When we planned this trip, we quickly learned that there were multiple wineries in the area, so of course, we decided we’d make it a wine trip. We had no idea there were so many wineries in New Mexico.
In fact, Wikipedia states that there are 60. I know for sure is that there were five within ten minutes of our Airbnb in Dixon, New Mexico.
Our first stop was fairly random. Ryan had spied a winery in Alcalde on the map, which is actually about 20 minutes from Dixon, heading southwest. We missed the sign at the front of the drive that indicated it was “visits by appointment only.”
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However, the owners of El Alamo Winery saw us drive up and let us taste all their wines anyway. Plus, they showed us the tree the winery is named after, the oldest and biggest cottonwood in New Mexico.
Orchards have been in their family for about 200 years, but much more recently they put in grape vines. Then, Joseph Martinez started winning awards. This lifelong engineer can really make wine!
It’s like nothing else you’ll taste during a visit to Northern New Mexico. Martinez puts his grapes in bourbon barrels which really changes up the flavor. We bought a bottle of 2019 dry rosé, the best rosé I had on this trip. This isn’t my go-to wine style, but I was in a summer, patio state of mind.
Next, we parked ourselves and Fritzi on the patio at Black Mesa Winery & Cidery, ten minutes from our home for the weekend in Dixon, and ten minutes from El Alamo Winery. Ryan was pleased with his prickly pear cider, and I had a glass of rosé.
This place is delightful and the bachelorette party from Santa Fe that was on the patio definitely agreed. They were having a very, very good time.
Before moving on, we browsed at Casa Cristal Pottery which is next door. I highly recommend this excursion. If you have a favorite animal, you’ll probably find it in some sort of sculpture form here. This place is a cornucopia for the eyes.
The sun beat down as we drove back towards Dixon. We’d woken up to rainy skies, so we were glad for the Vitamin D. Plus, who wants to drink wine in the rain? I mean, I would, but I’d rather it be sunny.
Our next stop was Vivác Winery in Dixon, just minutes from our Airbnb. Vivác Winery feels like New Mexico. With a stucco building surrounded by seating and grape vines, I could kill a lot of time here.
Live music was playing as we sipped a taster flight of reds.
The experience was truly lovely. Perhaps it was the wee bit of wine we’d consumed that day, or it was the music drifting in the breeze, whatever the reason, I’d encourage you to go. The sun was so bright I put on sunscreen.
We did two more wineries during this trip. Embudo Valley Vineyards & Winery is in the community of Rinconado. The winery is located in an old home on Hwy 68 (this part runs along the Rio Grande River). They grow some of their grapes on land next to the river.
We shared taster flights on the porch and listened to the birds in surround sound. Fritzi thoroughly enjoyed it from her blanket we spread out next to our table. She doesn’t like hard floors so that blanket goes everywhere. Also, she’s spoiled.
New to the Northern New Mexico wine scene, Embudo Valley Vineyards is making some delicious, smooth wines. I should have taken notes, but I wasn’t necessarily planning on writing about this trip, but I do know I really liked the Rincon Reserve 2020, which is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Petit Sirah.
Last, but certainly not least, we went to La Chiripada Winery, within a five minute walk of our Airbnb. This is New Mexico’s oldest winery, circa 1977, and it is endlessly photographable.
Of the wineries we visited, this is the only winery that offered free tastings, which was a happy surprise. So, of course, we bought a couple of glasses of wine, enjoying them on the patio, and then a bottle of Chardonnay to take back to Colorado. Ryan, who usually prefers reds, liked the 2021 Chardonnay. Ninety-five percent Chardonnay and 5% Muscat, the wine is aged in stainless steel and has a slight apple and melon sweetness.
If you’d like to make wineries part of your Northern New Mexico experience, our Dixon Airbnb is an excellent spot to stay.
Part Three, the rest of the New Mexico story coming next month.