Dine in the Vines | Latitud 32 at El Cielo Winery, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico

By Sophie Gayot

Dine in the vineyard at Latitud 32 at El Cielo Winery

Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico, April 2023

Latitud 32 is part of GAYOT’s 2023 Restaurant Awards, Memorable Dinners of 2023.

• GAYOT’s Rating: 14/20
• Cuisine: Baja-Yucatán fusion
• Open: Breakfast daily 8 a.m.-12 p.m.; Lunch & Dinner Sun.-Fri. 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 12 p.m.-10 p.m.

El Cielo Winery & Resort | View Website
View Map: Guadalupe – El Tigre Highway, Parcel 118, km. 7.5, Ejido El Porvenir,
Valle de Guadalupe, C.P. 22755, Municipality of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

A Luxury Addition to Valle de Guadalupe

Businessman Gustavo Ortega and his partners Dolores López Lira and José Luis Martínez, who all hail from Quintana Roo, wanted to put their mark on the other side of the country, all the way to Valle de Guadalupe, reputed for being the best wine region in Mexico.

In 2014, El Cielo Winery raised from the fertile grounds, as well as the resort, El Cielo Winery & Resort — the first luxury hotel in Valle de Guadalupe. Set on 71 acres of rolling Baja California vineyards, the resort is composed of thirty-three villas, including two Presidential ones. There are twenty-seven master suites and fifty-six junior suites. Also on the property is even a consecrated private chapel, Nuestra Señora de los Milagros, where religious celebrations can be held (think your very private wedding…). Three minutes by car, still in the middle of the vineyards, there is the gourmet restaurant Latitud 32.

The Décor

The design of the restaurant, as well as the resort, is modern. If you sit inside, you will not be able to see the vineyards. You have to choose between the quite elegant décor of the dining room in golden tones, or the natural backdrop when sitting on the patio. Or, experience the restaurant more than one time to appreciate both.

The Food

If the décor of the restaurant carries almost no Mexican accents, it is not the case for the cuisine. It is all about Mexican flavors. The owners being from Yucatán and the restaurant situated in Baja California, it became intuitive to mix the cuisines from the two regions.

After having one dinner and two lunches at Latitud 32, I can attest that the chef has done so with success. The dishes are tasty, attractive and very pleasing to the palate.

From the Ceviche Maya, to the Tacos de Pork Belly, the Kastakan de Pulpo (pork rind–breaded octopus) or the Croquetas de Cochinita Pibil, the meal is on a good start. Continue with the Arroz con Camarón; the Polpo al Grill, finished table side; the Cazuela de Mariscos (seafood pot); or the Filete Angus “Maya.”

Whether you are heading to Latitud 32 for lunch or dinner, do not rush through the meal and take the time to enjoy these very satisfying dishes, as well as the desserts.

Wine wise, the best is to select the ones from the property.

El Cielo Winery has five lines, elaborated from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Primitivo, Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Grenache and Pinot Noir varietals.

Note that the wines from El Cielo Winery are not exported to the USA.

The story goes that the Caesar Salad was invented in 1924 by Caesar Cardini, an Italian living in San Diego, California, who had opened restaurants in Tijuana, Mexico, to attract American customers during Prohibition.

As we have seen it in many places, it is a romaine lettuce salad with croutons seasoned with lemon juice (or lime juice), olive oilegg, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, garlic, Dijon mustard, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper.

Here at Latitud 32, the chef made his own interpretation of this dish bearing the name of its creator. It includes torching the salad and drops of salsa tatemada in the dressing. It is so flavorful that I ended up having it three times.

What is Salsa Tatemada? It is a fire roasted salsa made with fresh tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, serrano peppers, garlic and cilantro.