ALBUQUERQUE, NM – August 3, 2017 – VARA wines, a locally owned winery based in Albuquerque, New Mexico today announced that they were the proud recipient of several medals from the San Francisco International Wine Competition. Most notable are three silver medals won for their Tinto Especial – Garnacha Lot #014, USA; 2015 Garnacha Rosado – Rioja D.O. Ca., Spain and their Silverhead Brut Cava – D.O. Spain.
Founded in 1980, the San Francisco International Wine Competition (SFIWC) is in its 37th year and is one of the longest-running international wine competitions in the world. Held between June 29 and July 2, 2017, 58 judges comprised of wine-industry experts tasted wines from more than 30 countries. The San Francisco International Wine Competition has the honor of being the largest international wine competition in the United States and this year’s competition received over 4,000 wine entries.
“It is a tremendous honor to have our wines recognized among this kind of global competition,” said Doug Diefenthaler, VARA owner and managing member. “As a New Mexico business we are proud to bring this type of positive recognition to the local wine industry. Our goal is to produce wines that confirm the quality of the grapes we use and the vineyards they are from,” said Diefenthaler. “This is one of the most renowned and influential competitions in the world and certainly in the U.S.,” he said.
Earlier this year VARA received its New Mexico wine growers and distillers licenses and will soon be making New Mexico wines and spirits to add to their already established California and Spanish wines. “This was always part of the plan,” said Xavier Zamarripa VARA co-owner and managing member. “We have been anxiously awaiting the time when we would be able to produce fine New Mexico products and this fall will mark the first year we are able to do this. We will open our tasting room in the coming months and have our first New Mexico products on-hand for local and visiting guests,” said Zamarripa.
Truly a small New Mexico business, VARA currently employs five individuals in Albuquerque. With the opening of the winery, distillery and tasting room later this year, VARA anticipates hiring as many as 10 additional employees in the next six to 12 months. “Our roots as a New Mexico business run deep – – the entire story of VARA is based on the history of grapes and New Mexico as the first wine growing region,” said Diefenthaler. “New Mexico is our home. We want to contribute and add our names to the list of companies that showcase the success that businesses can achieve here.”
About VARA Wines:
VARA is an international family of Spanish and American wines commemorating the connection of Spain with Native American and new world history. The first cuttings brought by Spanish missionaries to the new world are now known to be Listan Prieto (the mission grape variety). This variety still grows in New Mexico today. VARA embraces the history of vinifera in the new world and the inspirations that carried from Spain to New Mexico and then later into California. VARA wines are currently being sold in New Mexico, California, Colorado and Arizona.