Rancho Sordo Mudo RV Park – “Beinvenida Ruta del Vino Baja California”
by Dan & Lisa Goy
Rancho Sordo Mudo RV Park
Editor's Note This story was submitted on our What Is Your Favorite RVing Or Camping Destination Page
In the RV Caravan Tour business it is as important to finish as strong as you start, hence Rancho Sordo Mudo is our final stop on all of our tours. Located on Mex 3 at the 75 km mark, 39 km (24 miles) north of Ensenada, Rancho Sordo Mudo is a Christian-based residential school for deaf children in Mexico. The Ed and Margaret Everett founded the school 40 years ago after their son, Luke, lost 85% of his hearing from a series of illnesses at the age of five. During a trip to visit missionaries in Mexico, they learned that there was nothing being done educationally or spiritually to fill the needs of the poor and orphaned deaf children in Mexico. This led the Everett’s to sell their home and business in North Carolina and relocate to Mexico as Faith Missionaries. The RV Park, which is across the highway from the school entrance, was originally constructed for use of visitors helping out at the school. The founders then purchased 500 acres in the beautiful Guadalupe Valley becoming pioneers to a ministry to the deaf.
The RV Park itself has seen better days, although fundamentally intact and in reasonably good shape, the campground has several back in spaces and 20 pull thru sites that will accommodate rigs of all sizes. There is a great large covered eating area with lots of picnic tables, a fire pit, washrooms with showers (unfortunately not open), 15/30 & 50 amp outlets and water at each site (also not working) and a common pull through dump station. Situated among the vineyards of the picturesque Valley of Guadalupe, you are surrounded by palm and citrus trees (you can pick al the fruit you want) and the fee is by donation, most often someone drives over from the school. Although the park has suffered in more recent years from the lack of RVers experienced by Baja in general, the school operators are now prepared to re-invest in the campground ensuring all facilities are returned to working order. This initiative includes recruiting Campground Host(s) to assist in operating the campground, maintaining services and participating with school activities. Anyone interested in becoming Campground Host(s) should contact Howard & Janet Grobstein, Rancho Sordo Mudo Managers at firstname.lastname@example.org or (805) 341-6919.Valle de Guadalupe
Over time we have visited many of the local wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe including LA Cetto, Bibayoff, Casa Pedro Domecq, La Casa de Dona Lupe, Adobe Guadalupe and Chateau Camou. All our RV Caravan Tours now include a Wine Tour & Tasting at both LA Cetto and Casa Pedro Domecq. Baja’s Wine Country enjoys a Mediterranean climate which is ideal for grape growing and there are few microclimates in the world that can claim such unique characteristics that include elevation, soil, seasonal change and temperature. Add to this a tradition of winemaking from Spanish, Italian, French and Russian cultures and the Valle de Guadalupe is very different from California's rich vineyard country or the Okanagan Valley in BC; this fertile valley is still very laid back and less pretentious. You still can feel the old world charm that exudes from its boutique vineyards and quaint mission style haciendas and French inspired inns. Though Mexico is more famous for its other "nectars" made from Nature's bounty - like tequila, rum, mezcal, and Mexican beer - it also has a long and interesting history of making wine, at least since the days of the Spanish conquest. It has only been in the last 100 years or so that Mexico's wine industry resurged onto the international market. A little known fact is the grapes of Napa Valley owe much to the original vineyards of the Valle de Guadalupe because the original NAPA stock originated from there and remains one of the few places in the world where premium wine grapes can still be grown today. The
Guadalupe, Calafia and San Antonio de las Minas Valleys are filled with rolling lush vineyards of every size and sport dozens of boutique vineyards and a handful of industrial size vineyards and are the heart of the Baja Wine Route, “Ruta del Vino Baja California”. Baja’s Wine Country also offers a diverse array of other attractions and services from countryside and unique cuisine restaurants, arts & crafts studios, art galleries, elegant B&B’s, community museums and a newly opened Wine Museum a short drive south from Sordo Mudo.LA Cetto
is one of the most renowned and oldest wineries in Mexico, founded by an Italian, Angelo Cetto who left for Mexico in 1926 and started the wine business in 1930. In 1963 Don Luis Augustin Cetto spearheaded a rapid modernization and vast transformation of the winery including the purchase of a number of small wineries in the 1980s. Currently Luis Alberto Cetto is the third generation of this wine crafting tradition. Today LA Cetto is now responsible for more than half of the country’s wine cultivating 2,500 acres of vineyards in Baja California; also tequila and olive oil. This winery produces approximately 1,000,000 cases of wine each year in three facilities and has become the largest wine producer in the country, not to mention one of the largest wineries in all of Latin America. The Valle de Guadalupe tasting room is spacious and elegant, served by friendly and competent winery staff, most of whom speak both Spanish and English fluently. We are often hosted by our friend Mariana Gutierrez.Casa Pedro Domecq
is the oldest commercial winery in the Valley of Guadalupe, now owned by the same company that produces El Presidente Brandy. Domecq is the second largest wine producer in Mexico after L. A. Cetto, with current production of 3.4 million liters per annum. Located across Highway 3 from LA Cetto this winery is often simply referred to as just Domecq. Domecq has been a driving force behind the modernization of the wine industry in Spain, and is doing the same in Mexico. Visitors to the winery will be immediately struck by its elegant white walls, mission style warehouse, beautifully maintained rows of vines and serene atmosphere. Domecq's tasting room (stunning view), underground wine cellars (really cool) and endless fields of vines can be enjoyed on a reservation basis. For a small fee bilingual tours are offered for both visitors and wine connoisseurs, they offer a very reasonably priced tasting of three exquisite reds and two whites. The dark caves and antique barrels still on display help to provide a sense for guests of the historical depth of Mexico's winemaking culture. Jorge Martinez does a great job conducting the tour and tasting.New Guadalupe Valley Hotel – Hotel Endemico
A couple of years ago a larger building accompanied by several small buildings appeared across the highway on the bluff from the RV Park and next to Sordo Mudo, to say we were puzzled with their function and purpose would be an understatement. We have since learned this complex is the “Hotel Endemico”, described as “Endemico is a spectacular new and very unique addition to the accommodations scene in Baja’s beautiful Guadalupe Valley. Staggered among boulders on a secluded hill in the wine-growing region of Baja California, these luxury “cabins” bring guests into direct contact with nature, blending seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. Endemico--Spanish for endemic--meaning native to a specific region or environment was designed to highlight the isolation of the environment”. We are definitely not talking about Motel 6 or Travelodge, Hotel Endemico, with 20 luxury units, starts at over $200/night; we have decided to remain at the campground by donation with proceeds going to the school.
Dan & Lisa Goy
Baja Amigos RV Caravan Tours
Rancho Sordo Mudo:
Valle de Guadalupe:
Baja Wine Country:
Casa Pedro Domeq:
Hotel Endemico -
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