ENESENADA B.C. – For the 19th year, Ensenada celebrates three things that it’s very good at –winemaking, the farming and production of various Baja California native shellfish and gastronomy. The 2018 Festival de las Conchas y el Vino Nuevo (Shellfish and New Wine) runs from April 2 – 8 and promises plenty of all three, with a pinch of Mexican conviviality added for flavor.
The festival, organized by Provino, Ensenada’s winemakers’ association, is one of the most popular events of the year in Baja California and is comprised of a series of thematic dinners, educational workshops, tours and events throughout the week, culminating in the festival itself which is held on the grounds of the Hotel Coral and Marina. 64 wineries are participating in the dinners and final competition held during the festival at the hotel.
The thematic dinners this year at restaurants such as Malva, Finca Altozano, Corazon de Tierra, Sanos and others will feature guest chefs from Mexico, the US and even Canada. Invited chefs include Josefina Santacruz (Paprika, CDMX), Maylin Chávez (Olympia Oyster Bar, Portland) and our local San Diego seafood savant Rob Ruiz (Land and Water Company). These chefs work with the restaurant’s host chefs to design, prepare and serve meals paired with white, rosado and new red wines from the Valle de Guadalupe and other BC wine-producing regions.
For those interested in digging a little deeper – yes, that was a clam pun – into the background and science of modern aquaculture, tours are available to visit mussel and abalone farms and aquaculture workshops will be held at UABC in El Sauzal. Chef Drew Deckman will be hosting “Oyster Day” at his raw bar, Conchas de Piedra, on Monday, April 1, where attendees will learn everything they ever wanted to know about the tasty bivalve but were too busy slurping them to ask.
One of the most popular events of the festival is the grand Parillada (barbecue) on Saturday, April 7 at Hotel Quinta Papagayo, where guests – patiently instructed by a number of chefs manning the grills – can cook and prepare their own mussels, clams, oysters and a multitude of other delicious, fresh shellfish. This was in the top five of A Gringo in Mexico’s favorite events in 2017.
Tickets for the events, tours and workshops are still available, as are reservations for the thematic dinners. For last minute accommodations, try AirBnB or VRBO as most area hotels sell out for this event.
For more information:
Comité Provino Baja California
Av. 20 de noviembre #1138-2 entre calle 11 y 12,
Colonia Azteca, Ensenada, B.C
Tel: (646) 178-3038
To purchase tickets:
- Oficinas de Comité Provino Baja California
- Hotel Coral & Marina
- Viajes Kinessia Ensenada
- Real Inn Tijuana
- Real Inn Mexicali
- Online: www.provinobc.mx