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  • Writer's pictureSharon Wix

Estrella Del Norte Vineyard

Updated: Jul 3

Let me start off by saying that sadly, as of this posting Estrella Del Norte has closed its doors. Why still write about it, you may ask? Well, this was still one of my first vineyards and it has many good memories attached to it, so how can I not write about it!? Plus, the optimist in me can’t help but believe that one day, someone will come across this little diamond in the rough and polish it till it shines again!! It may even be for sale right now [just saying] if anyone is interested!!?


Ok, so here is the accidental part… I found a waterfall [which I love as much as tasting wine] to explore. Nambe Falls, North of Sante Fe and situated in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain foothills. One day, Shawn and I took a drive and [after a few wrong turns] we found the entrance… it was barricaded and had a big CLOSED sign!! Apparently, since the Falls are on the Nambe Reservation, there are no regular hours [I think this has since changed] and it appears that it's only open when the spirit moves. Disappointing, but finding a more direct route on the way back, we rode by a sign that said “Winery… wine tasting” [which I now recognized for what it was!!] and it was OPEN!! 



The property, including an old run-down vineyard, was purchased by Richard and Eileen Reinders, who saw the potential to share this beautiful setting with the community. The estate name was inspired by Eileen’s great, great grandmother’s name. The Ute called her Nah-oh-koh and the Whites called her North Star. They choose the later translation, which in Spanish means “Estrella Del Norte.” After ample study and research, they obtained the proper licensure, and the doors of Estrella Del Norte were open!!

 

Back in the day this was the "#1" winery destination for Santa Fe, located North of town about 15 minutes on US84/285. When you turned in through the gates, you were immediately in the mist of 3+ acres of beautiful Pinot Noir vines. After a few curves in driveway, the "Estrella Del Norte Vineyard" iconic building [pictured above] came into view but you keep driving... once parked, you were welcomed by this beautiful little arbor and garden path entrance drawing you into the enticing world of wine. The tasting room and beautiful patios, brimming with vines of all types of fruit varieties, were full of people on the few occasions I was lucky enough to visit.

 

 

The tasting room itself, an old hay barn that they converted into a wine bar/gift shop, was a little rough around the edges but uniquely and charmingly so. They offered great customer service with a friendly and knowledgeable staff... plus a wide variety of wines to taste. I mean you were in an old barn with the all the same qualities of an old barn but with a wine bar in the middle... it was just so cool!! I am super sad that I wasn't able to taste the more bold red wines, like the Cabernet Franc. [which today is one of my favorites] I was just not drinking these varietals yet.


I have always loved their colorful, one of a kind wine labels. [which they created themselves] From the sweet apple [which they grew on site] dessert port style wine, “Geronimo’s Gold” [my favorite, since admittedly I was still drinking the sweet stuff] to the New Mexico Table wine with flavors of chocolate and Chile, "Hole Mole" [that could put some hair on your chest] they had something for everyones palate. I also remember [very well] a spiced pear [also grown on the grounds] wine called "Luna Pera" semi-sweet but very potent, you couldn't drink an entire glass... more like a shot!!



They provided many great gift ideas, like the sign below [one of my favorite wine sayings!!] and out the back door of the gift shop/tasting room there were several lovely dog friendly patios. Out here you could sit comfortably with your glass of wine and enjoy the peacefulness of being in the middle of nowhere!! This is where they hosted their many events, like winery dinners [including wine pairings] prepared by Santa Fe’s top chefs, and cooking classes taught by Santa Fe’s School of Cooking staff. They offered vineyard casitas [cottages] on site that you could rent when you were in the mood for a little wine getaway. "Stay... Play... and Wine!!" [what an awesome campaign]


It is still so surprising to me that they are no longer in operation, especially since they always seemed so busy, and had so many 'irons in the fire" so to speak. [again... I still have very high hopes!!] I have tried doing a little research to find the reason this place closed its doors, but I have not found even a whisper. I would love to hear feedback [of any kind] if anyone happens to find an explanation!!



Needless to say, this place was a great find. Oh, and in case you were wondering, we tried to visit Nambe Falls several more times, but they were never open when we were there. Kinda sad that I was never able to see it, but Estrella de Norte was always there and it made the fruitless drive worthwhile!!


Up next... Wine with Wixy will be back, still in Albuquerque, next Wednesday for my first paint and wine experience!!


Cheers to you my wine loving friends, and TTFN!!

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2 Comments


Guest
Jun 20

Sorry to Wine….. but it is So sad to see a Winery like this close.


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Sharon Wix
Sharon Wix
Jun 27
Replying to

Hahaha.. maybe if more people would have "wined" about it they could have remained open!! I still am just so curious and would like to know what happened!?

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