New Mexico wine cultivation dates back to the 17th century, when a Franciscan Friar and Capuchin monk put vines smuggled out of Spain into the rich fertile ground fed by the Rio Grande in the what is today Socorro, New Mexico. These homegrown wines, originating from Spain’s “Monica” varietal, were passed among the missions for use in their sacraments. By 1880, over 3,000 acres were dedicated to viticulture and New Mexico’s wineries were producing one million gallons of wine.
Six wineries in Santa Fe’s city limits and just as many on the fringes convinced Livability to rate Santa Fe’s as North America’s second best city for wine. A number of wine festivals have popped up around the state to celebrate New Mexico’s long history with the grape. Los Golondrinas, the living history museum, hosts the annual Santa Fe Wine Festival in July. The Santa Fe Wine and Chili Festival, the popular gala celebrating two of New Mexico’s favorite crops, takes over the city streets in late September.
Livability’s Ten Best Cities for Wine.
Return to Santa Fe: Awards & Accolades.