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Mountain magic: Vines in the Pines features 12 wineries, 2 breweries in Ruidoso

Vines in the Pines returns to the Ruidoso Convention Center on March 7 and 8. (Courtesy of New Mexico Wine)

Taste some of the newest vintages New Mexico wineries have to offer during Vines in the Pines in Ruidoso.

The fourth annual event will feature 12 wineries, two breweries and its first cider producer on Saturday, March 7, and Sunday, March 8, at the Ruidoso Convention Center. Participants are Noisy Water Winery, Sheehan Winery, Rio Suave Winery, D.H. Lescombes Family Winery, Las Nueve Niñas Winery, Jaramillo Winery, La Esperanza Winery, Shattuck Vineyards, Heart of the Desert (The Cork & Kettle), Tularosa Vineyards, Black Range Vineyards, Wicked Kreations and Lost Hiker Brewery. Noisy Water will also be offering its Uncle Dick’s Hard Cider, as well as its seltzers, in addition to its wines.

“Everyone continues to love this event,” said New Mexico Wine Executive Director Chris Goblet. “It continues to be sort of like the best way to kick off the wine festival season, with a little ski weekend up in the mountains. We’ve had tons of snow.”

Vendors also seem to enjoy participating in the event, and a majority return each year. There are two newcomers this year: Black Range Vineyards, from the New Mexico ghost town of Hillsboro, and Alamogordo’s Heart of the Desert, which also farms pistachios in addition to producing wine.

Each year, something new is added to the event. This year, Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Co. will be doing cheese tastings and sales.

“My favorite addition to the food lineup is our newest partner to New Mexico Wine,” Goblet said. “Last year we did our Queso Vino, our cheese and wine event, in Portales. We got to work with Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Co. And we love working with them and their product so much that we decided to create an annual partnership and bring Tucumcari Mountain Cheese to all of our events. So we’re going to have a little Queso Vino at all of our featured events this year. Tucumcari Mountain does awesome feta and green chile cheddar and asadero, asiago – they do just a ton of interesting cheeses that are going to pair well with our New Mexico wines.”

Collaborating with local food vendors elevates the experience at New Mexico wine events.

“What I love doing is finding these food companies in New Mexico that we can partner with because it’s so much more of an exciting and dynamic experience when you taste a New Mexico product next to our wines,” Goblet said.

The popularity of New Mexico wines is growing, in the state and elsewhere.

“There’s a lot of excitement growing nationally for New Mexico wines,” Goblet said. “This is a great chance for people in the south part of the state and parts of Texas to get to know the newest vintages. 2019 was a really great year in the vineyard, so we had a lot of high-quality fruits.”

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