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New Mexico Wine

The 10 Best Wineries in Las Cruces and the Mesilla Valley

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I think that many people are surprised to see vineyards in New Mexico, but did you know that winemaking in New Mexico has a long and varied history?

In fact, the first vineyards established in the United States were planted by Spanish Monks along the Don Juan de Oñate Trail most likely near present-day San Antonio, New Mexico just south of Socorro to be used for sacramental wine around 1629. [1] [2]

Spanish Law at the time forbid the exportation of Spanish grapevines to protect the Spanish agriculture industry but two let’s say enterprising monks smuggled some vines out of Spain and into New Mexico. [3]

Viticulture in New Mexico took hold since its introduction in 1629, in the middle Rio Grande and the surrounding area, and by the year 1880 grapes were grown on over 3,000 acres, and wineries produced over 1,000,000 US gallons of wine.

Production was hampered for a number of reasons over the years, from the Pueblo Indian revolts to prohibition and the flooding of the Rio Grande. But today the wine industry is thriving in New Mexico with more than 60 wineries producing 900,000 US gallons of wine annually.

The Mesilla Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) was established in 1985 is a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States. [4]

There are 10 excellent local wineries near Las Cruces in the Mesilla Valley just waiting for you to explore them. Here is our list in no particular order but most certainly you will find your favorites and when you do please let us know in the comments below which ones you like the best.

  1. Rio Grande Winery

    Rio Grande Winery

    Located just south of Mesilla on Highway 28 the Rio Grande Vineyard and Winery is a small but very popular local winery. They produce about 3000 cases yearly from 12 different European varietals grown on nearly 30 acres of estate vineyards. Their wine production facility is on-site and can be seen from their tasting room.

    The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming and they enjoy some of the most spectacular Organ mountain views from their patio. Taste the tradition in their southwest New Mexico wines.

    They host numerous events each year such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and business parties where they can host up to 500 people. Visitors love that they are open till 8 pm on weekdays and till 10 pm on Friday and Saturday nights along with live music.

    Click here for Directions, Hours of Operation and Contact Information

  2. D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro

    DH Lescombes Winery and Bistro

    Located in Mesilla not far from I-10 and downtown Mesilla. Formerly known as St. Clair Winery & Bistro. The Lecombes family are six-generation winemakers emigrating from Burgundy France. They bottled their first vintage in New Mexico in 1984 from their state-of-the-art facility near Deming.

    DH Lecombes has their 200-acre vineyard west of Deming where they produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Moscato, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Chenin Blanc, and other varietals. The elevation of their vineyards is 4500 feet which gives warm days and cool nights which they feel provide some of the very best growing conditions for the very best grapes. The proof is in their success.

    You can enjoy DH Lescombes wines and bistros not only in Las Cruces but also at their other locations in Deming, Alamogordo, Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Their Las Cruces location is well known locally for being one of the area’s finest restaurants. Their menu was created as a collaboration between the Winemaker and the Head Chef. Just wait until you see their menu.

    I would suggest that you call ahead for reservations if you are going on a weekend evening as they draw a large crowd at this popular winery and bistro. They also do private tastings, on-site and off-site catering, group meetings, conferences, weddings, and holiday parties.

    Click here for Directions, Hours of Operation and Contact Information

  3. Luna Rossa Winery & Pizzeria

    Luna Rosa Winery

    Located just south of I-10 on Highway 28 Luna Rosa Winery and Pizzeria offers some of the best local wines. Their wines come from 100% New Mexico grown grapes made from Italian, German, Rhone, and Spanish varieties aged in French and American Oak barrels.

    Their vineyard is located west of Deming and they have been producing award-winning wines here in southern New Mexico since 1987. In their Las Cruces location, they serve some of the area’s best wood-fired pizzas along with their wines and wine tastings.

    Luna Rosa Winery produces about 84,000 gallons of wine in any given year of numerous varieties at their Deming facility. Definitely a local favorite wine and pizzeria so definitely check them out.

    Click here for Directions, Hours of Operation and Contact Information

  4. Amaro Winery LLC

    Amaro Winery

    Located near historic downtown Las Cruces. Amaro Winery is a family-owned winery specializing in dry & sweet varietals & offering tastings, local eats & events. This is not your typical quiet subdued local winery. You can get salsa lessons, do karaoke and enjoy live music.

    All of their wines are produced and bottled on-site by German-born winemaker Benjamin Maier, and all of their grapes are cultivated in Southern New Mexico. They currently provide a wide range of red and white wine varieties, including both sweet and dry wines.

    You can have a wine tasting, buy by the glass, or split a bottle with friends in our lovely tasting room and patio.

    Click here for Directions, Hours of Operation and Contact Information

  5. Heart of the Desert Pistachios & Wines – Mesilla

    Heart of the Desert Wines

    Located on the historic old Mesilla plaza. Heart of the Desert is known for being New Mexico’s first and largest producing pistachio grove with approximately 13,000 trees. Wines were added to the product line in 2002. The seven different varieties of grapes harvested each year make the production of a wide range of wines possible.

    The vineyard contains seven different varieties of grape vines, including Chardonnay, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Shiraz, Riesling, Malvasia Bianca, and Gewürztraminer, making the production of a wide range of wines possible. The vineyard currently has 24,000 vines.

    Their main location is in Alamogordo. In addition to their Mesilla location, they have one in Ruidoso and in Las Cruces at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. Besides their award-winning wines, they also have an excellent selection of Pistachios, Gourmet Foods, Candies & Cookies.

    Click here for Directions, Hours of Operation and Contact Information

  6. La Viña Winery, Inc.

    La Vina Winery
    Located on Hwy 28 south of Las Cruces near La Union. It was established in 1977 and is the oldest continuously running winery in New Mexico. The winery was bought in 1993 by Ken and Denise Stark.

    In addition to their yearly Harvest Wine Festival, they host a number of other festivals and events throughout the year. It is a popular place for weddings and other events.

    The vineyard provides “Estate Bottled” New Mexico wines with a new complexity. Additionally to the production of Cabernet, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay, new plantings of Italian and Rhone varieties have been made.

    Tastings are done while standing at the tasting bar and the tastings are poured from the uncorked bottles. The 30 acres of vineyard at La Via Winery are planted with 22 distinct varietals.

    They are able to produce 25 distinct varieties of wine, and they solely produce estate wines. They create between 3,000 and 4,000 cases annually. In addition to the wine they produce for their own consumption, they also produce bulk wine for other Texas and New Mexico vineyards to bottle.

    Click here for Directions, Hours of Operation and Contact Information

  7. Sombra Antigua Vineyard and Winery

    Sombra Antigua Vineyard and Winery

    Located off of Hwy 28 near Anthony NM. Sombra Antiqua Vineyard and Winery is located about a half mile west of Hwy 28 on La Vina Road. As you are driving along Hwy 28 this is one of the only Wineries not situated right along the road, so look for the signs.

    The vineyard has Malbec as its flagship grape as well as Albario, Barbera, Montepulciano, Tempranillo, and Dolcetto planted.

    The winery provides the ideal setting for leisurely wine tasting, chatting with friends, or entertaining at an event you’ve planned thanks to its stunning location among the vineyards and pecan trees.

    Click here for Directions, Hours of Operation and Contact Information

  8. Fort Selden Winery

    Fort Selden Winery

    Located north of Las Cruces, Fort Selden Winery is a small family-owned and operated winery and vineyard that is open only on weekends noon till 5 pm.

    They grow and create on-site a variety of wines such as Malbec, Shiraz, Cabernet, American Red (a blend), Tempranillo, Gewurtztraminer, and their famous Madre D’eira (port wine).

    One of the yearly highlights at Fort Seldon Winery is their fall harvest where they invite family, friends, and volunteers to come for a day of grape picking. Harvest usually occurs during the first and third weekends of September. Many volunteers return year after year!

    Grape harvest starts early in the morning to avoid the afternoon heat. Volunteers use sheers and clippers and place the grapes in bins that will be picked up and brought to the de-stemmer. Volunteers are encouraged to learn more about the wine-making process. After all the hard work is done, we all enjoy a picnic-style lunch.

    Come Visit Fort Selden for a wine tasting or to pick up wine bottles to go.

    Click here for Directions, Hours of Operation and Contact Information

  9. Zin Valle Vineyards

    Zin Valle Vineyards

    Located on Highway 28 just 3 miles south of La Vina Winery and is the only one on our list that is in Texas. And they are the only vineyard in El Paso. Zin Valle Vineyards is a well-kept hidden gem and you will not be disappointed. They welcome families, children, and pets.

    In addition to this location, the Poulos family also owns a highly rated Tuscan winery in Montepulciano, Italy — Fattoria Svetoni. This blend of traditions is the secret to their success and they are the only source for these wines in the USA. Offering a selection of Zinfandel, Merlot, Gewurztraminer, Malvasia, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay.

    Come and taste the tradition and excellence as well as enjoy live music on the weekends. They say “Zin Valle Vineyards is where the edge of Texas meets the soul of Tuscany” so maybe it is time to come for the experience.

    Click here for Directions, Hours of Operation and Contact Information

  10. NM Vintage Wines

    NM Vintage Wines

    Located in Old Mesilla just a half block south of the plaza NM Vintage Wines has over 7 varietals and is one of New Mexico’s newest wineries. In addition to their Cowbelle Wines, they offer a large selection of the best New Mexico wines as well as craft beers.

    “Welcome to the official winery tasting room of Cowbelle Wines. You’ve just discovered the best New Mexico wine, beer, and cigar nook in the world. (At least that’s what our customers tell us.) Relax in the historic ambiance of Old Mesilla; taste the best New Mexico wines and craft beers; enjoy entertainment that is sure to bring a smile to your face. That’s all we ask: Relax, Taste, Enjoy! Live Music every weekend Friday nights, Saturday nights, and Sunday afternoons.”

    From a recent online review “This is a hidden gem in Mesilla, NM. The indoor seating is small approximately seating for 12-14 people. The patio area is a decent size. There is usually entertainment outdoors on the weekends. They do offer a small selection of about 6 local craft beers along with their large selection of wines. The ambiance is relaxing and chilled. The service is top notch and the staff is knowledgeable about the various wines.”

    Click here for Directions, Hours of Operation and Contact Information

In Conclusion

Las Cruces and the Mesilla Valley have some excellent wineries to explore and appreciate. Stop by each and enjoy a wine tasting adventure. Comment below to let us know which is your favorite winery and wine, we would love to know.

Winery & Vineyard Map

Explore the Mesilla Valley Wine Tour on the map below and also in our directory here

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