California Bear

Exploring Baja California’s Delightfully Vibrant Wine Region

Casa de Piedra 

Winemaker Hugo D’Acosta, whose unofficial moniker is the Mondavi of Mexico, runs several wineries all specializing in different wines. He and his daughter, Daniela d’Acosta, hosted the design field trip group for Terroir y Meroir (aka bubbly wine made with the methode champenoise and oysters) at the lovely Conchas de Piedra at the Casa de Piedra winery. Casa de Piedra, which means “stone house,” was meant to be the D’Acosta family home, but eventually became the family’s first winery instead, back when there were but 12 wineries producing in the valley in the 1990s. Today there are hundreds of wineries in Valle de Guadalupe.

Vena Cava

Winemaker Phil Gregory regaled with stories about the challenges that he and architect Alejandro D’Acosta (Hugo D’Acosta’s brother) encountered when building “the hippest winery in Mexico,” where unique tasting rooms are dug into the landscape and covered with reclaimed boats. A walk to the other side of his acreage brings visitors to an impromptu art park. (Vena Cava is known to host annual artist residencies as well.) While you’re there, don’t miss Troika, the permanent food truck at Vena Cava with menu created by Chef Diego Hernández Baquedano, who also happens to run the award-winning Corazon del Tierra restaurant. Advance reservations necessary.

Finca La Carrodilla

Finca celebrates the culture and history of the Valley and brings some rather age-old cosmic practices to their craft. Their range of red wines is impressive and delicious. Spend a moment on their rooftop terrace taking in views of the surrounding valley.

Bruma + Fauna 

Bruma Winery is the latest Alejandro D’Acosta-designed Valley winery and eco-resort to catch international attention. A quick walk up the hill takes you to the iconic reflection pool. Descend down behind and beneath the pool into the winery’s tasting room-cum-art gallery and enter into the cool, earthen space. Fauna, Chef David Castro Husson’s homage to modern Mexican cuisine, offers an unforgettable menu and dining experience.

The LA Design Festival hosts biannual design field trips to design and cultural destinations. The next field trip takes place in September and will be announced during the summer. For more information, visit

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