New Mexico

New Mexico Wine Overview

New Mexico has one of the longest wine making histories of any state in the U.S. Wines have been made here for more than 300 years, when settlers from Spain first arrived in what is now known as New Mexico. The tradition continues today, as the state offers one of the most underrated wine industries in America.

There are pockets of vineyards almost everywhere in New Mexico, although most grapes are grown in the state’s south central area near Las Cruces. The elevation is moderate in this part of New Mexico, around 3,500 feet, bringing warm sunny days and cool nights — conditions in which grapes thrive. There are vineyards in southeastern New Mexico, in the Albuquerque area, and near Santa Fe in the north. It’s estimated that about 80% of New Mexico’s grape crop comes from southern vineyards.

With almost 50 wineries calling New Mexico home, the wine industry here is definitely on the upswing. All manner of grapes are grown in the state, from Chardonnay to Sangiovese to Cabernet Sauvignon to Zinfandel. A large majority of New Mexico wineries make their wines from 100% New Mexico grapes since there’s little need to source from other areas.

If you enjoy wine travel and all the great experiences that come along with it, you will love visiting New Mexico. You’ll find wineries in every part of the state, and the culinary and restaurant scene is among the best in the southwest. Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces are all noteworthy destinations, with plenty to see and do no matter your interests.

You can find a list of all the New Mexico wineries at the New Mexico Wine Growers Association. The organization is responsible for promoting the state’s wine industry and has done an excellent job raising the profile of New Mexico wine.

New Mexico has one of the longest wine-making histories of any state in the U.S. Wines have been made here for more than 300 years, when settlers from Spain first arrived in what is now known as New Mexico.

New Mexico Wine Trails

The state is divided into wine-producing regions. Looking where clusters of wineries are located, it’s fair to term the regions south, central and north.

The northern region includes the wineries in and around Albuquerque and Santa Fe. About two dozen wineries are within an hour’s drive from Albuquerque, making the city an ideal base for New Mexico wine touring. Las Cruces anchors the south New Mexico wine scene, and you’ll find another dozen or so wineries near this vibrant small city. About 90 minutes northeast of Las Cruces off Route 54 are the towns of Alamogordo and Ruidoso, where you can visit another 10 New Mexico wineries.

Travelogue: Exploring the Southern New Mexico Wine Trail

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