When most people think of the American Southwest they think of
arid, windswept terrain, vast ranches framed by barbed-wire fences
and scattered with grazing cattle, terraced rock formations and
jagged mountain peaks towering in an array of rich, earthen reds
and browns against the backdrop of radiant blue skies, and sunsets
that fade these vibrant colors into a haze of pastel pinks,
oranges, and purples. It's the birthplace of the American frontier,
a playground for outdoor adventurers, and the inspiration for
countless watercolor canvases and vivid oil-painted landscapes.
Indeed, this romantic imagery has for centuries encouraged myriad
settlers to migrate to the region. But few would have ever
associated this rich and exciting region with wine. Yet it was in
this part of the country that the first Vitis vinifera vines in the
United States are said to have been planted. As early as 1598,
vines were planted by Spanish Franciscan monks in New Mexico and
were also planted in west Texas, all the way west to California,
during the seventeenth century. However, it really wasn't until the
1970s that the modern wine industry took off. By and large it was
Texas that led the pack in terms of overall growth in vineyard
plantings and production in the decades that followed. But other
states within the region - New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado - have
also evolved, with compelling stories and promising wine industries
of their own. This book is in four parts, one for each state. Texas
serves as the cornerstone for this region with New Mexico, Arizona,
and Colorado all rapidly growing in importance. For each state
Dupuy addresses eight key topics to cover the landscape of the wine
industry: history, regions, climate, challenges, grapes, leading
producers, leading grape growers, and the future. In addition, each
state's chapters include vignettes highlighting interesting pieces
of history and culture, or profiling significant wine industry
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