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New Mexico

The state in the North American Southwest with the capital Santa Fe was ceded from Mexico to the USA in 1848 and became a US state only in 1912. New Mexico is the oldest wine-growing region in the United States. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Capuchin monk Fray Antonio de Arteaga and the Franciscan priest Fray García de San Francisco y Zúñiga founded a mission here near Senecú, near the present-day city of San Antonio, and another near Pilabó (Socorro) south of Albuquerque. In 1629 they planted the historical mission(Listán Prieto), brought from Spain, for the indispensable sacramental wine. This was probably the first European variety of Vitis vinifera to be successfully cultivated in North America, where there was no phylloxera (earlier attempts further north failed because of this insect). In the Rio Grande Valley in southern New Mexico and in neighbouring Texas, vineyards were planted by Franciscan monks

Classified as AVA are Mesilla Valley, Middle Rio Grande Valley, Mimbres Valley and Rio Grande Valley. Most farms are located in and around the city of Albuquerque. The viticulture becomes more and more important, especially the sparkling wines are to be emphasized. Many French and American hybrids are still being cultivated, including the Mission. However, European varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are increasingly being promoted. Some of the best known production companies are Anderson Valley Vineyards, Blue Teal, Casa Rondeña Winery, Gruet Winery (built by French emigrants from Champagne), Jory, La Chiripada, Los Luceros Winery, Ponderosa Valley Vineyards, and Sandia Shadows Vineyard, San Felipe Winery, Santa Fe Vineyards and Tularosa Winery.

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