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Points of Interest
Jul/Aug 2003
  • Read about the 2003 Baja 500 and view a slide show of the classic desert race
  • Who's News: Meet famous maritime artist Scott Kennedy
  • Spice up your life with Ann Hazard's recipe for Albondigas (Meatballs) en Chipotle

Every summer Baja California wineries pay homage to the excellence of their grape harvest with celebrations known as "Fiestas de la Vendimia." These festivities present excellent opportunities to become acquainted with the many Baja wines which are experiencing new heights of international acclaim. Ensenada is doubly fortunate to have two such harvest festivals -- one presented by L.A. Cetto Winery and the other by the Winemakers Association. Tickets to events at both fiestas sell out fast, so be sure to buy your tickets now!

L.A. Cetto Winery kicked off its 2003 Vendimia season on June 14 with a romantic Sunset Concert in its bullring in Valle de Guadalupe. Nearly 1,300 people watched the sun set over the lush vineyards and enjoyed an evening of traditional Mexican music performed by world-famous trios, Los Panchos and Dandy's, with the Contrapunto Quartet. L.A. Cetto will host additional events in Rosarito, Tijuana and Valle de Guadalupe during July and August including the gala gran finale, "Fiesta Colores de Vendimia," on August 16. For tickets and information, contact L.A. Cetto offices, Ensenada tel. (646)177-2352, Tijuana tel. (664)685-3031, Mexicali tel. (686)564-9958. 

Saturday, July 12
5pm - Concert in the Gardens of Rosarito Beach Hotel in downtown Rosarito. "La Vid en Rosa" is a musical anthology with Neto Lizarraga’s Orchestra and Jazz Group evoking the Golden Years of the great masters of music. Cost is $20dlls.

Saturday, July 26
11am-5pm - An Enological Visit to L.A. Cetto includes a guided tour of the winery, wine tasting, country luncheon, entertainment and conference "The Vine and Wine" at the vineyards in Valle de Guadalupe, 25 miles northeast of Ensenada at Km. 73.5 on Highway 3. Cost is $25dlls. (Bus transportation available for additional fee.)

Friday, August 1
6pm -  "Una Bohemia en la Cava" Gala Dinner Concert with Mexican and Italian musical selections, a wine conference by enologist Camilo Magoni, and dinner served by Restaurant Saverio's at L.A. Cetto's Cava Wine Cellar at Cañon Johnson 2108, Col. Hidalgo, Tijuana. Cost is $50dlls.

Saturday, August 16
Noon - "Fiesta Colores de Vendimia," a gala fiesta including Catholic mass and the blessing of the first harvest, grape stomping contests, wine tastings, "The Sower" silent theater, country dinner, bullfight, live entertainment, dance, evening taquiza and fireworks at the vineyards in Valle de Guadalupe, 25 miles northeast of Ensenada at Km. 73.5 on Highway 3. Cost is $100dlls. SOLD OUT!

From August 1-10, 2003, Baja California vintners present their annual harvest festival with events in the vineyards of San Antonio de las Minas, Valle de Guadalupe and Valle de Calafia as well as central Ensenada, Tijuana, Rosarito Beach and Mexicali. For the third consecutive year, their Fiestas de la Vendimia will be sponsored by Viejas Casino of Alpine, California. Unless otherwise noted below, tickets are available through Viajes Damiana on Calle 2 & Av. Obregon in Ensenada, tel. (646)175-7233, (646)178-3136; e-mail   For general information contact the Winemakers Association, tel. (646)178-3038, e-mail

Friday, August 1
7pm - 13th Annual Wine Experience in the gardens of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in downtown Ensenada on Blvd. Costero & Av. Riviera. Don't miss this unique opportunity to sample wines from all the wineries, along with live entertainment and appetizers from Baja's finest restaurants. Cost is $25dlls. SOLD OUT!

Saturday, August 2
8am - Fishing Tournament departing from Hotel Coral & Marina, on the highway 1 1/2 miles north of Ensenada. Entry fee is $35dlls. per person. For registration contact the Winemakers Association, tel. (646)178-3038, e-mail

9am - Visits To The Winemakers: Winemakers personally host visitors at their wineries to taste and describe their wines. Guests tour four different wineries. Cost of $20dlls. includes lunch and transportation.

4pm - "Russian Memories," a folk festival and country luncheon with house wines at Rancho Toros Pintos Bibayoff (Bodegas Valle de Guadalupe) off Highway 3. Cost is $40dlls.

7pm - "Aranjuez Concerto" in Guadalupe, a gala performance of Spanish chamber music featuring soloists from the Orchestra of Baja California at the ruins of Misión de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Valle de Guadalupe. Cost is $20dlls.

Sunday, August 3
8am - Kayak Tour & Races take off from Hotel Coral & Marina, on the highway 1 1/2 miles north of Ensenada. Entry fee is $25dlls. per person. For registration contact the Winemakers Association, tel. (646)178-3038, e-mail 

1:30pm - Mexican Country Luncheon with lamb, house wine and music at Viña de Liceaga Winery in San Antonio de las Minas at Km. 93 on Highway 3. Cost is $40dlls.

6pm - Sunset Concert at Monte Xanic Winery in Guadalupe Valley, just off Highway 3 to Tecate. Enjoy Latinamerican classical music while sampling fine cheeses and house wines. Cost is $40dlls. Tickets ONLY at Monte Xanic, tel. (646)174-6155.

7pm - A Night at Casa de Piedra with gourmet dinner, music and house wines at Casa de Piedra Winery in San Antonio de las Minas at Km. 93.5 on Highway 3. Cost is $60dlls. SOLD OUT!

Monday, August 4
6pm - Sunset Concert at Monte Xanic Winery in Guadalupe Valley, just off Highway 3 to Tecate. Enjoy Latinamerican classical music while sampling fine cheeses and house wines. Cost is $40dlls. Tickets ONLY at Monte Xanic, tel. (646)174-6155.

Tuesday, August 5
7pm - "Culinary Cup" Welcome Dinner prepared by top chefs at Restaurant Manzanilla, Av. Riveroll #122, Ensenada. Cost is $50dlls.

7:30pm - Wine Tasting, Music & Winemaking Seminar with a culinary exhibition at Restaurant La Candelaria, Tijuana. Cost is $40dlls. Tickets ONLY through Cofradia del Noble Vino de Tijuana/Luis Gallardo, e-mail

Wednesday, August 6
7pm - 7th Annual Wine Exhibition in Mexicali at CANACO Mexicali with wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres, music and talks by enologists. Cost is $35dlls. Tickets ONLY through Mexicali Cofradia del Vino/Sergio del Bosque, e-mail

Thursday, August 7
7pm - Rosarito's Third Annual Vendimia Night at Restaurant La Masia del Patrón at Quinta del Mar, Rosarito. Don't miss this unique opportunity to sample wines from all the wineries, along with appetizers from Baja's finest restaurants and a special performance by world-famous trio Los Panchos. Cost is $35dlls. (Tickets also available through Rosarito CANIRAC, tel. 661-612-0700)

7:30pm - "Mexican Delights," a fiesta with regional foods, house wines, mariachis and folkloric dancers at Cavas Valmar Winery in downtown Ensenada at Av. Riveroll #1950. Cost is $40dlls.

Friday, August 8
5:30pm - Jazz Festival at Mogor Badan Winery in Guadalupe Valley at Km. 85.5 on Highway 3 with house wines and Mediterranean appetizers. Cost is $40dlls.

Saturday, August 9
9am - Visits To The Winemakers: Winemakers personally host visitors at their wineries to taste and describe their wines. Guests tour four different wineries. Cost of $20dlls. includes lunch and transportation. SOLD OUT!

2pm - Santo Tomás Street Fair at the Santo Tomás Cultural Center in downtown Ensenada on Av. Miramar #666. House wines, food, live music, games, art exhibits and cultural presentations. Perfect for the whole family! Free admission.

5pm - Domecq Vintage Festival Calafia Valley with wine tasting, tour, formal dinner and special entertainment at Casa Pedro Domecq Winery at Km. 73 on Highway 3. Cost is $65dlls. SOLD OUT!

6:30pm - Romantic Sunset Concert with house wine and hors d'oeuvres at Chateau Camou Winery in Guadalupe Valley, just off Highway 3 on the road to Tecate. Cost is $45dlls.

Sunday, August 10
Noon - 12th Annual Paella Cooking Contest at Rancho San Gabriel at Km. 94.5 on Highway 3 in San Antonio de las Minas with paella sampling, wines, dancing and music. Cost is $30dlls. SOLD OUT!

The 35th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 got off to a roaring start in front of thousands of enthusiastic racing aficionados in the hazy morning hours of May 31, 2003. More than 260 cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs from fifteen U.S. states, Mexico, Canada, France and Japan competed in the off-road classic, the third of the six-race SCORE Desert Series. Although the race attracted the most entries since 1988, only 147 survivors completed the rugged 452.93-mile course within the 18-hour elapsed-time limit. Mexico tourism officials estimated that over 100,000 spectators viewed the event that started and finished in Ensenada. Read more and see slide show

The artist can be seen many weekend afternoons or nights sitting quietly in the corner of La Vendimia Restaurant or at the venerable Hussong’s Cantina, observing and sketching the businesses’ clientele.

This is no caricaturist at work for a couple pesos; no, this is the renowned maritime artist Scott Kennedy, refocusing his artistic eye and skills inland as he completes two large artworks that capture the ambience and gusto of each Ensenada establishment. Both works evince the artist's love for his new hometown of Ensenada, where he has resided for more than three years. Kennedy grew up on and around the ocean waters of Newport Beach, California before packing his paints and easels to live and work in central, southern and Baja California, Mexico, then more than ten years in Denmark, Germany and Holland.

He chronicled five America's Cup Races on location in Australia and San Diego. He's also been the official artist for the past fourteen Newport Beach-Ensenada International Yacht Races. This year the prominent cliff at the entrance to Ensenada known as El Vigía served as the backdrop for the marine artwork that was reproduced on official race programs, posters, clothing and mementos.

Per tradition, Kennedy's original oil painting of the 2003 Newport-Ensenada Race was auctioned off at the pre-race Tommy Bahama Charity Reception held April 19 in Newport Beach. The artwork raised $3,500 to benefit the non-profit El Viento Foundation which offers less fortunate youth a chance to earn college tuition through various programs using sailing and other water sports to learn teamwork and responsibility. On April 26 & 27 of race weekend, Kennedy hosted an exposition at Ensenada's race headquarters, the Hotel Bahía, where prints of this year's painting were available for purchase, as well as other original artworks. An exhibit of some of his more recent maritime artworks is currently displayed at La Vendimia Restaurant where they will remain through June 15.

A respected professional artist for 38 years, Kennedy's oils, watercolors, and pen and ink drawings have been featured in museums in Europe and throughout the United States including the Herreshoff Museum in Rhode Island, the Seaman's Church Institute in New York City, the Columbia Maritime Museum in Oregon, the Los Angeles and Ventura County Maritime Museums and the San Diego Maritime Museum. Kennedy enjoyed the unusual opportunity of living two months aboard San Diego's tall ship Star of India at the invitation of the Maritime Museum Board. He produced a vast collection of work, of which an assortment of pen and inks are sold in the museum's gift shop aboard the Berkeley, the restored San Francisco Bay ferry permanently moored on the Embarcadero on San Diego Bay.

It has been more than three years since Kennedy closed his Newport Beach art galleries and moved his studio to a humble abode in Playa Hermosa in Ensenada. "I need a quiet place to work and Mexico has been a part of my life since I attended art school in San Miguel Allende as a teenager," said the artist, taking a break from sketching customers at La Vendimia's elegant bar. "I have found Ensenada to be a great city. I enjoy my quiet time painting outdoors on location and in my courtyard, but being out among the people has also been a great inspiration."

Kennedy said he hopes to have both the La Vendimia and Hussong’s Cantina artworks reproduced in print form for sale by early summer.

A  boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them. "Not very long," answered the Mexican. "But then, why
didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American. The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?" "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs...I have a full life."

The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant."

You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican. "Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American. "And after that?"

"Afterwards? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" "After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."

By Ann Hazard

These meatballs are seasoned with spicy, smoky chipotle chiles. Originating as a country Mexican dish, this dish has become popular north of the border recently in the Baja Cuisine (that's the gringo name for fancy Mexican food) restaurant scene. Not overly hot, it deserves a try because the combination of flavors is truly spectacular. Try offering a Spanish Rice Salad Santiago with it, along with a platter of Special Quesadillas. (Is your mouth watering yet?) Serves six.

3/4 pound ground pork
3/4 pound ground beef
2 small zucchinis, finely chopped
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 small onion, chopped

6 - 8 tomatoes
3 - 5 chipotle chiles en adobo
3 tbsp. corn or canola oil
3/4 cup chicken bouillon

To make meatballs, combine pork, beef and zucchini. In food processor, blend eggs, spices and onions. Mix well into meat and make 24 meatballs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Cover tomatoes with boiling water in Dutch oven and cook about five minutes. Drain. Skin tomatoes and blend with chiles to make a smooth sauce. Heat oil, add sauce and bring to boil over high heat. Cook for five minutes.

Add chicken bouillon and reduce heat. Add meatballs, cover and simmer for 50 minutes or until meatballs are done.

Ann Hazard is a third generation Baja aficionada who resides in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA and a weekend getaway at La Bufadora, a few miles south of Ensenada. She has followed her grandfather's and father's footsteps up and down the peninsula since she was a small child. Her family's adventures are woven into the 175 recipes contained in COOKING WITH BAJA MAGIC: Mouth-Watering Meals from the Enchanted Kitchens & Campfires of Baja. The 240-page book features an enticing array of easy-to-prepare recipes including salsas, appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, desserts and beverages.

Ann's second book, CARTWHEELS IN THE SAND, is an insightful novel about four women, a motor home and their odyssey of self-discovery while traveling the Baja peninsula. Drawing upon personal experiences, Ann has created fictional characters who are totally believable and a road trip that is amazing in its authenticity.

Her newest book, AGAVE SUNSETS, is a memorable collection of 50 tales spanning four generations of Baja, its people, places and adventures along the way. Rich in knowledge of Mexican culture and lore, Ann writes about "Bay of L.A.--Aquarium on the Moon," "Boys ‘n Beer in Baja," "The Cure for Boof Burnout," "Hat Parties, Chili Cook-offs and Friday Night at Gordos," "Expatriated Americans--As the Palapa Turns Down East Cape Way," "Baja's Exotic Wine Country," "Exploring the Baja Cave Paintings--A Virtual Reality Trip," and "Can You Tell Me...Where is the Second World?" Whether reading it in one sitting or perusing it chapter by chapter, the 212-page AGAVE SUNSETS is a delightful and satisfying journey through Baja.

Full of colorful characters and absorbing adventures, Ann Hazard's books are enjoyable, captivating and informative for all readers, whether longtime Baja aficionados, newcomers to the peninsula, or armchair travelers. Click to order COOKING WITH BAJA MAGIC, CARTWHEELS IN THE SAND or AGAVE SUNSETS.

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Copyright 2003 Connie Ellig & David Hopps. Neither text nor photos may be reproduced without the written approval of authors.
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