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Haley Messner
San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival



Culinary Journey Through The Valle de Guadalupe Includes Expert Guided Tour, Wine Tastings, Gourmet Lunch, and Dinner At Award-Winning Mision 19

San Diego, CA (October 21, 2015) – The 12th Annual San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival, announces Expedition: BAJA, a cross-border exploration and guided tour of some of the most prestigious, award-winning wineries and culinary experiences found in Baja. On Thursday, November 19, the West Coast’s largest food and wine classic brings epicurean enthusiasts to the Valle de Guadalupe for a journey of culinary discovery and cross-cultural immersion.

“After over a decade of highlighting San Diego as a dining destination and some of the most talented culinary artists from across the country, an authentic showcase of our neighbors just down south, and the area’s talented chefs, vintners and winemakers was long overdue,” said Michelle Metter, co-producer of the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival. “The Festival’s inaugural expedition out of the country is meant to enhance the traditional food and wine tasting experience, and bring enthusiasts face-to-face with the cuisine and culture of another country and its unique fare.”

Through tastings at several award-winning wineries, and gourmet meals by trailblazing Chefs Javier Plascencia and Flor Franco, Expedition: BAJA showcases those who have helped define the region’s gastronomy, and transform Baja’s cuisine into one of the most talked about culinary destinations on the planet.

Growing as a popular destination for lovers of food, wine, travel and culture, Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe is Mexico’s premier wine-growing region, and is located just 90 miles south of San Diego. Regarded as one of the oldest wine producing regions in the Americas, the Valle de Guadalupe has been producing wine for well over 300 years, and produces popular varietals including: Tinto varietals (red grapes) such as, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Nebbiolo, Syrah, Tempranillo, Malbec, Carignan and Grenache as well as Blanco varietals (white grapes) like, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Viognier. Expedition: BAJA provides an itinerary that offers a simple and convenient way to explore the Valle de Guadalupe, and experience a snapshot of the over 120 wineries that call the area home.

Regional expert and Owner of Baja Wine & Food, Fernando Gaxiola leads the day-long tour and serves as a seasoned guide in the expedition to uncover the wineries, chefs and restaurants that have played a role in placing Baja on the bucket list of globe-trotters around the world. The trip itinerary includes wine tastings at Torres Alegre y Familia Winery, Adobe Guadalupe Winery, and Fina La Carrodilla, as well as a gourmet meals by two of the region’s most acclaimed chefs, including lunch at Finca La Carrodilla by Chef Flor Franco, and dinner by Chef Javier Plascencia at Mision 19. Headlining chefs include:

Javier Plascencia, Chef and Owner, Bracero Cocina de Raiz and Mision 19: Tijuana-born Chef Javier Plascencia and Chef and Owner of Bracero and Mision 19 is known for his fervent and energetic approach to Baja Mediterranean cuisine and use of ingredients from the fields, orchards and farms from both sea and land. His innate talent for selecting the freshest herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables and seafood create completely new flavor experiences that have made him a culinary sensation in both Mexico and the United States.

Flor Franco, Executive Chef, Finca La Carrodilla: Shameless in the kitchen, Mexico-born Chef Flor Franco’s culinary roots sprouted at an early age when her father shared the subtle secret of great cuisine: sourcing high-quality ingredients from the prime farmland on which she grew up. In addition to her role as Executive Chef at Valle Guadalupe-based Finca La Carrodilla, Franco is Founder and Partner of San Diego- and Baja-based Indulge Contemporary Cuisine and Culinary Director of Berry Good Night Foundation.

Expedition: BAJA begins in San Diego at the Old Town Transit Center at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 19 and then embarks for the scenic, coastal drive across the border to the Valle de Guadalupe. After a day of culinary discovery, the small-group tour returns to San Diego.

Wine tasting highlights include:

Torres Alegre y Familia Winery – A boutique family-owned wine cellar that produces Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Grenache and Nebbiolo, Torres Alegre y Familia Winery, handles each stage of production, from the cultivation and care of the vine, manual selection grain by grain material tanks and barrels, and the whole process of fermentation and aging.

Adobe Guadalupe Winery – One of the top five wineries of Baja, Adobe Guadalupe Winery was established in 1998, and its 60 acres of vineyards, grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Malbec, Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Syrah and a bit of Viognier grapes.

Finca La Carrodilla - The first certified organic vineyard, La Carrodilla proposes a new way of making wine, through biodynamic farming; a proposal for agricultural sustainability. La Carrodilla has four single varietal wines, Chenin Blanc, Shirz, Cabarnet and Tempranillo, a young red mixture of the three varietals and a premium Bordeaux blend.

Expedition: BAJA is only open to 25 guests. Tickets are priced at $325 per person and include transportation, wine tastings, lunch and dinner. Participants must be 21 or older to participate, and bring a valid passport for travel. Tickets can be purchased online at

For a complete schedule of events or to purchase tickets for the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival, visit


The 12th Annual San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival is an international showcase of the world's premier wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities, and gourmet foods. Held November 16-22, 2015, the event benefits culinary arts and enology scholarships awarded by The American Institute of Wine & Food and the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. Over 200 wineries, breweries and spirit companies, 70 of San Diego’s top fine dining restaurants and 30 gourmet food companies will participate in the 2015 Festival. For more information visit Produced by World of Wine Events and Fast Forward Event Productions. For more information call 619-312-1212.