Vitivinicola Tres Valles is a relatively young winery that has already won rave reviews for the top quality wines it produces from grapes grown in three Baja California valleys: San Antonio de las Minas, Guadalupe and San Vicente de Ferrer.
Conceived in 1999 when a group of close friends realized they shared the same dream of learning about wine and opening their own winery, Vitivinicola Tres Valles is a high level operation that utilizes stainless steel tanks for fermentation and an aging cave. Its group of owners have dedicated themselves to learning about growing grapes and creating wine, working closely with three special growers (one in each valley) to produce unique fruit with highly concentrated flavor and the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness.
Although they had originally planned to share their wine only among family and friends, it quickly became clear with their first harvest that Vitivinicola Tres Valles had found a winning formula and was producing an outstanding product. Since that time the winery has expanded, now producing over 25,000 bottles of wine per year.
Each of the five main wines currently offered by Vitivinicola Tres Valles derives its name from the Kiliwa language, including Kojaá ('wine'), Maat ('terroir'), Kuwal ('red') and Jalá (the name of the Kiliwa ethnic group). Each one is the product of the masterful artistry of chief winemaker Joaquin Prieto.
Kojaá is a ruby-hued Petite Syrah created from grapes harvested in Valle de Guradalupe. After barrel aging for ten months, it pairs well with strong cheese, meats and other traditional Mexican fare. It has been described as having the aroma of ripe fruit, toasted wood and spice.
Maat bursts with cherry and raspberry tones. This Grenache Noir pairs beautifully with grilled fish, and it offers up a 'smooth, round palate... with the flavors of berries and pepper'. This wine is aged for 18 months.
Kuwal is an elegant blend of ruby Cabernet, Sangiovese and Tempranillo. This wine is often described as complex, pairing well with red meat. Also aged for 18 months, this wine offers up a long finish.
There are two Jalá wines - red and white. The original Jalá (red) is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache Noir from grapes that were all grown in the Valle de San Vicente Ferrer. This popular wine pairs deliciously with fish and mild cheese. Vitivinicola Tres Valles is deeply committed to this wine, producing more than 13,000 bottles per year.
More recently a medium-bodied golden Sauvignon Blanc, also called Jalá, has come upon the scene in a limited run. With a pale color and 'bouquet' of citrus fruits, Jalá pairs beautifully with seafood and white meats.
Vitivinicola Tres Valles is committed to producing world class wines through processes that respect the climate, land, soil and water of Baja California. Holding steadfast to their conviction that integrity and simplicity are the keystones of any successful business, these committed vintners are really making a splash in the Mexican wine scene. Guided tours of the San Antonio de las Minas based winery are encouraged, and available by reservation.
Take a right off of Highway 3 Tecate-Ensenada at the only stop light in San Antonio de las Minas
Follow the signs to Tres Valles
Sources: Tres Valles Website, Bodegas de Santo Tomás Magazine - Special Edition, Baja Wine