BajaBound.com – The weather is warming into mid-spring, a first-quarter moon hangs in the afternoon sky. The vines are alive and actively reaching for the sun, sending out bright green tendrils. Pulling in off Highway 3, just past the stoplight in San Antonio de Las Minas, the hacienda-style tasting room of Vina de Liceaga is an easy destination.
Beyond the tasting room is a park-like setting that invites visitors to walk into the shade of an old forest of coastal live oaks, some having one hundred years. A flash of an idea arises instantly to plan a picnic wrapped around very good wines from the Liceaga cellars. Patches of shade and sunlight dance over the ground, certainly a beautiful outdoor setting for weddings and parties. Quickly, it becomes apparent that there is more than meets a casual eye. Wine tasting is more a journey than a destination.
- Founded: 1993
- Volume: 5,000 cases/year
- Hours: >Mon – Fri, 11am – 5pm, Weekends 11am-6pm
- Wine Tasting Fee: Price per 4 tastings $180 pesos
Reservations for tours and groups over 10 people
- Address: Km 93 Highway 3 Tecate-Ensenada
- City: San Antonio de las Minas
Sharing wine can lead us into the history and heart of winemaking, while meeting other passionate wine lovers.
Solid wooden doors with heavy metal fixtures appear to be from an old Spanish fortress. The few stairs down into the spacious room are lined with gigantic handmade candles. The welcome by Jesus is warm and authentic. He says he is visiting from mainland Mexico and has been sent here to learn about winemaking.
Mexico now focuses on the growing success of Baja California, sending students to study here. Shortly, Juan Edwardo, “the wine guy,” takes the lead with the first tasting, weaving into it the history and success of the Liceaga winery.
Right from the start, Juan began to infuse the wine with the family story. The tasting begins with a young Rosa, La Rosa de Liceaga. Its label, with a full rose in bloom, was from an original 1914 painting done by grandfather Liceaga. It honors him because of “His love of developing wine.” La Rosa is a unique blend of Merlot, Grenache and Syrah.
The color is delightful, the aroma of peach, apricot and grapefruit open like a spring day. It is not a complex wine, but intrigues with its layering. What makes this outstanding is the use of the Merlot in the blend.
Next Juan pours what he considers the youngest red, Sophia 2016, a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged in American oak. This was truly delightful, soft and easy with a touch of natural sweetness. It’s a beautiful garnet glittered with a fringe of soft pink. It is very easy to drink and enjoy.
Juan begins to shares a sad story. Don Eduardo Liceaga died after a prolonged illness a number of years ago. He left his wife, Myrna, with deep grief and a huge decision to continue in her husband’s footsteps. Today, she is held in very high esteem by all who have seen her create Liceaga into what it is today.