Discovering the Enchanting
Wine Region of New Mexico
When you think of New Mexico, you probably don’t think of wine. However, the region is responsible for many award-winning wines. The Spanish settlers first introduced wine into the area with great knowledge of winemaking. Today, it’s a culture in New Mexico built in a rich history and it’s also home to the oldest wine-growing region in the entire country.
Wine making in New Mexico goes back to about 1629, which was far earlier than the first vines getting planted in Napa Valley. The region was ruled by Spain and once the territories were colonized, wine started to become a normal thing in New Mexico.
The Franciscan monks were a bit part of where it started as they were creating both Sacramental wine and wine for their own consumption. The first Mission grapes were planted by the monks, but the first wine growers struggled due to the clay earth and the rocky, dry conditions.
After taking these challenges head on and figuring out how to produce wine in the region, it expanded quickly. In fact, an Italian technique using a cow skin to filter the wine started to become popular and created an improved product.
When wine country in New Mexico was at its’ peak, about 3,200 acres of vineyards were found within the state. However, the industry started to fall apart when the Rio Grande destroyed a large amount of the vineyards.
In 1977, wine in New Mexico was reborn with a growing culture of wineries throughout. More than 40 wineries are found throughout the state now and offer plenty of great options.
Gruet Winery Tasting Room
A great spot to enjoy wine in Santa Fe is the Gruet Winery Tasting Room. TI’s found in the historic downtown area and offers a great atmosphere for tasting wine. Enjoy sparkling wines and many others when you stop in for a glass or a tasting here.
Estrella del Norte Vineyard and Tasting Room
Another good choice is the Estrella del Norte Vineyard and Tasting Room. This spot puts incredible pride into every glass and offers plenty of great options. You will find red wines and plenty of other great choices here including the Zozobra Red Table Wine, which is one of the favorites.
Wine in New Mexico has been reborn and it’s unique, delicious and worth a try. If you’re looking for something fun to do, head to one of the wineries or tasting rooms and discover what’s found right in your backyard.