Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Stop 2: Warm Albuquerque

It wasn't just the weather. Everything about Albuquerque was warm. The people. The welcome. All the effort it took to get there was so worth it.

Holly and I arrived early Saturday morning, slept a few hours, and presented our sessions at the New Mexico Vine & Wine Society. The response was great, and we had such a good time. Holly spoke on Making Fruit Wines and French Hybrid Grape Varieties. I spoke on Winery Marketing and Winery Events. The audience was attentive and asked lots of great questions. They loved her wines.

We ended the day with a lovely banquet featuring many, many courses and some great New Mexico wines. In just one day, we got to know so many great folks involved with New Mexico wines.

The next day was even better. Gordon, the winemaker who originally invited us to the conference took us on a tour of Albuquerque and the surrounding area. We visited two wineries -- the first, Ponderosa Winery, high in the Jemez mountains. We loved everything we tasted, especially two dry reds and an incredibly yummy multi-layered Riesling. Probably one of the nicest Rieslings I've ever tasted.

The next stop was Corrales Winery, closer to Albuquerque. They are very similar to us in size. There we tasted more wonderful New Mexico wines. The most spectacular was a barrel tasting of a special Cabernet Franc. Fantastic!

One of the best parts of each winery visit was the behind-the-scenes tours given to us by the two winemakers, Henry at Ponderosa, and Keith at Corrales. The tours were personal, thoughtful, and attentive.

We hoped to visit at least one more winery before they closed, but a flat tire earlier in the day slowed us down. By the time we left Corrales Winery, the sun was setting and everyone was closing.

On the way back to Albuquerque we stopped for dinner at a great Mexican restaurant. Chile rellanos and blue corn enchiladas with an egg on top. All in all, a perfect day!

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