Conchas de Piedra is a sparkling wine and raw bar set in the Valle de Guadalupe's wine country. As a collaboration between Baja's leading winemaker, Hugo d'Acosta of Casa de Piedra http://www.vinoscasadepiedra.com/engl... and celebrity chef Drew Deckman, our expectations of the place were set pretty high.
We stopped in for a mid-afternoon sip and snack in June 2017. Set back from and without signage on La Ruta del Vino, this was not easy to find. We took the turn-off marked for Casa de Piedra winery, and the bar is behind the winery and marked by this welcome sign.
Conchas de Piedra offers a choice of seating types well-positioned for taking in gorgeous vineyard vistas.
On this scorcher of a day, we opted for the coolest spot and found the maximum shade at the communal table near the prep station.
Flutes of ice cold bubbly soon restored us. The sparklers are made by the traditional method with the secondary fermentation in the bottle and aged for a minimum of 18 months on the lees. Espuma de Piedra “blanc de blancs” made from 50% chardonnay and 50% sauvignon blanc had a fine bead, bright acid balance and dry crisp finish. It&amp;#39;s one of the best Mexican wines I&amp;#39;ve tasted. However, the &amp;quot;rosado&amp;quot; was a big disappointment. Made by direct pressing of 100% zinfandel, the rosé was skunky in the nose, dirty on the palate and had too much of a tannic etch.
The simple menu features fresh bivalves, plus a cheese tasting. It was hard to not order more, but I did not want to fill up too much before dinner.
The oysters from Guerrero Negro were excellent. Expertly shucked and served with their natural liquor, so sweet, briny and firm.
An offering of four distinctly different mignonettes and two dramatic salsas with tostadas enhanced the oysters.
The Aguachile de callo semi-cured raw scallops in lime and blackened chiles tatemados. Framed with velvety guacamole, the crisp cubes of juicy cucumber and dice of red onion contrasted with the delicate softness of the tender scallops for a textural delight. Such wonder and drama served on a plate.
To end, a tasting of three raw milk cheeses - sheep, cow and goat - from local dairies accompanied by honey and toast.
This was a lovely experience and I'd happily return.
Conchas de Piedras took a break for the month of January. It reopened a few weeks ago to start the season.
Conchas de Piedras
Carretera Tecate Km 93.5
San Antonio de las Minas, Baja California
+52 646 188 3960
Open Thu-Sun: 11am-5pm