The first Spanish explorers and settlers, beginning in the early 1500's, brought their European wines grapes with them as they made the sunny, fertile Rio Grande valley their new home. These original grape stocks remain the source of many of New Mexico's vinters to this day. In the 1580s, Missionary priests were busily producing sacramental wines. By the 19th century, vineyards and wineries dotted the Rio Grande valley from Bernallilo south to the Mexican border.
Census data in 1880 identified 3,150 New Mexico acres dedicated to producing 905,000 barrels of wines per year. During prohibition, legal wine production ceased. New Mexico wineries made a resurgence in the early 1980's. Currently, over 5,000 acres are under cultivation as the U.S. rediscovers the bounty of Rio Grande wine country.
We've divided the state's wine country into 3 regions:
See how the New Mexico wines fared at the New Mexico State Fair!
VIVA New Mexico!, all things New Mexican.