Mexico wine tradition goes back to the Spanish missionaries when they began to plant the first wine grapes in 1629, in what would become the modern Middle Rio Grande Valley wine region.
By the 19th century, the 1880 census indicated that New Mexicans already had 3,150
acres of grape vines, almost double the figures shown in that
year for New York State.
By 1884, New
Mexico was fifth in the nation in wine production. Fate took a
hand when weather conditions and constant flooding of the Rio
Grande River, followed by Prohibition in 1920, stopped the industry
Its long-awaited rebirth only took place in the late 1970's.
Spanish missionaries began planting grapes along the Rio Grande 400 years ago, and by the
New Mexico was a top wine producing state (photo courtesy of NMSU Viticulture).
So what makes New Mexico a natural for wine production? You'll find it in New Mexico's crisp mountain air, coupled with a dry climate that is the envy of most grape growers, who often have to contend with the usual fungal diseases and bug pests found in most vineyards.
Mexico has over 60 operating wineries, producing almost 900,000
gallons or almost 1 million cases of wine a year.
Just up ahead, discover what else New Mexico is up to on acres of vineyards offering tours, tastings and festivals happening throughout the year...
More information about New Mexico wineries around the Web:
New Mexico Wine Growers Association - One-stop browsing for all New Mexico wineries featuring brief overviews and maps together with a history and timeline of winemaking within the state, a guide to festivals and events, and related links.
A Guide to New Mexico Wine - Check out this travel site for a tour of the top vineyards wineries, and tasting rooms and how to get there with maps, contact details, photos and video.