New Mexico is the country’s oldest wine region – the first vines were planted in 1629 in Socorro, an hour south of Albuquerque. Now, nearly 400 years later, the state is home to more than 60 vineyards and wineries that produce nearly a million gallons of wine annually. Here are five of the best wineries near and in Albuquerque.
The Gruet family, of the French Gruet et Fils champagne legacy, planted an experimental vineyard with pinot noir and chardonnay grapes in the 1980s. Planted at an altitude of 4,245 feet, this vineyard was one of the highest in the country and its first harvest was well-received by critics and connoisseurs, marking the start of the Gruet family’s American winemaking legacy.
After serving as the lead winemaker for other New Mexican wineries, Sean Sheehan founded his own winery in 2015. Here, he exclusively uses New Mexico-grown grapes to make high-quality, all-natural boutique wines.
H. Lescombes Winery
Upholding six generations of winemaking heritage, this quaint winery and bistro in Old Town offers a tasty collaboration between the winemaker and master chef. Each item on the menu features a handpicked wine pairing, and the selection includes everything from full-bodied reds to crisp and refreshing whites.
Casa Rondena Winery
Tucked among the old cottonwood trees in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, this winery features a strong portfolio of handcrafted wines and its charming vineyard has become a popular spot for weddings. The tasting room is open daily, and members of its 1629 Club—named after the year wine grapevines were smuggled into and planted in New Mexico—are welcome to have picnics on the property.
Vara Winery & Distillery
This winery in northern Albuquerque showcases Spanish and American wines that celebrate not just the legacy of New Mexico’s winemaking history, but also the connection between the state and Spain.