Come meet some of New Mexico’s best wine producers at the inaugural Winter Wine Tasting.
The event, presented by New Mexico Wine, will be held from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, at the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market Pavilion in the City Different. More than a dozen wineries are participating including Gruet Winery, Vivac Winery, Noisy Water Winery, Milagro Vineyards, La Viña Winery, Sheehan Winery, Black Mesa Winery, Rio Grande Winery, El Alamo Winery, Wines of the San Juan, Luna Rossa Winery, D.H. Lescombes Winery, Las Nueve Niñas Winery and La Chiripada Winery.
“This is the first time we’re doing this,” said Chris Goblet, New Mexico Wine executive director. “We just want to introduce our brands. So I know we will have some restaurants attending, and Total Wine and Susan’s Fine Wine and Spirits. There’s some really great momentum of getting New Mexico wines on shelves, at grocery stores, and in our wine shops, and we want to keep this momentum. We want to keep introducing our wineries to new sales outlets. So this is kind of continuing to build that relationship with, in particular, the Santa Fe market where we don’t have a ton of representation.”
Attendees will be able to mingle with participating winemakers and learn more about their products. Guests also will receive a Riedel wine glass for sampling. Many of the wineries will be selling wines by the glass, as well as bottles that can be enjoyed at home. Small bites and live music complete the event.
“It’s a very small, intimate event of 500 people,” Goblet said. “We’re only selling 200 tickets to the general public. The rest of them are all invitation only. The idea is that we need to start doing more pop-up bottle shops as we call them. A pop-up wine tasting where we bring the wine to the people. Our board has asked me to do these very sort of quick pop-ups where we can come into a community and we can sell some wine and we can build our brand, build some recognition for the industry, and for people to sample and try new wines.”
The Winter Wine Tasting is part of the Roots & Research New Mexico Wine Education Conference, which is being held Feb. 26-28, at Hotel Santa Fe Hacienda & Spa. The conference focuses on issues that influence grape growers across the Southwest. Guest speakers and winemakers from Texas, Colorado, Arizona, California and Washington state will share their insight and expertise during the conference.
“In 2022, the legislature funded a new program called the New Mexico Vineyard Restoration Fund,” Goblet said. “We call it the vine fund for short. It’s a million dollars to help replant vineyards across the state … Anybody who wants to apply for this vine fund is required to come to our wine education conference. It’s been going on for 43 years and it’s an opportunity to learn how to plant a vineyard, what kind of vines grow in certain regions, tips and tricks and tools on how to grow grapes in New Mexico.”
The hope is that the conference will help New Mexico Wine reach its goal of planting 400 acres of vines in 2023. For a conference schedule and to register, visit nmwine.com/conference.
“We have experts who will be speaking on different techniques, annotation, oxygen management barrels, bottling, all of the different aspects of making the wine and getting it into the bottle,” Goblet said. “It’s very much from the vineyard to the shelf, at the bottle shop, at the wine store, how to go from starting a vineyard all the way to producing wines. And then the last piece is selling the wine and promoting it.”