La pura vida en New Mexico…


Finally– a tasting room.

In the warm and scenic confines of Santa Fe, NM, I finally found somewhere to sit my butt down and taste some local wine. I mean seriously, I can’t keep running around buying bottles of local vino just for a taste of the state. Arizona? I missed out. Damn you Kokapelli winery and your bogus website! Because of you, I’ll never know what an Arizona wine is like. Maybe that’s a good thing…

I already mentioned how crazy beautiful this little town is, and I won’t keep harping on that. But if you do visit Santa Fe, stay at the Old Santa Fe Inn. img_02922The staff was outstanding, the place is gorgeous, authentically SW, has a nice touch of history (the dining room in the main lobby used to be a restaurant along the original route 66), and your right down town. Did I mention how beautiful is is here?

So in my wandering around town, a dumb smile painted onto my face that said “blissfully happy and lost turista…”, I came upon the tasting room for Santa Fe Vineyards. The room is actually situated within an art gallery, where some really beautiful work by Amado Peña, the artwork you see on their labels, is displayed


Mike and I talked briefly about the New Mexican wine industry and history, where some surprising facts were brought to my attention. Apparently, viticulture here stretches all the way back to the 16th century, when Spaniards planted grape vines in southern New Mexico’s Rio Grande valley. In fact, this beautiful state (did I mention how nice it is here?) has the longest history of wine production in the US.

IMG_0291Does that mean the wine will knock your socks off?

Well, let’s just say my socks are still on after tasting through several whites, reds, and a Zin port. But they were all supple, soft and ready to go. I think the Sangiovese was my favorite, simply because it had some acidity. I say “some”, because all of the wines I’ve tasted thus far on my journey have seemed overly soft, flabby, and fruit-forward. Too much heat and not enough cooling in the evening? Maybe. But it is the dessert, and I can tell you it sure gets chilly in the evening here.

The tasting room also represented Black Mesa winery, another northern New Mexican winery whose wine is made by the same people at Santa Fe Vineyards. Their viognier was pretty darn good– highly aromatic as all good viognier should be, a touch of white peach and honeysuckle on the palate, and refreshing. Well done.

So score 1 for the state of New Mexico and wine tasting here. I had a great time and we had a nice (SPICY) meal of carne asada at the Blue Corn Cafe. Even had one of their home-brewed IPA’s. Not bad…. But they can’t win on all fronts, right?

Onto TAY-has tonight, and we’ll just see how big everything really is there. Hopefully their wine selections is.

Adios amigos!



~ by Jared on April 7, 2009.

4 Responses to “La pura vida en New Mexico…”

  1. It is sunny and dry which is probably why you like it so much, having just escaped from a wet Portland spring!
    Enjoy the wines of Tejas – especially around the hill country SW of Austin. Lots of tasting rooms – but the reds due have a certain metallic finish which I think is due to the heat on the skins.
    David Leatherwood

    • Hi David,

      It sure was warm and dry, and I sure did see lots of tasting rooms coming into Austin from the West. Most of them were only open on the weekend, though.

      Hope you’re well,

  2. Man, I can’t believe you didn’t tell me you were going to SF – I’m FROM there, man! Blue Corn Cafe is nice, but … eating there is the BEST – if you go back, go to the Plaza Cafe – looks like a dive diner, but some of the best New Mexican food around! Safe travels!

    • You’re FROM there? Why’d you leave?! Just kiddin’…

      Seriously, though, what a great little town. I guess you get sick of the desert after a while, huh?

      If (when) I return to SF, I’ll definitely check out the Plaza Cafe- thanks for the tip!


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