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New Mexico Wine Tasting Experience

Enjoy the coming of Northern New Mexico's fall foliage, with a mountain drive to some of our best vineyards.

Article below courtesy of New Mexico Magazine Aug. 31, 2022 Updated Oct. 14, 2022


Escape to New Mexico Wine Country

As the oldest wine-producing region in the country, New Mexico still holds plenty of surprises. Discover them winery by winery and glass by glass.

THE PATIO AT VIVÁC WINERY, in Dixon, backs up to leafy vineyards overlooking dramatic mountains. Beneath a canopy of grapevines and shade sails, the sound of clinking glasses blends with laughter as locals and out-of-towners sip Rosé of Sangiovese and other award-winning wines over cheese and handmade chocolate truffles.

It’s casual, beautiful, and fun—a delicious stop on a mini wine trail through northern New Mexico that also includes La Chiripada Winery, one of New Mexico’s oldest producers, and Black Mesa Winery & Cidery, in nearby Velarde. It’s also just a sample of the flourishing wine culture in the country’s oldest wine-producing region. With 55 wineries, 65 tasting rooms, and a steady flow of festivals, winery tours, and more, New Mexico’s cup overflows with wine-laced experiences for connoisseurs and novices alike.

“We do not want to be a mainstream wine industry, but we do want to be passionately followed by people in the know,” says Chris Goblet, executive director of New Mexico Wine, a nonprofit that promotes the state’s wine industry. “We want people to come to New Mexico wineries and say, ‘That was so much fun. I can’t wait to go to the next one.’ ”

New Mexico’s winemaking roots stretch back to 1629, when two monks planted vines smuggled out of Spain, which had banned wine production in its colonies to protect its agricultural industry. They planted cuttings of a Vitis vinifera variety known as the “mission grape” on the banks of the Río Grande, south of Socorro at Mission San Antonio de Padua, to make sacramental wine.

From this tradition, winemaking in New Mexico flourished. By the 1880s, the New Mexico territory had become the country’s fifth-largest producer of wine. Disaster soon struck, in the form of seven floods, seven droughts, and Prohibition. By the 1940s, New Mexico’s winemaking days were done—that is, until the 1970s, when small wineries started to crop up, heralding the rebirth of the industry. In 1977, the state’s first modern growers opened—La Viña Winery, in the southern Mesilla Valley, and La Chiripada, in the northern Río Embudo Valley.

Vivác Winery

Monday 10 AM–7 PM

Tuesday 10 AM–7 PM

Wednesday 10 AM–7 PM

Thursday 10 AM–7 PM

Friday 10 AM–7 PM

Saturday 10 AM–8 PM

Sunday 10 AM–7 PM

La Chiripada Winery

Monday 11 AM–6 PM

Tuesday 11 AM–6 PM

Wednesday 11 AM–6 PM

Thursday 11 AM–6 PM

Friday 11 AM–6 PM

Saturday 11 AM–6 PM

Sunday 11 AM–6 PM

Black Mesa Winery & Cidery

Monday 11 AM–6 PM

Tuesday 11 AM–6 PM

Wednesday 11 AM–6 PM

Thursday 11 AM–6 PM

Friday 11 AM–6 PM

Saturday1 1 AM–6 PM

Sunday 11 AM–6 PM

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