With a flash of red tail feathers a hawk lifts off its perch startled by the growling engine of our Polaris Ranger. The Red-tailed hawk is airborne above us, just as I am feeling in this moment. My guide, Fabricio, a strikingly handsome man, puts the pedal to the metal making a skidding turn up hill. Dirt and gravel are flung over the extreme drop-off into the valley below. I had not been prepared for this radical run to the top of a mountain overlooking the Pacific. I had been thinking more tranquil activity and sipping wine. But once at the top with a 360 degree view Cuatro Cuatros was seen to be one of the most unique concepts to come to northern Baja.
Surprises abound here. Fabricio points out the two mammoth wooden-hulled shrimp boats at the entrance to the vineyard appearing like Noah's ark after the flood. Beyond this point grapevines are planted in swirling circles reminiscent of the mysterious crop circles. White canvas tents face out into the vineyard and old growth live oaks stretch heavy limbs out over the patios. Guests come to camp in the peaceful setting of the wine country with much more offered than expected. It is called "glamping" these days; a fast growing concept where glamour is wrapped up in a luscious package of pure nature with amenities. Ecologically speaking there is less of a footprint by erecting a tent, rather than building a hotel. Entering the inner sanctum of one of the tents, the soft natural sunlight defuses through the canvas. It feels somewhat like entering a movie set for Out of Africa. Attention to detail is found down to the matches to start a fire to warm things up. The kindling is precut, of course. For the hot summer days there is even an air conditioner. What is really dazzling is the shower room built at the back of the tent with redwood tongue and groove. You step out onto a patio where sunshine streams in on your shower. The view from the tent patios takes in the hills, blue sky and the vineyard.
Campers or "glampers" can have a full spa day and a soak in a warm tub. Even the tub is one of a kind, a thick section of fragrant Eucalyptus trunk cut and hollowed out deep into its center. The tub is in a natural setting under an ancient oak with a view of the vineyard. The grape vines first planted as an experiment in a circular fashion were to become a signature for Cuatro Cuatros. It became its own surprise. It was found that planting this way created a particular characteristic for the wines, because of the different conditions of sunlight, air, and moisture. You won't need to worry about campfires to cook your dogs. Instead the long canvas tent paneled with a native bamboo-like plant is the restaurant and wine tasting area.
Pair all this luxury with a guide who can cook. Fabricio is also a chef. While some of your group might desire sipping good wine in a peaceful setting, the very adventurous can contract Fabricio for an activity you"ll tell your friends about. Ever wanted to jump out of an airplane? Fabricio will set this up for you and also create a gourmet meal if you are still hungry after your fall through the sky. Fabricio is an extreme sports guide extraordinaire. There are also other options a little less extreme; sailing, horseback riding and even a Harley Davidson ride through Ruta del Vino of Baja's wine country. Baja California is experiencing a surprising renaissance. Cuatro Cuatros is an example of new vision that incorporates the best of both worlds, luxury with natural landscape. Throw in a little of the extreme outdoors and you have a winning combination. Reservations are suggested well in advance for the summer months.