Destination New Mexico: Willmon Vineyards

The oldest wine growing region in the United States may not be the largest or most famous in the country, but we want to thank Willmon Vineyards co-founder Jessica Willmon for reminding us of “This little hidden jewel in the middle of New Mexico.”

First used to harvest wine by Spanish monks migrating up El Camino Real as early as the 18th century, the mountainous southern section of New Mexico now plays host to over 30 wineries including Ruidoso’s Willmon Vineyards.

One of the region’s longest standing wineries, Willmon Vineyards now grows more than 20 varietals over their two local vineyards including their award-winning Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Willmon also took home the San Francisco International Wine Award in in Bordeaux for its meritage blend of noble varietals, and grows Spanish style Tempranillo for a Rioja-style wine.

Home to both the chic End of the Vine gift shop and the highly-praised Willmon’s Prime Grille steakhouse and restaurant, Willmon Vineyards was recently awarded its second straight Wine Spectator Award of Excellence (including the new notation awarded for inexpensive wine lists). Try the Prime Grille’s Ahi Tuna on Tempura Green Beans with its beautiful wasabi sauce presentation, or simply take home your choice of fresh gourmet and specialty items from the End of the Vine. Like Jessica Willmon, you’ll be feeling like you are “living in a postcard” in no time!

Look for the upcoming release of Willmon Vineyard’s 2008 Quattro meritage blend featuring the artwork of renowned artist Donald Roller Wilson!