New Mexico Wine Travel Guide
Next time you’re in New Mexico you might want to skip the margarita and try a glass of New Mexico’s wine. The state certainly lives up to their nickname as being the Land of Enchantment…their wine is nothing short of enchanting, to say the least. New Mexico has been producing grapes for more than 400 years, starting with mission grapes that were brought to the state by Spanish Colonists from New Spain. The Colonists, along with the Monks that accompanied them, needed wine for their daily mass, which lead them to plant a wide variety of wine grapes.
WELCOME TO CARPE TRAVEL!
Hi, I’m Elaine Schoch. I’m an award-winning travel writer, wine judge and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certified. At Carpe Travel my goal is to help guide ALL WINE LOVERS – from novices to experienced pros – on their wine adventures. To arm you with insider tips, must-visit spots, and things to see and do beyond the vines.
Short History of New Mexico Wine
New Mexico has a long history of wine production in the states that dates back to the 17th century. In 1629, a Franciscan friar, García de Zúñiga, and a Capuchín monk named Antonio de Arteaga were the first to plant wine grapes in the Río Grande Valley of southern New Mexico. Viticulture in the valley continued to grow, by 1880, there were 3,000 acres worth of grapes in the region, and wineries produced more than one million gallons of wine.
Prohibition halted the expansion of the wine industry in New Mexico. The rebirth of the wine industry flourished in the 1970’s when a government sponsored study encouraged winegrowers to plant French hybrid grapes. Now, New Mexico has more than 60 wineries and produces 900,000 gallons of wine annually.
New Mexico Wineries and Trails
There are five major wine regions across the state, the Northern, Mimbres Valley, Tularosa Basin, Middle Rio Grande River Valley and Mesilla Valley. Of those regions, there are currently three AVA (American Viticultural Areas) that include Mesilla Valley, Middle Rio Grande Valley and Mimbres Valley.
- Click here to view wine trails in New Mexico
Where to Sip in New Mexico
Sip your way through New Mexico with some of these top-rated wineries and wine bars!
Tall Pines Beer and Wine Garden – Midtown Ruidoso’s newest Lounge featuring a huge outdoor patio with two fire pits, heated glass tables with cozy indoor seating. Family and dog friendly. Enjoy New Mexico’s best wine and beer selection.
The Cork and Kettle –The Cork & Kettle boasts a selection of the best New Mexico wines from a number of outstanding vintners, and has complimentary tastings on-site.
New Mexico Wine Tours – New Mexico’s number one wine & scenic tour company!
Vivác – The highest rated red wine producers in New Mexico’s history! Fresh & young, edgy & sophisticated, Vivác offers you something out of the ordinary!
New Mexico Wine Festivals and Events
Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta
September 26-30, 2018
The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta celebrates five days of events featuring 90 national wineries and 75 of Santa Fe’s best restaurants. The festivities include cooking demos, wine seminars, and winery luncheons and dinners. The fiesta culminates with the Grand Tasting at the legendary Santa Fe Opera venue where all participating restaurants and wineries will serve samples. The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta is a one-of-a-kind event and a great way for visitors to get to Santa Fe in the fall season to experience the famous green chile harvest/roasting season as well as the inventive pairings of Santa Fe’s gourmet cuisine with wines from around the country.
Meet the Makers—New Mexico Winemakers
Interviews with winemakers who are shaping the New Mexico wine region.