We recently dry-camped with our 30-foot Denali fifth wheel at the Santo Tomas Winery in Northern Baja California. The winery is one of the oldest in Mexico, founded in 1888 by the Catholic Church. We highly recommend spending a night or two at this Winery. It is mainly a winery, but many spots have been designated for RVs. This gives you the opportunity to camp right next to vineyards, and under giant eucalyptus trees. You access this winery directly from Highway 1, 91 miles from the Tecate border crossing. The highway is very good – it only deteriorates further south.
Getting into Santo Tomas Winery
The winery is beautiful, but driving in is a challenge for larger rigs. At the entry we had to pass under a stone arch and then avoid a security boom. Just to make it more interesting! We were in a caravan of 9 rigs, and we were the tallest. We tapped the boom on our way in, but thankfully missed the stone arch.
Then we drove down a very narrow dirt road to some very small sites. The three biggest rigs – Goliath (Joe and Kathy), Baja Nancy (Richard and Nancy), and us – were crammed into a parking lot which was about the width of a basketball court. Apart from us, there were also a few visitor cars parked in front of us! Once again, Wagon Master John and Tail Gunner Jerry gave me terrific directions to get us into the parking.
The smaller rigs proceeded to somewhat easier parking further in – but then they had to back out the next day!
Eucalyptus Trees, Tractor Ride, and Sensory Wine Tasting
We were parked under a grove of eucalyptus trees, overlooking the vineyards. It was quite lovely, and very similar to wineries we visited Napa Valley. The wine tasting was a memorable experience as we drove through the vines on a tractor drawn cart, stopping to taste different varieties. Right next to the vines where the grapes had been grown!
We then attended the “Sensory Wine Tasting” part of the tour. This was basically tasting wine in the dark or under dim lights.
The Gift Shop at Santo Tomas
There is a really nice gift shop, where we bought some wine and olive oil.
One point worthy of note – the Santo Tomas Winery had the cleanest, most lovely washrooms we found in all of Baja. There were even soap dispensers!
Day 6: Santo Tomas Winery to Sordo Mudo RV Park, Guadalupe Valley, Baja California
We made our way slowly down the narrow road to get out of Santo Tomas. We had a short delay while we tried to find Alison’s lost cell phone. Sadly, we think one of the staff must have pocketed it after she dropped it. Either that, or she dropped it, and then it mysteriously vaporized.
After that, it is just a short drive (91 miles) along Highway 1 to get back to the USA!
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