Thursday, January 20, 2011

Delightful Wine Tasting in New Mexico

Most people do not immediately think of New Mexico in conjunction with fine wines, but there are actually twenty-five noted vineyards in New Mexico, six of which are in the vicinity of Santa Fe.  Many of our guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast have enjoyed tours of at least one of these vineyards, though I don't know of anyone who has toured all six at a time.  Perhaps hiring a driver would be in order if you had such a plan.  It is important to remember that alcohol is two to three times more potent when you are at 7000 feet above sea level, as we are here in Santa Fe.

The first New Mexico vineyards were planted from cuttings brought by Spanish missionaries about 400 years ago.  Along with these colonists came Franciscan monks who needed wines for their daily mass.  Initially they were forbidden from producing their own wine, however since it was such an arduous and lengthy journey to get wine from Spain, the Church finally relented and began allowing the monks to produce their own wines.

The six wineries in and around Santa Fe are the:  Estrella del Norte Winery, Santa Fe Vineyards, Wine of the San Juan, Vivac Winery (currently getting certified as organic), The Black Mesa Winery and La Chiripada Winery.  These vineyards are generally open for tours and tastings from 10-6, though you will want to check, as hours can change during the winter months and Sundays.  For something unusual, you may want to check out The Falcon Meadery for a taste of mead, a wine made from honey, said to be 'the nectar of the Gods'.

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