Enchantment Vineyards, in Portales, in eastern New Mexico, takes advantage of alkaline soil and a dry climate to yield rich grapes for its prized chambourcin, a dry red that comes from a French-American hybrid grape. Run by Max Merrick, his daughters Megan Hamilton and Cassidy Self, and their husbands, Enchantment Vineyards is a family affair. “We think that all of our best decisions start with drinking wine,” Hamilton says. The tasting room also offers a seasonal menu, with items like street tacos with locally grown chiles, created by an in-house chef. Try this: Estate Chambourcin, a robust red.
Halfway between Carlsbad and Artesia, grownups can enjoy tastings of local favorites like tempranillo and montepulciano at the Balzano Vineyard and Pumpkin Patch while kids check out activities on the farm. “It’s just this nice, family-friendly atmosphere that we try to create,” says Toni Balzano, who runs the business with her husband. The pumpkin patch is open every weekend in October, and the farm holds special events like Baby Animal Day for the kids. The vineyard’s Spirit of Seven Rivers brand gets its name from the now-vanished Seven Rivers ghost town. Try this: Spirit of Seven Rivers Tempranillo, a full-bodied, Spanish-style red.
Head to Pecos Flavors Winery & Bistro, in Roswell, for the Italian-style cabernet, as well as other New Mexico wines and beers, along with a full menu at the bistro. Paul and Cindy Ragsdale founded the winery in 2004 and moved to their Second Street location in 2016. These days, their son Josh handles the day-to-day affairs. While growing grapes in New Mexico is a challenge, it provides ample rewards. “It has its own little romance,” says Cindy. “When you prune them and when you watch them grow into these beautiful vines and beautiful, beautiful plants.” Try this: Galactic Cabernet, a delicious, dry red.