Off the Beaten Path-New Mexico Wine Tours: Part One

A friend of mine invited me out with her for a wine/scenic tour in Northern New Mexico on one of my days off through New Mexico Wine Tours. This was an all day journey so I’m giving it to you in two parts. The tour was an absolute blast!

We started our tour with a side trip to the Puye Cliff Dwellings. We weren’t there long enough to get any hiking done, but one of the employee’s was very nice and presented us with the history of the Puye Cliffs Pueblo Indians, why they settled there, how long they were here before moving on, and how they lived. The drive out there was absolutely gorgeous and the scenic view when we arrived was awesome.

Puye Cliffs comprises two levels of cliff and cave dwellings cut into the cliff face, as well as dwellings on the mesa top. Over one mile long, the first level runs the length of the base of the mesa. The second level is about 2,100 feet long. Paths and stairways were cut in the face of the rock to connect the two levels and allow people to climb to the top of the mesa.”

Our next destination landed us at the Black Mesa Winery

“Black Mesa Winery began producing wines in 1992 as the result of a long time dream of Dr. Gerhard and Connie Anderson.  In 2000, Jerry and Lynda Burd purchased the winery and have carried on and expanded that dream to produce over 25 wines from grapes grown in northern and southern New Mexico.  All wines produced are from New Mexico grapes.  When asked about the large choice in wines in the Tasting Room, Jerry says, “I can’t make up my mind.  I have a palate that enjoys many different wines and styles of wines and so do our customers.”

I have been wanting to visit this winery for a long time now just to try their chocolate wine. I was not dissapointed, what a beautiful place to sit and sample wine. They sell some fantastic wines here. We were also lucky enough to get a tour of their winery, plus the history of how they make all of their wines, what type of barrels they use and how long their wines are aged. Black Mesa Winery is also known for there Chocolate Wines and of course I had to pick up some:0 Check out the label on it-isn’t it fabulous!

“Black Beauty continues to be the most popular wine. It is a deep red, chocolate flavored dessert wine which pairs very well with cheese cake and strawberries. There is also a rich, chocolate sauce to pour over ice cream made from Black Beauty wine.”

After the fabulous wine tasting at Black Mesa we were off to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge 

“One of America’s highest and most famous bridges, the route 64 crossing of the Rio Grande near Taos, New Mexico was completed in 1965. A well proportioned cantilever truss with an attractive, curvilinear profile, the bridge received the American Institute of Steel Construction’s award for “Most Beautiful Long Span Steel Bridge” of 1966. In 1997 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
With its headwaters high up in the Rocky Mountains of south-central Colorado, the Rio Grande is America’s 4th longest river, stretching 1,885 miles (3,034 km) south to the Gulf of Mexico. Located 10 miles (16 km) west of Taos, the deep gorge of the Rio Grande is the only major rift across an otherwise flat expanse of land between the mountains of the Carson National Forest and the Sangre de Cristos.
The bridge is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the region with parking areas on both sides of the bridge. Over the years, the popularity of the bridge has often led to height exaggerations. Most sources have it between 600 feet (183 mtrs) and 700 feet (213 mtrs) high when the true height is 565 feet (172 mtrs) from road deck level to the normal surface level of the river.
One of the best features of the bridge are several platforms that cantilever out from the roadway. They allow pedestrians to stand several feet out into space…”

We drove the least traveled back dirt road up to the bridge and were surrounded by  the gorgeous New Mexico landscaping. 

The left side of the road we drove up is the picture of the cliff. The right side of the road is the picture of the open landscape.

Note: New Mexico is a vast place to live, you really can’t just jump in your can and drive 20 minutes to get to these places, but it is worth traveling on these roads if you enjoy nature and being out in the middle of nowhere. (Verizon is the carrier you want if you need to have a signal on your phone at all times.) I personally don’t have Verizon, but I have a friend that does and I make sure to let people know where I am just in case I get stuck somewhere:)

We even got a glimpse of New Mexico’s native Turkey Vultures.

The Turkey Vulture is a native of New Mexico, but it migrates in and out of the northern part of the state. It leaves the area the last week in October and returns the 21-25 of March. These big birds are not as predictable as the swallows of Capistrano, but they come close….”

Wow, it was really windy at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, but it has an awesome view and was definitely worth the visit. In the center of the bridge there is a spot where you can step out into the nothingness and take pictures or just enjoy the feeling of floating in the air. Here’s one of my pictures from that standpoint.

The Rio Grande River is right below me.

Author: lynnthompsonbooks

Lynn Thompson’s home is in the Land of Enchantment, and, yes, the land is enchanting. The skies are blue, the stars are bright., and there are beautiful panoramic landscapes surrounding her hometown. Lynn wades through the craziness of life to follow her true passion, writing fiction. You can find her, or not, trekking through the mountains, searching for fairies and vortexes, keeping her eye out for anything paranormal, or sitting in the hot springs in her spare time. Lynn doesn’t have a specific genre she writes in. Characters have a way of leading her stories. She follows. Lynn is also a sponge when it comes to knowledge. She’s always on the move to continue her education in writing, marketing, social media, digital media, and hopes to find the extra time to add some criminal investigation classes to her repertoire. Lynn has three novels out: Blake, Sterling, and Tarnished Gold. Blake is the beginning of Montana’s story. Her need for seclusion, at least, for one winter. She does not get what she wants. There is someone or something in the mountains stalking her, people keep showing up on her doorstep, and she meets Max. Max knows what is hunting Montana, but won’t tell her. Montana’s lack of trust in Max drives her to fix her own problems. If she had known what she’d be confronting that night, she never would have sedated Max. Sterling is the second novel in the Montana Dayton series. Montana moves to Florida hoping to escape her old life, and regain her normal life back, but her past has come back to haunt her. Not only does she start losing time, she continues to wake up every morning wearing gorgeous jewels and is surrounded by precious gems. She never remembers where, or who she’s getting the glittery baubles from and is hell bent to get back her memories and return the jewels. Afraid she has been out robbing houses in the middle of the night, she is determined to figure out what is happening on her own. That is until the dreams and the strong pull to explore the gulf. When she finally realizes she needs help, she is powerless to get it. Tarnished Gold is Sam’s story and will be coming out around the new year. Sam first appeared in Sterling and demanded her own novel. Lynn has bowed to Sam’s wishes and is writing that story now. Lynn is also the proud owner of: Dark Fates. Eight short stories that are fun, but still on the dark side. Dark Fates-Madness. Four dark short stories. News Worthy. News Worthy stands alone with five short stories. Watching the news first thing in the morning may not be fun, but dissecting news clips and re-writing them into short stories that had a different ending was a blast! Dark Fates Collections is compiled of Dark Fates, Dark Fates-Madness, News Worthy, and features Karma Shay’s adventures. Visit Lynn at: Website: Twitter: @lynnthompson8 Facebook: Goodreads:

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