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Santa Fe in a Wine Glass

By S. Mathur

Located just 15 minutes north of Santa Fe, on the High Road to Taos (NM503), Estrella Del Norte Vineyard has quickly become one of Santa Fe's most popular wineries. Wine tastings, parties and vineyard wine dinners with popular Santa Fe chefs sell out quickly.

According to Eileen Reinders, co-owner, finding the vineyard was accidental. She and her husband Richard were actually looking for their dream house - it just happened to have a vineyard attached to it. "We were seeking a property in the Pojoaque/Nambe Valley that had at least 5 acres and the cottonwood trees," Reinders recalls. We found this property, and it had an abandoned vineyard that the previous owners had planted for their personal wine-making. We were excited about the vineyard and produced our first wine that year for our personal use. We got our license and opened the winery in 2008."

The storybook setting includes extensive gardens with arbors, and outdoor tables where visitors can enjoy their wine amid the peaceful surroundings. The sculpture garden features works by local artists including Carl Berney of Standing Stones Studio, a local Nambe resident.

Three vineyard casitas are available for rental, so visitors can easily stay overnight or longer. A well-stocked gift shop offers customized wine gift baskets.

With almost 30 different wines to choose from, Reinders finds it difficult to pick a favorite. The estate Pinot Noir won a gold medal at Finger Lakes International Wine Competition; the Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Founders Blend, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir Rose have all won awards. But the most popular wine, she says, "... is our world famous Holy Mole' red wine with a little chocolate and a spark of red chile. It is definitely 'Santa Fe in a glass' and visitors come to Estrella Del Norte Vineyard specifically for this wine!"

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