Northern New Mexico -- The Rio Grande, the Rio Chama, Taos, Santa Fe, mountains, pinon trees--and grape vines! For more than 400 years grape vines have been grown along the Rio Grande from Velarde to Socorro and Belen. Black Mesa Winery in Velarde, half way between Taos and Sante Fe, produces Pinot Grigio, Syrah, Montepulciano,and Riesling grapes. The Velarde Valley produces Riesling, Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah with more acres and varietals being planted every year.
Black Mesa Winery began producing wines in 1992 as the result of a long time dream of Dr. Gerhard and Connie Anderson. In 2000, Jerry and Lynda Burd purchased the winery and have carried on and expanded that dream to produce over 25 wines from grapes grown in northern and southern New Mexico. All wines produced are from New Mexico grapes. When asked about the large choice in wines in the Tasting Room, Jerry says, "I can't make up my mind. I have a palate that enjoys many different wines and styles of wines and so do our customers."
Wines offered along with the most popular Black Beauty, a deep red, chocolate flavored dessert wine, include Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Primitivo, Chardonnay, Malbec, Pinot Grigio, Montepulciano, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Viognier. Many of the wines are blends including the dry reds Coyote and Antelope, initially blended by the Anderson's. Conejito White is a sweet blend of Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Mesa Rosa and Santa Fest are sweet rose' blends.
Black Beauty continues to be the most popular wine. It is a deep red, chocolate flavored dessert wine which pairs very well with cheese cake and strawberries. There is also a rich, chocolate sauce to pour over ice cream made from Black Beauty wine.
Unusual wines include both a red port and a white port, along with a dry sherry-style wine. A pallette-pleasing late-harvest dessert wine, Cosecha Ultima, is made from all northern New Mexico grapes picked in mid-November each year. All the wines are produced at the winery and are bottled and cellared in buildings adjacent to the Tasting Room. You can tour the winery by calling 24 hours in advance and setting up a time. Weekdays are best.