As reported in Wines and Vines, there are now over 8,000 wineries in North America. That total includes Mexico and Canada. The west coast wineries account for 4746 of those, which probably comes as no surprise. However, that also indicates that there are many other states with a significant number of wineries. There are 310 in New York and 222 in Virginia, suggesting a very robust wine industry.
Over 1,000 of that total are defined as virtual wineries, meaning they have a brand name and make wine at host facilities. For example, Southwest Wines, the largest winery in New Mexico makes wine for start-up wineries, which often evolve from tasting room to full-scale winery in stages. The number of wineries in New Mexico has been steadily climbing since the mid-80s when Gruet and Southwest Wines began production.
There are over 30 wineries and under 10 virtual wineries in New Mexico now, with more coming on line. This is still a small wine market compared to many other states, but the quality of those wines has caused many wine enthusiasts to take note. While many local wine consumers look to the west coast for their wines, they should also try the many good wines that are produced in state. Except for the big two of Gruet and Southwest Wines, New Mexico wineries really depend on the local market to sell their wines.
Many local wine shops carry a good selection of New Mexico wines including Quarters and Kelly Liquors locations, Frontier Mart in Corrales and Jubilation Wine & Spirits on Lomas Blvd. Discounters like Costco and Trader Joes also have a good selection.
Check out the New Mexico Wine Growers website for information about the diverse and enchanting wines of New Mexico. They also produce Enchanted Vines magazine, which includes wine trail maps and descriptions of the wineries. For more detailed information on New Mexico wines and wine basics, check out Wines of Enchantment 2012 here.