In 1983, the Gruet family was traveling through the Southwestern part of the United States, and while in New Mexico met a group of European winemakers who had successfully planted vineyards In Engle, near the town of Truth or Consequence, 170 miles south of Albuquerque. The land was inexpensive and the opportunity golden. In 1984, Gilbert Gruet, whose Champagne house, Gruet et Fils had produced fine Champagne in Bethon, France, since 1952, made the decision to plant an experimental vineyard, exclusively planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. His children, winemaker Laurent and daughter Nathalie, then relocated to the great state of New Mexico to begin their American wine making adventure. View all Gruet Wines
About New MexicoView a map of New Mexico wineries
One of the least likely areas to expect wine, New Mexico's wine potential was tapped when the Gruets, a French family, moved to the state with the intention of making sparkling wine. Just to show that the French really do know what they are doing (the Gruets were from the Champagne region after all), Gruet is now a nationally, if not internationally, recognized wine. The wines are delicious and represent some of the best deals in sparkling wine. The family makes a range of wines, from ethereal and efferevesant to full-bodied and biscuity.New Mexico is now home to nineteen wineries. While none are yet as large or well-known as Gruet, more winemakers are realizing that the warm day and cool night combination of the state has potential for great wine.
About Other USEvery state in the United States makes wine. That's not to say that every wine is good, nor is every wine made from grapes. Hawaii ferments pineapples, while Connecticut makes wines from their well-known berry farms. But almost every state has at least one vineyard trying to make wine from grapes. Those who are most successful, beyond California, Washington, Oregon and New York are:
VirginiaWine in Virginia has come a long way since Thomas Jefferson unsuccessfully planted vinifera grapes at his home in Monticello. Our third president, known as the first American wine connoisseur, spent a good amount of time touring vineyards in France, hoping he could replicate the vineyards in Virginia. May not have been successful 200 years ago, but today, the Commonwealth of Virginia is home to over 150 wineries.
Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the most widely planted white and red grapes. Other success stories include Cabernet Franc, which does very well on Virginia soil, producing wines that are ripe and round, snuffing out the vegetal tendencies of this varietal. Viognier may be the next big white, making some lovely aromatic, yet dry, white wines.
New MexicoChampagne region after all), Gruet is now a nationally recognized wine. The wines are delicious and one of the best deals in sparkling wine. The family makes a range of wines - from the ethereal and efferevesant blanc de blancs to the more full-bodied blanc-de-noir to the slightly sweet demi-sec.
New Mexico is now home to nineteen wineries. While none are as large as Gruet, more winemakers are realizing that the warm day and cool night combination in the state has great potential for great wine.Other states worth trying include North Carolina, Texas, Ohio, Idaho and Michigan.