Governor Susana Martinez has proclaimed August 2017 as New Mexico Wine Month, and the New Mexico Tourism Department has a number of ways New Mexicans can venture into vino in celebration.

 “New Mexico wineries are key to both the tourism and agricultural industries in our state,” Governor Susana Martinez said. “The industry is increasingly robust and is fueled by a new generation of innovative winemakers – and it helps to show all New Mexico has to offer.”

 New Mexico boasts more than 60 wineries across the state that open their doors for tastings and tours most of the year. Recent third party research shows that visitors to New Mexico are twice as likely to stop at a winery than the U.S. norm.

 “Our state’s heritage with wine has roots in the ground long before New Mexico was a state, yet most of this history is unknown,” Tourism Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Latham said. “It is important for us to showcase the events and experiences that bring this part of our heritage to life, which is why we created the New Mexico True Wine Trail and are finding new opportunities, like our New Mexico True Certified program and the Enchanted 8 ‘Road Trip for True Agriculture Aficionados,’ to bring attention to New Mexico as the oldest winegrowing region in the country.”

 Over the next 30 days, travelers will find dozens of events that commemorate New Mexico Wine Month. Among those are community-wide festivals like Cloudcroft’s “Art and Wine in the Cool Pines” and the “Summer Wine Festival” in Taos Ski Valley, along with more intimate gatherings like the Harvest Celebration of the Chardonnay at Shattuck Vineyards in Caballo and the 8th anniversary party at La Esperanza Vineyard and Winery in Hanover. A full list of wine-inspired events this month can be found be found online at NMWine.com, and information on the New Mexico True Wine Trail and New Mexico True Certified wines can be found at NewMexico.org. Looking to plan a trip around New Mexico wines? The department suggests starting with the New Mexico True Enchanted 8 “Road Trip for True Agriculture Aficionados,” also on NewMexico.org. Please enjoy New Mexico Wine Month responsibly – there is no excuse for getting behind the wheel after drinking. Call a cab, a friend, or a ridesharing service.

 New Mexico’s history with wine spans more than four centuries – wines were produced here starting with mission grapes brought by Spanish Colonists from New Spain. Included with the colonists were monks, who needed wine for their daily mass, and lead them to plant a variety of wine grapes in the fertile New Mexican soils. Today, visitors in Tularosa can sample wine made from grapes traced back to those grown by Franciscan monks centuries ago. Southern New Mexico is the oldest winegrowing region in the United States, and is still a large producer today.