Santa Fe’s 23rd Annual Wine & Chile Fiesta kicks off this week and in honor of the year’s largest local wine event I drove north to Velarde, NM, to help the folks at Black Mesa Winery de-stem and crush several tons of Cabernet Sauvignon. New Mexico is home only to a modest number of wineries, so I was super excited to be able to experience a taste of 2013’s harvest and crush just one hour north of Santa Fe. I had a great time learning the ropes from the winemaker, Karl Johnsen, and his assistant winemaker, Craig Dunn.
I find myself writing often about local food: Santa Feans are very conscious of where their edibles come from, and it’s definitely a growing trend across the country to eat more locally grown food. I believe people are also becoming more conscious of the origins of the wines they drink–how the grapes are grown and what ultimately goes into the wine (see my article about natural wine). Ocotber marks Edible Santa Fe magazine’s Eat Drink Local Challenge, so pick up a bottle of Black Mesa to celebrate the pleasure of drinking locally. You can find Black Mesa at Kokoman Fine Wine & Liquor, Susan’s Fine Wine & Spirits and other restaurants and wine shops in Santa Fe. I particularly enjoy the winery’s Sangiovese and Petite Sirah.