A day at Decantos winery can best be explained as “mind blowing”. At first glance, this place seems to be almost more on the commercial side as far as Mexico’s wineries go. However, this family run winery couldn’t be anything further from a commercial establishment. They simply just built it right!
The Granados family are natives of nearby Ensenada and completed the construction of Decantos in August of 2015. Although the entire family is regularly in attendance, the brothers Alejandro and Alonso are the faces of the winery.
Alonso, a former lawyer, left his job for all the right reasons. One of those reasons being his loss of passion for law. Luckily for all of us his new passion became wine-making. This passion took him to Spain where he spent 6 years learning from the world’s top wine makers. Alonso brought back several new techniques never seen in the Mexico Wine industry and has patented some new ideas as well.
The wine maker has a very important duty for any winery but younger brother Alejandro is what really makes Decantos tick. With looks that resemble Mario from the original Nintendo, it’s hard to not notice him walking around the winery. Greeting everyone upon their arrival and having world-class hospitality skills are what make him special. His presence in the local community does not go unnoticed either. The dude is literally everywhere! On top of working seven days a week at the winery,
Alejandro continues to visit local hot spots of Ensenada promoting the family business. This is something that the people of Ensenada truly endear. With so many new wineries popping up it’s great to have one that is of the people of Ensenada for them to help support. I think this is what will keep Decantos sought-after for some time.
With a young winery comes young wine. The majority of Decantos’ wines are from the 2014 harvest and encompass the unique flavors of the region. Although now on hold for future sale. The Tempranillo is my favorite and a staple of the Valle de Guadalupe region. This Spanish grape is the most commonly found within this wine country due to a similar Mediterranean Climate that is particularly found in the northern regions of Spain.
Although the Tempranillo is absolutely amazing. Alonso didn’t just stop there. He has produced 3 different lines:
The Young Line which consists of Carignan 2014, Chardonnay 2014, and a very interesting Carbonica. The Carbonica or carbon in English, is made in a traditional process of ancient wine making. Fermenting the grape whole and using other techniques that are unique to the heritage of their ancestors.
The Reserve Line is an excellent choice and the one I prefer when it comes to ordering a tasting. It includes Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Carignan 2013/14, Syrah 2014, Amarone 2014, Malbec 2014, and my favorite of the line, Merlot 2014.
The Premium Line goes by the name 981 and can be purchased in both Red ($1,200 pesos) or White ($690 pesos). This wine has strong character of toffee caramel with coffee and hazelnut.
Another reason for my liking of Decantos Vinicola is it’s location. I really enjoy getting off the beaten path and having to search for places like this. This is not a winery that you will find adjacent to the main highway. You’re going to have to drive down some dirt to get there. Decantos is on the same road as many other popular wineries like Adobe Guadalupe and Baron Balche, except it’s at the very end. Perched slightly above all the rest giving it one of the absolute best views of the entire Valle de Guadalupe.
So the next time you’re looking for an adventure in Mexico’s wine country and would like to visit a winery that is setting the standard for all those to come, check out Decantos Vinicola and be sure to ask for either Alonso or Alejandro. They can explain their philosophy behind this wine project while making you feel as if you’re in your own home.