Our Trip to Queretaro’s Wine and Cheese Route

Linda, who is an avid wine aficionado, was the one who chose the destinations and developed the travel itinerary for our month-long trip to visit areas of Mexico that we have never seen before. That’s why I wasn’t surprised at all to see that our first stop would be to visit the second largest wine region in the country located in the state of Queretaro. We spent four nights at a beautiful little boutique hotel located in the town of Tequisquiapan.

I’m glad I’m writing the name of the town instead of trying to pronounce it because each time I attempt it, my tongue refuses to cooperate and I sound more like a 5-year old trying to make a machine gun sound:  Te-ke-ke-ke-ke-ipan. Fortunately for me, the name of the town is often shortened to just Tequis. Now that I can say.

Before I get too far into this post, let’s get the geography out of the way because I’m sure that more than a few of our readers are probably like “Where the heck is that?”

Here’s an interactive map of the area. Just keep zooming out until something starts to look familiar.

A Look at Tequisquipan (or Tequis for short)

Tequis is a quaint town located over 6000 feet above sea level in the mountains of Queretaro.  It has been designated by Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism as an official Magical Town (Pueblo Mágico).

The historic downtown area, known as el centro, is where you’ll find cobblestone streets, colonial architecture and plenty of shops and restaurants to visit.

The town is a popular weekend getaway for folks from Mexico City and other surrounding areas, but during the week, it’s pretty quiet. We arrived on a Tuesday and we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. In fact, we were surprised to learn that we were the only guests at the hotel.

All the locals that we spoke with from taxi drivers to waiters said that the town comes alive on the weekends and especially on three-day holiday weekends. They weren’t kidding. Come Friday, cars with out-of-state plates started rolling in and the town came alive with activity.

How We Got There

We flew direct on Volaris from Cancun to the city of Queretaro. The flight was only about two hours, and from there we booked a private transport to take us to Tequis, located about 45 minutes away.

Where We Stayed

Linda has a knack for finding the coolest places to stay and this time was no exception. We stayed at a small, beautiful hotel called Matian Hotel Boutique. The property was beautiful and the staff was absolutely amazing. They went out of their way to make us feel special. Rafa and Jorge really spoiled us.

We spent some of the cool evenings sipping wine in the hotel’s courtyard next to a fire that the staff kept going for us.

The hotel is only a 5-minute walk from the historic downtown area, but if you don’t feel like walking, the hotel provides free transportation back and forth via their golf cart.

One really cool feature of the hotel was a small room called La Cava where I would go in the mornings to enjoy my coffee and blog a bit while waiting for Linda to wake up.

The Reason We Came – The Wineries

We didn’t make it to all of the wineries in the area, but we did visit several. Here’s a list along with our impressions of each:

Bodegas De Cote

This was our favorite tour of them all. If you’re interested in the science behind wine production, this is the tour for you. In all of the years we have been touring wineries, including in Italy, this was the most educational presentation.  We learned so many new things about the wine making process.

Viñedos Azteca

Small winery located on a beautiful hacienda complete with horses. The property was absolutely stunning.  We sampled several of their wines and actually bought a bottle of our favorite wine there, which is called Pretexto.

Viñedo Donato

We both felt this was the most beautiful of wineries, the pictures truly don’t do it justice.  We enjoyed their sparkling wine the best and the person conducting our wine tasting was very knowledgeable and welcoming.  He gave us a great presentation and tour.

Finca Sala Vivé by Freixenet

This is one of the big boys in wine making in the area. Their winery was nice but a bit too commercial for our liking. We preferred the smaller wineries that offer more personalized attention.

San Juanito

This one is located on large piece of property out in the country. They make brick oven pizzas, which actually go pretty well with wine.

This was Linda’s favorite regional winery. She really liked four of their wines: Rosado, Espuma de Valle Bernal Rosé, Malbec and Reserva Especial. 

Cava 57

This one was a little out of the way from where we were staying but it was worth visiting. Their wines were good and they were accompanied by some cheese made in the area.  

Let’s Wrap This Up

We’ve been exploring different areas of Mexico since moving here full-time back in 2015, but Linda and I both agree that Tequis has been one of our favorite destinations. Although the town is a tourist area, it has a very different vibe than the majority of the so-called tourist spots and we absolutely fell in love with it. We are already planning a return trip to explore it further and we may even bring a few friends along with us to get their impressions.

Well, that’s it for this post. Sorry it ran a little longer than usual, we really packed in the activities those few days we were in Queretaro.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

43 Comments on "Our Trip to Queretaro’s Wine and Cheese Route"

  1. It looks fun! How did you get to the different wineries?

    • We rented a cab for several hours to drive us around. For a skilled tour guide, it was about $1200 pesos for 6-8 hours and about $600 pesos for just a standard cab to drive you around for 5-6 hours.

  2. Well written article which makes me anxious to visit, “Mexico’s other wine area.” We live in Ensenada, the Valle de Guadalupe” wine area in Baja Norte. With so much history in Mexico it is difficult to decide where to visit next. Your articles are informative and now come with travel recommendations . Thank you!

  3. Elinore Craig | February 7, 2020 at 1:09 pm |

    Just curious, I know you are both fluent in Spanish, but would English speakers enjoy this tour on their own, or would you recommend hiring an interpreter? Our Spanish is good enough to get by, but not nearly good enough to follow a presentation like you describe.

    Did you hire a car and driver for the travel between wineries? I’m ok going on group tours but my beloved prefers to control his own schedule.

    • That’s a very good question. Even though we were speaking Spanish to everyone, I did make it a point to ask people working in the tourism industry if they could speak English. Many of the wineries that we visited, especially the larger ones, offered tours in both English and Spanish. None of the taxi drivers that we had could speak English; however, you could always request an English-speaking taxi driver at the hotel and then hire him for 5-8 hours to take you around.

      We don’t generally like group tours because it makes me feel trapped. I like to have more control over my comings and goings so we hired taxis to take us around. The prices ranged from $600-$1200 pesos for 5-8 hours. The taxi drivers who acted more like guides to recommend locations to go etc tended to charge more.

  4. Excellent. Informative. Will do it!

  5. Diana Byington | February 7, 2020 at 1:21 pm |

    Looks amazing and so much fun. I love wine! Do you know if any of the wineries sell to the US?

  6. Glad you had a great time at the wineries. You missed my favorite, but I guess that’s a reason to come back.

    • Which one is your favorite?

      • Puerta del Lobo. They have excellent Verdejo, Sauvignon Bland and a red blend Tio Neto.

      • Also, since you approve comments before they are posted, would you be willing to post our Facebook page for Food & Wine Tours? We live in Queretaro and specialize in the Queretaro and San Miguel areas. We have over 35 years of wine industry experience and can offer your audience English tours with more knowledge on the grape varieties, climate and growing season from what we have learned from building relationships with the wineries.

  7. Thomas Britton Chism | February 7, 2020 at 1:30 pm |

    I loved reading about this wine trip. Zooming out on the map, I recognized Guanajuato where two friends of mine (also formerly of Florida) live.

  8. Janet Rivera | February 7, 2020 at 1:46 pm |

    Thanks for sharing! Loved to hear about it and love the pics!

  9. Thanks for the great info on the wineries and Tequis. Really enjoyed your photos also. Am retired LA Sheriff captain and have lived in Cancun for 7 years now. I think my next trip in Mexico will be to Tequis! Take care Qroo P! Russ

    • Hi Russ, glad to here that you’re enjoying retirement in Cancun. I think you’ll like Tequis and it’s a direct flight from where you live.

  10. Tequisquiapan is absolutely one of the nicest places in Mexico, I remember still those weekend trips from my childhood; to Tequis from Puebla, where we lived at the time. The zocalo, cobbled streets and colonial architecture is really quaint, and the artesanias and food amazing!. I remember another little town, which was also Dad’s favorite: San Juan Del Rio, where we used to go for horse riding across the open campiña.. wow! so many memories!! I am so grateful to you for this post, you brought back really good memories of early years. Much appreciated!

    • It sounds like you had some great times there. We definitely plan on going back soon to explore the area more thoroughly.

  11. This area has been on my list for exploration. You have now confirmed it is a must see. Appreciated Linda’s wine tasting pics too.

  12. Wow! Looks great! How does the wine tasting work there? We found near SMA that they don’t offer a flight for a ser price but they were very accommodating. What were tasting fees like and what did it include? Thank you for sharing! I am not too far from the area this weekend and may venture that way!

    • Most wineries had a menu of tasting options ranging in price from $150-$600 pesos, depending on the number of wines and the quality of the ones you chose. I would say the average we spent was around $300 per location. We would always share one tasting.

  13. Very interesting! We like touring wineries, but, unfortunately will probably never make it to Tequis. We have toured many of them in the Texas hill country which we liked.

    • It was a lot of fun but this area of Mexico doesn’t have as many wineries as Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California does. That was our next stop after Tequis and we’ll eventually get that article out — if we can find some downtime on this month-long trip around Mexico. It’s always go go go.

  14. John Rutledge | February 7, 2020 at 3:37 pm |

    I miss winery tours since moving here to Yucatan. Thank you for the information and inspiration. We will have to follow this path some time.

    • Ah, but you have cochinita pibil and that, my friend, makes up for the lack of wineries…lol.

  15. When you come across a word that’s difficult to pronounce, start at the last couple of syllables and then add them on until you get to the front of the word. No idea why this works, but it does.

    • Thanks for the tip. I just tried it and Linda looked at me funny and asked what I was doing…lol.

  16. Beautiful! Love the pics.

  17. Thanks for the info !!!!!! The pics are great. It’s on my bucket list

  18. Tequisquiapan is our place we call home in the Winter. If you speak a small amount of Spanish you will have no problem. In the square they offer wine tours at a reasonable cost. Well worth the visit you will not be disappointed.
    Joe P

    • Thanks for helping to answer the numerous questions from readers about the need to speak Spanish there.

      We may run into each other there one day because we plan on going back.

  19. My Paul (a fellow wine aficionado) wants to know if Linda will be our travel agent? 😉

    • As long as you don’t mind a travel agent that occasionally shows up for work tipsy from too many wine tastings…lol.

  20. Leslie Brodsky | February 8, 2020 at 8:02 am |

    Sounds like this needs to be my summer trip! About how much was your hotel?

    • The hotel was about $120 USD a night but there are less expensive hotels in the area. The one we stayed at was very nice though and we’ll be staying there again when we return.

  21. Thank you for sharing your travels and experiences with us. Doris from Ocala, Fl

    • You’re welcome. I used to go to Ocala all the time when I was younger to visit my grandparents. That’s a nice area of Florida.

  22. Thank you so much for this blog entry! We leave next Friday from Florida to start our drive to Yucatan, and now this town is going to be one of our stops!

    • You have a long drive ahead of you. I hope you’re taking your time so you can enjoy different areas along the way. 🙂

  23. My husband would love this. He is a wine “snob” and loves tasting local wines. We do a lot of that in the states. Thanks for always keeping up apprised of all to do in Mexico.

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