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.
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.
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.
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.
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.