By 1880, there were in New Mexico over 3,000 acres under vine, producing more than one million gallons of wine. New Mexico would have ranked fifth in American wine production at that time. However, within a decade the Rio Grande began to overflow, with groundwater often reaching the soil’s surface, turning the land into swamp. Grapevines rotted in the ground. By 1900, wine production was three percent of what it had been only 20 years before. The second American wine revolution began in New Mexico in 1978, when a major, government-sponsored study encouraged vignerons to plant French hybrids. Today, the state has three approved viticultural areas and over 20 wineries, with both hybrids and an abundant amount of quality vinifera plantings. The high desert climate, with hot days and cool nights, makes this a quality winegrowing region with a promising future.
New Mexico's sun-soaked soil and cool high-desert nights frame the modern return of wine making to the oldest wine producing region in the country. High desert climate and ideal soil feed Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Johannisburg Riesling, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and other classic grapes and fruits to produce award-winning wines.