitors, sales of coastal real estate have plummeted and many resort hotel rooms sit empty. Yet the range of tourism offerings for visitors to the state has never been greater.

Fans cheer on the Xoloitzcuintles soccer team in Tijuana, which has developed a growing following on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, particularly after its ascension to Mexico’s Primera Division in May. / Photo by K.C. Alfred * U-T

Fans cheer on the Xoloitzcuintles soccer team in Tijuana, which has developed a growing following on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, particularly after its ascension to Mexico’s Primera Division in May. / Photo by K.C. Alfred * U-T

Among this year’s choices: a large agricultural fair in Mexicali, new fine-dining restaurants in Tijuana, an expanded wine festival in Ensenada, and surfing and rock-climbing classes in Rosarito Beach.

In the wake of a difficult decade for tourism, government and private promoters in Baja California are finding more ways to attract visitors as they launch into the traditional summer peak season. The state’s tourism secretary, Juan Tintos, speaks of “reorganizing, redefining our strategies in the tourism sector.”

That means continuing to target Hispanics living in the United States but also relying more heavily on Mexican domestic tourism. It means depending far less on the traditional flow of Americans to Baja California’s beaches and focusing on new niches: athletes and sports fans, food and wine devotees, convention visitors and medical tourists.

When things were going well, “the state didn’t have a need to look in general at what it can offer,” said Laura Torres, whose family owns and operates Rosarito Beach Hotel. Then a series of crises in recent years forced the search for a broader range of offerings.

Torres, the head of Baja California’s Business Coordinating Council, has started a tour agency that takes guests on excursions such as whale-watching trips, visits to a Spanish mission, rappelling classes in nearby La Mision. continue reading…

ROSARITO BEACH, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO—Known for decades as one of the hot surfing spots on the West Coast, Rosarito on Sept. 27 will add another popular beach activity to its attractions with a sand sculpture contest.

Sand Sculpture

Sand Sculpture

Baja Sand 2009 will be held from 10 to 6 p.m. that Sunday in front of the Rosarito Beach Hotel. The exhibition and amateur competition is a prelude to the first full-scale sand sculpting competition which is scheduled for May 2 of 2010.

Half of the profits from the 2010 event will be donated to the Rosarito Boys & Girls Club.

“We’re very excited about this inaugural event and think it’s a perfect fit for this city with its miles of beautiful coastline and tradition of artistic creations,” said Rosarito Mayor Hugo Torres.

Registration and further information is available at info@rosarito.org, rosaritotur@baja.gob.mx or by calling 661-612-0200 or 661-612-0396 in Mexico or 619-730-1871 in the United States.

The creation of elaborate sand sculptures is a popular event on beaches throughout the world, including an annual competition in Imperial Beach which attracts some of the best global teams and hundreds of thousands of fascinated spectators.

Raul Aragon, Rosarito’s delegate from the Baja State Secretary of Tourism office, an organizer of the event, said that planning has been going on for month to make Baja Sand 2009 a memorable and successful attraction.

The event will follow by one day the 30th-year edition of the Rosarito-Ensenada 50-Mile Fun Bike Ride, which attracts thousands of riders, and the same day as the Rosarito chamber of restaurants annual steak and lobster festival.

“It will create an incredible fun-filled weekend here,” Aragon said. “Both longtime fans of sand sculpting and those who have never seen this incredible activity before will have an amazing day.”

Although this event is an amateur competition Archisand, one of the top teams in the world, is being brought in to give an exhibition the day of the contest.

Archisand, a team of architects and craftsmen, was founded by in 1989 by Greg LeBon. It has won the 10-man division of the U.S. Open at Imperial Beach six of the past nine years. More than 300,000 people attend that annual competition.

“People will be amazed at what Archisand and create from simple sand,” Aragon said. “It truly does qualify as exceptional sculpture.”

To help amateurs prepare for this year’s competition, Rosarito sand sculptor Raul Ocegera will give workshops this Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 1 on the beach in front of the hotel.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Ron Raposa
619-948-3740
ronraposa@hotmail.com

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