Wineries, Vineyards Part of Rio Grande Region's History
The Rio Grande Region has a long history of wine making.
New Mexico started producing wines in 1629, making the state’s wine industry the oldest in the country. The region is home to a number of vineyards and wineries, and each year Las Cruces hosts the Southern New Mexico Wine Festival and the New Mexico Wine Harvest.
The La Viña Winery in La Union, N.M., between Las Cruces and El Paso is among the oldest wineries in the state and produces nearly two dozen varieties of wine. A popular spot for weddings and special events, the winery includes a tasting room. La Viña hosts the annual Harvest Festival and Grape Stomp in October, a Blues & Jazz Festival in April and a country picnic and open house on July 4.
The family-owned Zin Valle Vineyards began operations in 2000 in Canutillo, Texas, about 15 miles north of El Paso. The vineyard's nine varieties include a chardonnay, a white zinfandel and two pinot noirs.
Zin Valle’s tasting room and production facility were built in traditional Southwestern stucco to mesh with existing farm structures. A striking feature of the winery is its copper roof. The winery and its production and demonstration vineyards are open to the public, and an expansive porch at the winery lets visitors enjoy their wine with a picnic lunch.