Renowned Vara Winery & Distillery is bringing its award-winning fine wines and spirits to Santa Fe.
Vara Vinoteca is located steps away from the City Different’s historic plaza. The venue is a vision of architect Scharles Wilder of Scharles Wilder Design. It is housed in an adobe-style building, which combines Southwest architecture with modern accents that create the ideal ambiance for Vara Vinoteca’s elevated wine and cocktail program, according to a Vara news release. The location accommodates 30 guests seated indoors with seven additional spots at the bar and 16 seats on the outdoor patio.
“Just as Vara’s winemaking team synthesizes boundary-breaking techniques with the wine legacies of some of the most historically significant regions, so too does the Vara Vinoteca highlight the juxtaposition of old and new with its contemporary black-and-white interior and classic Santa Fe exterior,” Sean Holler, hospitality operations director, states in the news release.
Vara’s small production, locally-crafted still and sparkling wines are made by artisan winemakers and partners Laurent Gruet, Bob Lindquist and Louisa Sawyer Lindquist. On the spirits side, head distiller Scott Feuille and assistant distiller Djuna Benjamin utilize their combined expertise to create Mediterranean inspired gin, rum, vermuts and brandy.
Vinoteca’s space offers diverse selections of Vara’s wines and spirits including its new line of sparkling wines including Vara American Silverhead Brut NV and American Silverhead Brut Rosado NV. The list would not be complete without Spanish-varietal still wines including the Vara Albariño, Vara Garnacha and Vara Tempranillo. Vara’s lineup of wines is available by the glass, ranging from $9 to $18, by the flight for $14, or by the bottle, ranging from $21-$57.
Guests intrigued by history or who lean toward rare finds will appreciate Vara’s heritage project, Viña Cardinal. The aperitif is made from 100% New Mexican Listán Prieto grapes, which is the first wine grape variety planted in North America by Spanish missionaries in 1629. The grape continues to grow in the Rio Grande Valley, according to the release.
Another Vara product of note, is its High Desert Gin, created with the highest quality grape spirit and carefully selected botanicals including juniper, coriander seed, sage, angelica root, nutmeg, star anise, cardamom and citrus. It was recently named the Best American Signature Botanical Gin by World Gin Awards, according to the news release.
Guests can order Vara distilled spirits straight with prices ranging from $9 to $13, or sampled as part of a flight costing between $14 and $15. Seasonal cocktails crafted by manager and mixologist Jared Reeder also are available for $14.
Patrons can mix things up with signature cocktails including the High Desert Martini made with Vara’s High Desert Gin; Vermut Seco and a splash of lemon; the Astral Walker comprised of Vara’s Rum Blanco, Vermut Añejo, Silverhead Brut Cava and grapefruit oleo; and the Diamond Dancer Spritz created with the 2019 Vara Malvasia, Vara Vermut Seco, lemon and soda.
Vara Vinoteca plans to expand its food menu in the near future. It currently offers cheese and charcuterie plates for $22.
“Whether honoring ‘La Hora de Vermut,’ the Madrid tradition of a late-afternoon refreshment, or stopping in before dinner or a show, we are excited to welcome a new audience to experience everything Vara has to offer,” Holler states.