El Paso is known for many things, but did you know that it is one of the oldest regions in the United States to produce wine? The vineyards in the El Paso area were planted in 1662, nearly 100 years before the vineyards of California or Virginia.
According to Zin Valle Vineyards, the “mission” grapes that were planted, or Vitis vinifera vines, were used in sacramental wines during mass Zin Valle Vineyards,, carries on the winemaking tradition as the only winery in an unlikely area. Located on the Texas-New Mexico border —”‘where the edge of Texas meets the soul of Tuscany” —’ Zin Valle Vineyards produces a large variety of local wines.
Ryan Poulos, co-owner of Zin Valle, says it was his parents who originally had the idea to found the winery. Their first step was to plant the vines, which take three or four years to grow the grapes used for their winesThen they built the tasting room and fashioned the picturesque setting of the vineyard grounds that guests know and enjoy today.
Poulos was living in Austin with his wife and child when the opportunity arose for him to move back home and manage the winery. He took over management duties in 2020. He is now proud to call the vineyard his “office.”
Despite the delicate air around the winery, making the wine is a bit more exacting. “Everything is a variable and there are so many of them, which is what makes not just every winery, but every bottle of wine, so different,” Poulos says.
All of Zin Valle’s grapes are harvested in a single day from the six acres of land. The grapes are peeled and crushed into juice. From here, the specifics for each type of wine are very different; some are aged in oak barrels for up to one year while others are fermented and ready for consumption after a couple of weeks.
After the process is complete, and each of these unique variables is satisfied, the vineyard can serve the wines everyone knows and loves!
There is a certain magic in the air at Zin Valle Vineyards. The magic is not how the wine makes you feel, though it is very good, but rather results from the perfect fusion of the centuries-old tradition with a beautiful family heritage. So whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just enjoy the occasional glass, visit Zin Valle and enjoy a glass of wine, Made in El Paso.