Toros Pintos is a century-old farm owned and operated by brothers David and Abel Bibayoff Dalgoff, descendants of a group of Russian Molokan families who emigrated in the early 1900s to Valle de Guadalupe via California after winning release from imperialist Russia where they were harshly persecuted by tsarists and the Russian Orthodox Church for their Christian pacifist views. The Molokans believed in peace and harmony with all brothers and sisters and refused to fight for the Russian Army. Due to this they were routinely tortured, imprisoned or forcibly conscripted into military service. Although initially denied permission to leave Russia by Tsar Nicholas, their steadfast faith and conviction so impressed novelist Leo Tolstoy that he arranged the necessary permissions for their exile.
Many Molokan refugees were attracted to Mexico and its agricultural potential. They believed in farming land within a closed village settlement where they could live peacefully in accordance with their religious beliefs. After being granted permission by Mexico's then-President Porfirio Diaz to live in Mexico, 104 Molokan families purchased land where they planted and tended wheat, barley, alfalfa, oats, grasses and table grapes. They were widely known througout Baja California for their ethics, integrity and hard work.
Over one hundred years later there is still a Russian presence in the Valle de Guadalupe. A fascinating Russian Molokan museum is offered to the public at the Bibayoff winery, whose warm and friendly owners celebrate their heritage by hosting many special cultural events throughout the year including banquets, music and film screenings. True to its roots, the Bibayoff family is known for sincere generosity and hospitality. Visitors to Toros Pintos may drink, dine, camp and even marry within its lovely grounds!
Bibayoff wine grapes have been sold for decades to boutique wineries and used to create numerous award winning wines. Realizing that they had cultivated a uniquely wonderful product, the Bibayoff family began to experiment with their own wine production and developed an outstanding blend of Chenin Blanc-Colombard-Muscat. Highly regarded in prestigious wine circles, this wine has recently won numerous first prize placements. Other delicious Bibayoff offerings include Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo and Zinfandel. These limited-run wines are produced with great care and attention to detail ~ even bottled and labeled by hand! Tours of the process are often given with pride by the ranch foreman.
Visitors to Toros Pintos and the Bibayoff winery and tasting room will adore the romantic atmosphere and exquisite wines. Whether you decide to sample a golden, sweetly fruity Moscatel or its more structured and elegant cousin Nebbiolo (or preferably both!) there are no wrong turns to be taken at this charming destination.
Toros Pintos Ranch
Km. 9.5 Highway Francisco Zarco-El Tigre
Valle de Guadalupe
Sources: Arel and Antoinette from Bibayoff Winery, Bibayoff Website, Vino Club SMA, Baja Times: From Russia with Love, Spirit and Wine