The harvest of Pinot Noir grapes is underway at Tamaya Vineyard on the Santa Ana Pueblo.
It’s just one of the state’s 55 vineyards.
“Currently in New Mexico we make over 1 million gallons of wine annually,” New Mexico Wine Executive Director Chris Goblet said.
He adds there’s room for vineyards to expand and new ones to pop up.
“There are over 2,500 acres of grapes planted in the state so there’s a lot of room for growth. Our neighboring states have over 10-20,000 acres.”
He said the pueblos have vast potential.
“We’re working with other pueblos and tribes to see if there’s opportunities. You need land, you need water and you need a workforce,” he said.
St. Clair, one of the state’s biggest wineries, is also looking to expand.
“As far as cases annually, we produce currently about 150,000 with the capacity to double that,” St. Clair Winery Program Coordinator Ryan Gage said.
They participate in competitions around the country and overseas to get their name out there.
“We can stand up to big, bold California wines or you know, even some European wines,” he said.
Gage and Goblet agree people need to be reminded of the state’s rich heritage of grape growing over the last 400 years.
“Really lay claim to this oldest wine region in America just to let people know that New Mexico has something truly special,” Goblet said.
The New Mexico Tourism Department also has a New Mexico True wine trail to help draw tourists to the state’s wineries.