Rancho Laventa winery is a hidden gem in remote Baja California Sur. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Alaskans making wine in Mexico. It’s a fantastic combination.

Bob and Liz Pudwill bought this 350-acre ranch in a remote part of Baja California Sur in 1996. He is the winemaker for Ranch Laventa, she is the artist – the one responsible for the wine labels and other artwork around the property.

A crumbling old brick ranch house that dates to the 1700s has been transformed into the tasting room. A more modern structure has been built around it – providing a roof, glass windows and solid walls. Still, the charm of what was is still captured in the ambience.

According to the owners, the site was a roadhouse (which is what rancho laventa loosely translates to) for people traveling from the La Paz and Santiago missions.

Winemaker Bob Pudwill talks wine and history. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Today it is still a resting stop for travelers. Three casitas are available if someone wants to stay a night or more, with breakfast provided. (Cost: $100 U.S.) A pool is built into the granite, which is fed by an underground spring. Trail rides, hiking, and bird watching are all possibilities. Lunch is also available, but a reservation is required.

The Pudwills try to use as much as they can from what they grow. Olive oil, mango salsa and more are on a table for noshing while tasting, and may be purchased. Grab a jar or two of the salsa before you go.

With the 3 acres of grape vines, the couple is able to get 600 cases of wine. The mangos on the property play a big role in the white wines. The Mango Limon and Mango Chardonnay are for those who like a lot of fruit in their vino. They were interesting, and would probably be great on a super warm day. They underscore the phrase “fruit forward.” These, plus the Rose Mango and Mead are each $20. The latter is made with honey from the grounds.

The reds, those were definitely more traditional. The Merlot grapes came from the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja Norte. The Syrah ad Cabernet-Syrah are reminiscent of California Wine Country reds – big, bold and lush. A bottle is $25.


A spring-fed pool is available to those who spend the night. (Image: Kathryn Reed)


Deets:

  • From Todos Santos, take Highway 19 toward La Paz, take Highway 1 toward El Triunfo. The winery is between San Antonio and San Bartolo. It’s on the right.
  • Cost to wine taste – 200 pesos. Shared tastings are not allowed.
  • Open Wednesday-Saturday, 11:30am-4pm.

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