This was a cruise ship excursion during a port call in Ensenada. John, I and 45 of our closest friends were bused to two wineries: one very large and one very small.
As we left the port, our guide (Gloria) strongly hinted that we should be tipping her and the driver (Jesus) at the end of the tour. During the 40-minute drive, Gloria gave us some information on the history and economic conditions in this part of Mexico but admitted that she did not know much about wine (she prefers whiskey) or the wineries we would be visiting. As we approached the first winery, Gloria informed us that she would handle the tips there but we should tip at the second winery. John and I have toured and tasted at over 100 wineries all over the world and this is the first time there has been any suggestion that the wine pourers were expecting us to tip them.
The second winery, La Casa de Dona Lupe, is an extremely small wine operation. In addition to wine, it produces liquors, herbs, jams, spreads, filled breads and pizzas. We were encouraged to taste the jams and spreads on our own; Gloria had a couple of the stuffed breads and pizzas cut up so that we could each have a small taste of those. Each of us received a card that entitled us to four small pours of wine. No descriptions of the wines were offered by the pourers; in fact, they never spoke at all and Gloria was naturally of no help. I did not see a tip jar but no one there was doing anything that deserved a tip anyway. The wines were non-vintage and of uncertain variety. They were at best drinkable but only marginally. The food was better. At one point, we had a brief glimpse of Dona Lupe herself and there was a costumed dancer doing native dances and selling jewelry. At least there were clean bathrooms.
The other winery was L. A. Cetto. Altogether this was a decent way to spend a port day in Ensenada. However, we would not seek out any of the wines we tasted to purchase in the future.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.