The Spanish planted the first vineyards in North America in New Mexico in the 17th century, and the industry persisted until a series of floods finally wiped out the vines by the 1920s. So New Mexico’s current wine scene, while strong, is still somewhat young. One of the best wineries, Gruet (8400 Pan American Fwy. NE, 505/821-0055, www.gruetwinery.com), began producing its excellent sparkling wines (the Gruet family hails from Champagne) only in 1987; look out especially for its nonvintage sparkling rosé, which is delicious and affordable.
Tours run at 2 p.m. every day but Sunday; the tasting room (five pours for $6) is open 10 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays and noon–5 p.m. on Saturday.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition