A little sparkle from New Mexico

One doesn’t need to know much about the French to grasp how remarkable it was for a Frenchman, the proud owner of a Champagne house, to look across the high desert near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, about 150 miles south of Albuquerque, and imagine vineyards producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for sparkling wine. Such foresight would have been remarkable in any winemaker; after all, while New Mexico did have a burgeoning wine industry in the 19th century, it had been entirely wiped out for three quarters of a century and was just getting restarted in 1983, when Gilbert Gruet and his family stopped to taste some local wines while touring the southwest on vacation. Where most people would have seen barren desert, M. Gruet saw potential: in the 4,000 foot elevation, where cold nights can extend the growing season; in the lack of humidity that causes mildew and requires winemakers to spray their vineyards with fungicides; and in the dry, sandy soils that would provide not only excellent drainage (and therefore, “stress” the vines) but protection from such pests as the dreaded phylloxera. In 1984, Gruet’s children, Laurent and Nathalie, relocated to New Mexico, planted a vineyard, and by 1989 released the first Gruet Brut N.V., and Gruet Brut Blanc de Noirs N.V. to great acclaim. 

Today Gruet produces over 100,000 cases of sparkling wine per year at the winery in Albuquerque from the grapes grown near Truth or Consequences in the south. These wines are produced according to the Methode Champenoise, a traditional and natural process of making sparkling wine. When the fermentation of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines is complete, the blends of the two grapes are assembled. Just before bottling, a little yeast and sugar is added to the wine so that a second fermentation occurs inside each bottle. Because the bottles are capped tight, the carbon dioxide has no place to go and the wine is transformed into a magical elixir – so light, delicate and bubbly. Unlike still wines, sparkling wines are difficult to produce in a small-scale, artisan kind of way. The process is labor intensive and requires more expensive equipment and a lot more time as the wine must be aged in bottle for at least 2 years before release. Nevertheless, Gruet Winery stands out for producing award-winning bubbly at bargain prices.

Wine Maker

Laurent Gruet





Photo Gallery

Wines from this Winery


We all need to be drinking more sparkling wine. Fine bubbly can accompany any dish, brighten any day, and liven up any conversation. Domaine St. Vincent Rosé will add joie de vivre to your routine at no greater expense than any other everyday wine. It may be Gruet of New Mexico’s second label, but it’s made by the same classic method as all their vintage and non-vintage sparklers. Crisp and zesty, this 100% Pinot Noir offers mouth-watering wild strawberry, bing cherry, lavender and floral notes along with a lovely, effervescent mousse that maintains vivacious acidity throughout a long and refreshing finish. Pair with the end (or start?) of any day!

Details »
¥3,190 (incl. tax)

A tight budget should never dissuade anyone from enjoying a glass of sparkling wine. And while all of Gruet’s sparkling wines offer excellent value, Gruet’s winemaker describes the St. Vincent N.V. Brut as a “budget friendly wine that encompasses all the quality and flavor that you would expect from a Gruet sparkling wine. This wine is easy to drink and very food-friendly, two pre-requisites that most wine lovers appreciate!” Like all of Gruet’s wines, the St. Vincent is made according to the Champagne method with the second fermentation occurring inside the bottle. In the glass, lively bubbles, a fine mousse and bright fruit notes of green apple and pear make for pleasant sipping before or during lunch or dinner.

Details »
¥3,630 (incl. tax)
GRUET Blanc de Blancs

Produced from 100% Chardonnay, the non-vintage Blanc de Blancs is crisp and lively, with a froth of tiny beads that never seem to run out of gas. Following the practice at Champagne Gruet, the non-vintage selection includes some reserve wine in the blend to add complexity and to help maintain a consistent house style. With a brut-level of dosage (i.e. dry but not bone dry), the wine is medium-bodied and delicate, with aromas of green apples and lemon zest opening up to flavors of fresh apple and pineapple. If drinking more sparkling wine is one of your New Year resolutions, why not with one of Wine Spectator’s 100 top wine values for 2020! 

Details »
¥4,070 (incl. tax)
GRUET Blanc de Noirs

Though Blanc de Noirs (“white of blacks”) usually refers to wine made exclusively from dark-skinned grapes, Gruet’s Blanc de Noirs is a blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay. The extraordinary vineyards as well as two years’ aging produce a wine that delights the senses: salmon color, silky bubbles, alluring aromas, and so creamy, rich and toasty.

Details »
¥4,070 (incl. tax)

Because bone-dry sparkling wine has little mass appeal, a dosage of sweet liqueur is added when the bottles are disgorged and corked. Brut is the driest level of sweetness (confusingly, Sec (“dry”) is sweeter than Brut). A blend of 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir, this sparkling wine is crisp and full-bodied and certain to spice up any meal – indoors or out. With a magnum, everybody at your springtime or early summer picnic will be sure to enjoy a glass!

Details »
¥4,070 (incl. tax)