La Vina Winery
Anthony, NM 88021 (just outside El Paso, TX)
GPS: 31.96938, -106.651428
Today's travel covered 258 miles which we did in 7:20. We pulled out at 0900 but stopped almost immediately for breakfast while still in Ft Stockton at the Ft Stockton Steakhouse. This time I had the Chorizo & Egg and Michelle had an omelet.
Our travel direction was WNW until just before Ft Hancock, then NW along Mexican border to El Paso. That black line on the map is the US/Mexico border. Today we crossed into the Mountain Time zone. We'll stay in this time zone until October.
El Paso, TX of song and story fame was a grubby, lawless border town with mexican music, pretty senoritas, and gunfights. I'm sure some of that is preserved somewhere as "Historic El Paso". But now El Paso is a sprawling metropolis with big buildings, freeways, and traffic jams like every other big city; and a terrifying driving experience for RVers like us who have become used to the slower pace of senior living in the country. It is still a border town, squeezed between Mexico on the south and New Mexico on the north and west. El Paso suburbs are in a different state and a different nation. What a nightmare that must be.
Our overnight stop this time was in Anthony, NM; one of those New Mexico suburbs, at La Vina Winery, another Harvest Host site. After we left the highway and got on to the back roads approaching the winery, I was struck by what I will call "agricultural wealth". Mile after mile of meticulously manicured vineyards and pecan orchards (read no weeds) spotted with very expensive homes. Also visible were elaborate irrigation systems. I'm pretty sure the water source is the Rio Grande which runs south through this region before it turns southeast and becomes the dividing line between the US and Mexico.
We arrived at La Vina Winery about 1530 Mountain Time, stopped in the store to introduce ourselves and get directions to our parking location.
Then we set up for the night.
After getting setup, we returned to the store and did a wine tasting. Each of us got five samples, with crackers and a free wine glass (glass not plastic) for $5. Of course we bought a couple bottles. I just had to copy this information from the Wine Tasting list. This is to impress you with our wine sophistication and my ability to create a table in a blog post. Are you impressed?
|Bob||Off Dry||Viognier||French variety. Mineral and white peaches hints.|
|Bob||Dry Red||Sangiovese||Earthy spicy black cherry flavor. Origins in Northern Italy.|
|Bob||Dry Red||Dolcetto||Lighter bodied red wine with hints of cherry. Pairs with pizza or spicy dishes.|
|Bob||Dry Red||Primitivo||This zinfandel clone is fruity with medium tannin, spice, and pepper flavors.|
|Bob||Semi–sweet||Oro Loco||"Crazy Gold" Muscat blend with lovely citrus notes. Great for a picnic.|
|Michelle||Semi–sweet||Rojo Loco||"Crazy Red" blend of Ruby Cabernet and Zinfandel – some liken it to Sangria.|
|Michelle||Semi–sweet||White Riesling||Hints of strawberry and rasberry – perfect with bread and sharp cheese.|
|Michelle||Semi–sweet||Gewurztraminer||Fragerant white wine, pear and peach flavors with honeysuckle hints.|
|Michelle||Sweet||La Dolce Vina||Sparkling Muscat with spectacular citrus and floral notes.|
|Michelle||Sweet||Late Harvest Viognier||Apricot and honey characters and sweet mouthfeel balanced with soft acidity.|
A young man came into the store. One look and you knew he was a GI; the walk and the haircut give it away every time. We got into a conversation and learned his name was Matt. He is a soldier stationed at Ft Bliss. He came to the winery to buy some wine to send to his mother and sister for Mother's Day. We chatted while the winery clerk packed up his selection for shipping. He knew nothing about wine; neither do I. So I treated him to a wine tasting. He is unhappy in his job and with the anti–education attitude of his fellow soldiers. Nearing the end of his enlistment, he plans to leave the service return home to Sacramento, CA and finish college, then maybe rejoin the military. We wished him well.
Soon the winery store closed and all the customers and workers were gone. We enjoyed a quiet evening alone in the parking lot.
As it got dark, we could see in the distance the lights of the traffic on I-10 and the glow in the sky from the city of El Paso. Another day in the books.