Where to sip
It would be hard to argue that the best bottle of wine produced in the Valle de Guadalupe is not the Torres Alegre y Familia “Cru Garage” nebbiolo. It is a deeply concentrated wine with pronounced fruity flavors, especially red berries, and an earthiness and terroir that suggests the grapes are grown precisely where they should be. Frankly, all of the wines in Torres Alegre’s “Cru Garage” series are excellent, and the winery’s less expensive lines are good value for the quality.
There may be no more spectacular view of the Valle de Guadalupe than from the deck of the majestic winery and tasting room at Monte Xanic in the town of Francisco Zarco toward the Valle’s eastern end. The winery’s premium bottle, the Gran Ricardo (a blend of cabernet sauvingon, merlot, and petit verdot), is as excellent as the view is beautiful -- an endless expanse of grape vines surrounded by dusty rolling mountains. Monte Xanic focuses, unlike many Valle wineries, on Bordeaux varietals, though its syrah excels as well.