Tag Archives: baja california

Chefs, wine give Baja a new flavor

 

Chefs, wine give Baja a new flavor
Region’s gastro scene is boosting tourism and its image
By Michele Parente6:13 P.M.OCT. 18, 2014Updated12:14 P.M.OCT. 21, 2014

Last Sunday, chef Javier Plascencia was in Buenos Aires promoting Baja cuisine, having just taped an episode of ABC’s “The Taste” in L.A.

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Tijuana‘s new taste: The rustic chic interior of El Taller Baja Med Cocina. — Photo by Michele Parente

On Wednesday, chef Flor Franco was in New York cooking for about 160 editors at Condé Nast, publishers of such titles as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Condé Nast Traveler.

And during the first week in November, chef Miguel Ángel Guerrero will be in Paris, serving up rustic Baja Med cuisine to the French.

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Javier Plascencia’s popular Finca Altozano in the Valle de Guadalupe.— Photo by Michele Parente

The trio, with about 12 restaurants between them in San Diego, Tijuana, Ensenada and the Valle de Guadalupe, are Baja’s Emissaries of Eating. While out promoting their own businesses and brands, these globe-trotting gastro ambassadors are at the same time shifting the narrative of a region once known more for kidnappings and cartels than quail and kumamotos.

More than just reputation burnishing, Baja’s food and wine are driving new development around the region as well as an influx of first-time visitors from within Mexico, Europe, Asia and Latin America. It’s also reviving tourism from north of the border, which plummeted in 2008 as the global economy sunk and Tijuana’s death rate skyrocketed.

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Mexico’s Burgeoning Wine Scene

 

Mexico’s Burgeoning Wine Scene
The country may be best known for its beer and tequila, but that’s slowly changing

By WILL LYONS
Updated Oct. 23, 2014 7:50 p.m. ET

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Mexico’s Burgeoning Wine Scene

WHAT ARE THE WORLD’S most unlikely wine-producing countries? India, Russia, China? It may surprise you to learn that China has one of the world’s largest wine industries, with more than half a million hectares now planted with vines.

I have touched down in some unusually located vineyards—Brazil springs to mind—so I wasn’t surprised to hear that Mexico has a fast-growing wine industry. What did surprise me, though, was just how old it is. By common consensus, it seems vines were first planted there in the 1530s by Spanish settlers. One estate can trace its lineage back to 1597. Even by European standards, where there are centuries-old châteaux, 450 years is a long time to be in the wine game.

I expect many of you reading this will never have come across Mexican wine. After all, this is a country known more for its gassy lager and tequila than its grapes. But that’s slowly changing, and wines from regions like the Valle de Guadalupe on the Baja California peninsula, a few hours’ drive south of San Diego, have found their way onto various restaurant wine lists and specialist shops. But not many. Few are exported to Europe and tracking those down is no easy task.

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New lanes ease wait times at border

 

New lanes ease wait times at border
By Sandra Dibble 6:36 P.M.SEPT. 17, 2014

SAN YSIDRO — Could long lines at the San Ysidro Port of Entry be largely in the past?

Many drivers accustomed to waiting in line for hours instead sailed through the busy border crossing within minutes on Wednesday.

What made it possible was the reopening of seven inspection lanes — and the completion of a key phase in the $741 million reconstruction of the massive port, the busiest on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Long Lines Disappear

Wednesday afternoon the lines at the San Ysidro Port of Entry were incredibly short, sometimes as small as 3-4 cars. Sean M. Haffey U-T San Diego

The expanded capacity in the primary inspection lanes means that U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency charged with operating the port of entry, now has at its disposal 25 rebuilt inspection lanes with total of 46 booths. And that’s just the beginning: By January 2018, the port is expected to grow to 34 lanes with 63 booths.

“This is incredible. I can’t believe it. There’s something like 15 cars ahead of me,” said Marco Montano, as he waited early Wednesday afternoon to cross in the general lanes, which are usually the longest. He and a friend were heading from Tijuana to San Diego to purchase a bus part and had been prepared for the usual wait of two to three hours — not 10 minutes.

And so the cars flowed into San Diego from Tijuana: A grandmother returning from a family visit, an unemployed man from Spring Valley coming back from a doctor’s appointment, a construction worker from Lake Elsinore going home after visiting family in Rosarito Beach.

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After The Kids Have Gone: Former Spring Break Destination In Mexico Finds Quieter Ways To Prosper

 

After The Kids Have Gone: Former Spring Break Destination In Mexico Finds Quieter Ways To Prosper
By Rebekah SagerPublished July 18, 2014Fox News Latino

Town Once Known For Spring Breakers Finds Quieter Ways To Prosper

The Rosarito Beach area of Baja California in Mexico, once a thriving spring break locale that was decimated by crime and a collapsing economy, has had to find new, quieter ways to prosper.

Until 2008 or so, Rosarito Beach, about 10 miles south of the United States-Mexico border in Baja California, was a hot spot for kids on spring break looking to drink tequila, eat cheap lobster dinners and party the days and nights away. Then the economy crashed and crime reached epidemic proportions and suddenly the streets went from 24 hour fiesta to ghost town.

Baja Fresh Produce

The Rosarito Beach area of Baja California in Mexico, once a thriving spring break locale that was decimated by crime and a collapsing economy, has had to find new, quieter ways to prosper.

Until recently, that is. Today Rosarito is a thriving place for families, foodies and small businesses.

A visit to the only winery in Rosarito, Claudius, provides a glimpse into the innovation and resilience desperate (and resourceful) business owners in the area have gone through.

Julio Benitez, a native of Segovia, Spain, established the business just four years ago, and only this year is the label releasing its first bottles onto the market. The vinyard caters primarily to aficionados who can take classes at a small wine-making school, and a tasting room and restaurant for enthusiasts who would rather savor it.

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Housing inventory not much of an issue in northern Baja California, broker Kathy Katz says

 

Housing inventory not much of an issue in northern Baja California, broker Kathy Katz says

By GLENN GRANT, Special to The Daily Transcript
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

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Sales have doubled each of the past three years at Baja Real Estate Group in Rosarito Beach and Ensenada, says broker/co-owner Kathy Katz. Courtesy photo

Low housing inventory is a challenge for most San Diego County real estate firms. But it’s a different story just south of the border.

“We have great inventory in northern Baja California,” said Kathy Katz, broker and co-owner with husband Max Katz at Baja Real Estate Group in Rosarito Beach and Ensenada. “There’s been a lot of developer-financed new construction the past few years, but because we got hit by the economy along with everybody else, we have new standing inventory.”

Americans by birth, the Katzes have lived and worked in northern Baja for more than 20 years. They have a second home in Chula Vista but raised their children in Rosarito Beach, where they’re active in community affairs and among other Americans who live in the coastal city.

“I was doing vacation rentals in Rosarito, then met up with a developer and started re-launching his condos,” Kathy Katz said. “I was always in sales, so I guess this was my calling.”

The firm has clients in the United States, Baja and the Mexican interior, and prides itself on educating them about property ownership along the border. A client-relations staff member was recently hired to funnel prospective buyers to agents and help them make informed decisions.

The firm’s eight agents also help clear up prospective buyers’ apprehensions and beliefs about Mexican laws regarding foreign ownership, such as the 99-year land lease.

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1 Picudas Este, Las Gaviotas in Rosarito Beach 22710

 

1 Picudas Este, Las Gaviotas in Rosarito Beach 22710

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Casa Piedra

Nestled along the Baja Coast, a mere 1 hour from downtown San Diego, is the exclusive oceanfront hamlet of Las Gaviotas. For over thirty years this community has set the standard for coastal living in the Northern Baja corridor. A secure community with exemplary amenities, Las Gaviotas is home to the most esteemed estates on the Baja Coast.

http://www.bajarealestategroup.net/images/virtual_tours/html/1_casa_piedra_back_patio.html

Looking to rent a car in California to drive to Mexico

Looking to rent a car in California to drive to Mexico

You must have so many  questions, hopefully the following will help answer all your questions.

Is Mexico safe and should I be worried? When talking about Mexico, many people do not understand that there is Mainland Mexico and Baja Mexico. Mainland Mexico has many wonderful areas, but has had its share of bad publicity for shootings and drug cartel action, most of which takes place in Juarez, Mexico.

How far can I travel into Mexico with your vehicles? We let you drive all the way to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico which is the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Most car rental agencies only let you travel as far as Ensenada, which is only 70 miles south of the border. Cabaja lets you explore the entire Baja Peninsula, and even go into mainland Mexico.

Looking to rent a car in California to drive to Mexico

Looking to rent a car in California to drive to Mexico

Do you offer unlimited miles when driving into Mexico? We do not offer unlimited miles but we do give you a certain amount of free miles with every rental. The amount of free miles is based on the length of your rental period.

Do you have restrictions on what type of vehicle you allow into Mexico? No, you’re allowed to drive into Mexico with any one of the vehicles in our fleet. Most car rental agencies only let small or midsize cars cross the border.

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An oasis of music and wine in Baja

 

 

An oasis of music and wine in Baja
Steve Lopez
Recent Columns
October 12, 2013, 12:05 p.m.

In the hills high above Ensenada, on the road to Ojos Negros, a dust-covered, mustachioed cowboy named Don Heriberto Aguilar has found the perfect life.

A trip to Aguilar’s rancho was not on my itinerary in Mexico. I was there to research a story, which will be coming soon, on more than three decades of good deeds performed in Baja California by the owners of Benning Violins in Studio City.

But Tito Quiroz, a musician who started Ensenada’s Academia Benning (which he named for his longtime mentors), was determined to give me and Times photographer Michael Robinson Chavez a look at a Mexico few visitors see. If we were interested, he said, he would take us to a party at a winery in the hills.

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Huge Dolphin Pod at Calafia Condos – Baja Real Estate Group

 

Calafia Condos Resort & Villas. The area sits on a privileged location that is a window to an assortment of marine wild life, from sea lions, seals, seagulls to dolphins, whales and even orcas.


This video is a common sight for the residents at Calafia Condos, a pod of a couple of hundred or so of long-beaked dolphins working together in a coordinated hunting dance to encircle fish that ends up in a spectacular feast where even the seagulls and pelicans join in.

Enjoy the video.


For more information on Calafia Condos and Baja real estate please visit http://www.bajarealestategroup.net

Rosarito Beach Hotel Enjoying Second Consecutive Record-Breaking Summer

Rosarito Beach Hotel Enjoying Second Consecutive Record-Breaking Summer
By Ron Raposa

ROSARITO BEACH, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO—Following its busiest summer ever in 2012, the Rosarito Beach Hotel & Resort is enjoying an even busier season this year, with overall season-to-season occupancy up 20 percent.

Rosarito Beach Hotel Enjoying Second Consecutive Record-Breaking Summer

Rosarito Beach Hotel Enjoying Second Consecutive Record-Breaking Summer

Year-to-year occupancy was up 25 percent on both major holiday weekends, Memorial Day and July 4th. For the summer overall, occupancy is up 20 percent, including a 20 percent increase in U.S. visitors, who accounted for 88 percent of hotel guests on Memorial Day weekend.

The two strong summer seasons, the busiest time of the year in the seaside resort city, follow several years of low occupancy brought on in part by concerns about violence involving organized crime groups in Mexico.

“Rosarito and Baja are safe and welcoming for our visitors and residents, perhaps more so than ever,” said hotel owner and former Mayor Hugo Torres. “Work done by state tourism and the Baja Image Committee has helped greatly in making more people aware of that.”
“While the number of visitors from Mexico never declined, we’re now seeing our U.S. friends return because of the improved safety perception,” said Mr. Torres, who also is chairmen of the Baja Image Committee, a public and private partnership.
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