New Mexico Wine Trail

Winery along the New Mexico wine trail.

La Chiripada Winery. New Mexico’s Oldest Winery!

On my recent road trip through New Mexico, there were a lot of things I didn’t expect to see and one of those things was wineries. I had no idea New Mexico was a wine producing state so I wasn’t looking for or planning to visit any wineries during my road trip. I just randomly stumbled upon them while driving and it’s hard not to because they are located ALL OVER the entire state – all 46 of them.

When I stumbled upon my first winery, I thought it was just somebody trying to be different and cool. Maybe these wineries I’m seeing are a recent hip thing? Maybe people recently moved here from California to grow grapes as a hobby on less expensive land? Wow was I ignorant. It turns out New Mexico has been producing wine for centuries. In fact, it’s the oldest wine growing region in the United States!

Looks like a small house but it's a New Mexico winery.
The New Mexico wine trail has an entirely different feel than the wineries of Napa or Sonoma Valley in California. The wineries of New Mexico feel small and local as opposed to large and commercial. Adding to their charm even further is that a lot of the buildings aren’t elaborate estates. The buildings are quaint, built adobe style, and blend into the surrounding landscape. The buildings seem to say “we’re working in harmony with nature” rather than “we’re conquering nature”. I love that. It’s also fun to try delicious wine that many people have never heard of and they make great gifts to give to friends back home who will then think you’re “in the know”. Bonus.

This New Mexico vineyard sits at the base of a large formation.

Vivac Vineyard in New Mexico.

When I stopped into the first winery, there was no one there and I felt like I was walking into someone’s home. The woman inside was wearing a long flowing skirt, white tank top with no bra and proudly sported long armpit hair. She jumped from her chair, greeted me with a huge smile, popped open a bottle, handed me a plate of complimentary homemade food, and told me to have a seat and get comfortable. I can get used to this.

Nom & Happiness,

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