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1) Hydeout Sonoma announces new partner, 2) motorcycling through Baja Mexico’s wine country

Written by Ken Wornick

Backed by 20+ vintages and many dozens of wines produced, Ken is a Sonoma-based wine consultant and founder of Hydeout Sonoma and Dysfunctional Family Winery.

March 4, 2022

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Hydeout Sonoma announces new partner

Hydeout Sonoma, a full-service wine country consulting firm offering vineyard farming, winemaking, and brand development services to a portfolio of private clients announces the appointment of its newest partner, Faith Armstrong. Faith will play an immediate full time role with the company in support of client farming and winemaking.

Faith received a full Regents Scholarship to the University of California at Davis, earning her B.S. degree in Viticulture and Enology with highest honors. She became the assistant winemaker at the renowned Frank Family Vineyards in Calistoga, Napa Valley. And while focussed on raising her children, Faith also established her own highly-acclaimed brand of modern wines, Onward.

Ken Wornick, company founder, works exclusively with the firm’s private clients, conceiving and executing vineyard, wine, and brand development projects, taking 100% ownership of all concepts and deliverables, leaving clients free to participate when/how interest and schedule allows. The firm manages sixteen boutique vineyards in Sonoma and Napa and produces the client’s branded wines. The firm also produces wine for its company-owned brand, Dysfunctional Family Winery.

Link to the full story in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Faith Armstrong and Ken Wornick – pictured at their winery in front of some client barrels of rosé.

Motorcycling through Mexico’s Guadalupe Wine Valley – the “Ruta Del Vino”

The sign welcoming us to the Ruta, you can spot a few vineyards in the mountains beyond.

Before the 2022 grape farming season got fully underway in late February, our middle son Dennis and I rode motorcycles from Cabo San Lucas, the southern tip of Baja Sur, Mexico north to Long Beach, USA. Below is a brief series of photos from the epic journey…

Dennis and Ken Wornick, riding in the gravel to reach the overlook of the Punta De Prieta, and the vast and empty Bahia De Los Angeles, in Baja Sur

A couple of days into the journey north, I remembered to shoot a photo of the Kilometers remaining until crossing the border back into the USA (something you can’t help bu have in the back of your mind when in the middle of nowhere in Mexico); in this case, 1161 Km.

Of particular interest to me was the somewhat new Mexican wine industry in the Guadalupe Valley (which is just south of the USA border, about 2 hours from San Diego). Initially founded in the 1820’s by Spanish missionaries intent on making their own wine, there was then a brief period when Russians fleeing the war with Japan ended up there and built most of the town. But in the 2000’s, industrious Mexican nationals have developed the valley in style and intent similar to Napa and Sonoma. Many of the wines were indeed delicious – fresh, fruity, exhibiting true terroir, and of high quality.

This map shows the location of the Guadalupe Valley relative to northern Baja, Tijuana, and San Diego. After visiting the Guadalupe Valley, we crossed into the USA in Tecate, which is a smallish border crossing with a significant new border wall.

Some of the newer wineries are ultra-modern and offer first class accommodations on site – like these at Encuentro Guadalupe.

Much of the food is sophisticated, and there is also plenty of really good and authentic outdoor food – like this at the well known Deckman’s.

An example of some of the more modern-style wines available from the Guadalupe Valley viticultural area.

Just one example of the truly endless Mexican roadside monuments to loved ones who died in car crashes along the highway.

Our group of riders traveling with Motoquest north through Baja on these rugged adventure bikes – BMW R1200GS’s and BMW F750GS’s. Why are we all bundled up in sub-tropical Mexico? On this particular day, we climbed multiple times up and over the Sierra Madre Occidental with elevations as high as 3500 feet. And on this day, a brutal weather system rolled in from the west. We rode through rain and sleet, precarious mountain passes, and even with heated handgrips found ourselves with chattering teeth and frozen toes.

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2 Comments

  1. Lisa L

    Congratulations and welcome, Faith!

    Reply
  2. Simon Blsttner

    Very informative and well written. Nice work. Your wine is good, too. I think I am mostly jealous of those great rides you are taking .

    Reply

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