Jim Hammond, the Southwestern Wine Guy, Uses Video, Other Communications Tools to Highlight the Wine Industry in New Mexico

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Hammond uses multiple media to tell the story of both the history of wine production and the current success of wine growers in New Mexico.


Wine was being produced in New Mexico along the Rio Grande River 140 years before California wine makers planted their first vines.

What would be your answer if someone asked you to name the first successful wine region in the United States? Would you automatically say California? Most people would, but the truth may surprise you. Wine was being produced in New Mexico along the Rio Grande River 140 years before California wine makers planted their first vines. Jim Hammond, the Southwestern Wine Guy, has made it his mission to get that message out. Not only has New Mexico been a wine producing region for a very long time, but the talented wine makers in the state are producing exceptionally good wines. His video, The History of Wine in New Mexico, attached here, tells the little-known story.

Hammond is a California transplant and wine expert who starting paying attention to the development of wineries all over New Mexico after discovering that wine makers were producing wines for sophisticated palates along with the popular sweet “table red” and white wines that most often appear at local wine festivals. For example, 2007 DH Lescombes Cabernet Franc Limited Release, produced by Southwest Wines, Deming, NM, was one of only 6 wines given a best-of-the-best Sweepstakes Award at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. What Hammond discovered made him look deeper into the culture and he fell in love with New Mexico wine history and the innovative ways that vintners have shaped successful vineyards and wineries during the renaissance that began in the late 1970s. Hammond’s wine blog covers New Mexico wines, and he also offers news and insights as the “Albuquerque Wine Examiner” on Examiner.com. He is a columnist for ABQ Free Press and provides wine and beer pairing ideas to go along with featured recipes in New Mexico Magazine. He also hosts the popular “The Spirits of New Mexico” program on Saturday afternoons on KIVA 1600AM and Live 95.5 FM.

Hammond published his second edition of his wine guide, Wines of Enchantment: Your Guide to Finding and Enjoying the Wines of New Mexico, in 2012. The book offers information about each winery in the state as well as tips for would be and astute wine connoisseurs.

Hammond is available to speak on New Mexico wines and also provide creative seminars or events to help people understand and appreciate New Mexico wines as well as wines of the world. Contact him at jim(at)southwesternwineguy(dot)com or visit his website, SouthwesternWineGuy.com. The Southwestern Wine Guy is active on Facebook, Twitter (#SWWineGuy) and LinkedIn.

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Debbie Dapson
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