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Gruet Winery tour includes a look at newly renovated tasting room

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — This New Year’s Eve, get an inside view, learn the history and stock up on still and sparkling wines from one of New Mexico’s oldest wineries – Gruet Winery.

The winery will be giving a tour of its Albuquerque facility at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31. Tours are held the last Saturday of every month. Walk-ins are welcome, but large groups are encouraged to call ahead so they can be accommodated.

Each tour includes a look at the winery’s newly renovated tasting room, which was unveiled in early November.

Gruet held a grand reopening celebration of the tasting room and event space on Nov. 5.

It also opened another tasting room to serve its northern New Mexico clientele. It is located inside the historic Hotel St. Francis, 210 Don Gaspar Ave., Santa Fe. Its regular hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and noon to 7 p.m. Sundays. The new Santa Fe space and the renovated Albuquerque venue are must-sees.

“It you haven’t been here, it’s really beautiful,” Albuquerque tasting room manager Regina Wilson said of her location. “As far as the tour goes, … you get to see behind the scenes and all that fun stuff. There’s a lot of the family history that we also tie into it.”

Tour participants also will get the opportunity to purchase and taste Gruet wines sold exclusively at Gruet.

Just in time for New Year’s Eve, Gruet has its Blanc de Blancs Magnum, the non-vintage Blanc de Blancs, in a 1.5-liter bottle, Wilson said.

“Those are awesome for the holidays,” she said. “They are so much fun. It’s fun and its celebratory and all that good stuff.”

The non-vintage Blanc de Blancs presents aromas of brioche and green apples. “Flavors of lemon zest, honeysuckle and tropical fruit lead to a crisp, fresh finish,” according to tasting notes on Gruet’s website.

Only available at Gruet also is its Sauvage Vintage 2011 and the Grand Blanc de Blancs 2011. Gruet has also released its 2014 Red Blend and 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, which also are available only at Gruet.

Gruet Sauvage Vintage 2011 is a “bone-dry sparkler, rich gold in color with a delicate and persistent mousse,” according to Gruet’s tasting notes. “The extended en tirage time results in aromas of brioche, complex minerals and a hint of grapefruit.”

The Red Blend still wine is described as a Bordeaux blend, which is “bold and rich.” It is predominantly made up of Merlot and contains aromas of raspberry and plum and flavors of vanilla, black pepper and sweet tobacco leaf. A leathery mid-palate finishes with bold tannins and toasty oak, according to Gruet’s tasting notes.

The Cabernet Sauvignon contains “subtle aromatics of cloves, anise and rose petal. Dark cherries hit the front palate with delicate earthiness that lead to flavors of vanilla, caramel and black plum finish with velvety tannins,” according to Gruet’s tasting notes.

Guests also have an option to taste Gruet’s wines. There are four tasting options to choose from. Options range from $8 to $14.

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